Penelope Spheeris’ music documentary trilogy The Decline of Western Civilization has long been celebrated as an important cultural record of LA’s hardcore punk, metal and gutter-punk scenes of the 1980s and 1990s, and now all three films are getting a first-time UK DVD and Blu-ray release from Second Sight.
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The box-set comprises the influential 1981 original, which charts the chaotic lives and gigs of the likes of Black Flag, the Circle Jerks and The Germs; the 1988 sequel, chronicling the OTT excesses of Hollywood’s hard rock scene from Motörhead to Poison and Alice Cooper; and the 1998 film, which explores LA’s punk rebirth through a new generation of bands like Naked Aggression and Final Conflict all set against a world of homelessness and societal breakdown. Plus, there’s a raft of extras that’s been a real labour of love from Spheeris’ daughter, Anna Fox, who is the person to thank for bringing her mother’s work together for the first time. Oh, and the second film features Ozzy Osbourne as you have never seen him before.
The Decline of Western Civilization is available on Blu-ray and DVD from Second Sight in the UK