01 March 2017


DIRECTOR: Jeremy Saulnier
WRITER: Jeremy Saulnier
CAST: Anton Yelchin, Imogen Poots, Patrick Stewart, Macon Blair

The term green room refers to what is basically a waiting area for performers before they go on stage. In this petty decent suspense thriller a band of what seems to be punk rockers (I dunno for sure) are desperate yet again to make any sort of money they can get their hands on and agree to play a show for a bunch of neo-Nazi skin heads. The action takes place around rainy Portland Oregon known more for it green anarchists and Prozac addled post slacker generation than for skin heads, but seems everywhere you turn anymore there is a hive of Nazis stirring up trouble. The band has a rocky start but they soon win over the hearts and souls of the crowd with their ear splitting three chord mayhem. Upon returning to the green room they stumble in upon a murder scene and that is when things get complicated and the movie turns tense. The over all storyline is that they are trapped in the green room with the Nazis trying to get in to kill them off as potential murder witnesses. The rockers are not really fighters but when pushed into a corner they, for the most part, give the bad guys a pretty good fight. And by pretty good I mean at times the violence is jarring. At other times it is done off camera a little too much, but there is enough in your face gore and blood spatter to keep you either glued to screen or repulsed and avoiding it.

Patrick Stewart plays the head Nazi and the tragically recently departed Anton Yelchin plays one of the more resilient band members. Not everyone get out alive and they go down twitching, with pit bull at their throats sometimes. There are quite a few plot holes and problems (like why did Stewart's character Darcy want the Nazi lacks holding the band prisoner in the green room to hand over the pistol to them other than as a plot contrivance) and why do a couple band members just run into situations that can only result in certain death? Like the soldier in the old war movies who charges the machine gun nest. Why not just wait and come up with a better plan or do nothing. I guess the film has to move along but these little bugs can ruin it all really. But in this case they do not really. Any movie like this relies on short cuts and gimmicks to keep things moving. In this case the bigger picture is salvaged by the end. The film luckily does not turn into some sort of lame social statement about the evils of white supremacism which in today's climate it certainly could have. It simply uses the situation everyone finds themselves in to build the action around. The punk band may be morally better than Nazis (but not morally better than prog-rockers!) and yet they are not above playing for skinheads for some slimy ass money. In fact the skinheads are portrayed as assholes, natch, but their hands are forced into trying to cover up a murder of passion. Definitely worth a watch and I wonder if there is an unrated version out there? A couple of the deaths seemed overly edited to me. But not disappointing in the violence department, or any other for that matter.

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