Deathtripping: The Cinema of Transgression

Jack Sargeant

Focusing primarily on the trash terrorism of the New York movie underground from its roots in the post-punk ’70s through to the digital fixes of the early ’90s, Deathtripping reads like a depraved cinematic book of the dead. Whether detailing Beth and Scott B’s brutal meditation on torture, Black Box, the visionary excesses of Nick Zedd’s War Is Menstrual Envy or the strap-on role-reversal porn of Richard Kern’s The Bitches, it soon becomes clear from this remarkable collection of interviews and profiles that the most forceful arguments for transgression in film are ethical rather than aesthetic. A shared anger and frustration with the legacy of Reagan’s fuckwit America cuts through every line and image. With the likes of Lydia Lunch, Joe Coleman, Tommy Turner and David Wojnarowicz also on hand to give evidence, a selection of film scripts, assorted manifestoes and diatribes as well as some rare stills and twisted production shots, Jack Sargeant has taken a corpse and turned it into a feast. Folks’ll be pickin’ dark meat off these bones for a long time to come. KXH

Publisher: Creation
Paperback: 258 pages