Saturday, November 14, 2009
Surf Nazis Must Die isn't a very good movie. Despite the honor of boasting one of the greatest titles in cinematic history, the film itself just fails to deliver much of anything. Unless you foam at the mouth over plodding go-nowhere storytelling and/or an absence of a single nugget of dialogue that could be interesting to anyone then I would recommend you steer clear of watching it. I was 20 years old the first time I saw it, and the precarious situation in which my virgin viewing took place maintains a significantly more detailed foothold in the annals of my memory than anything that actually happens in the movie (i.e. nothing. Nothing happens in this movie. Nothing). We were all sitting in the darkness of my new-at-that-time friend Ron's living room: me, Ron, Ron's terrifyingly social retard of a hulking straight-edge roommate, my friend Graham and Ron's ex-girlfriend, whom I shall refer to as Shitty Liz because her name was Liz and because she was shitty. Ron and Shitty Liz had freshly slid off of the tail-end of their several year relationship, which culminated in them moving to Richmond together from Maine, almost immediately breaking up, and continuing to live together in the same shitty apartment where I was now watching this terrible movie with them; high out of my mind, bored out of my skull and nearly choking to death on the tension that hovered in the room like a sixth person, uninvited and passive-aggressively rude. Throw into this nauseating cocktail of awkwardness the added spice of my relatively well-known-at-the-time friend Graham, who had shown up independent of myself under the pretense that he was in store for a chill date with his new acquaintance (Shitty) Liz, completely unaware that she still lived with her ex-boyfriend and that both he and I and scary straight-edge Steve would all be there, too. My high was helping to take off the hard edge of discomfort, or at least helping me to remain joyfully oblivious to it, and I settled into a pile of pillows on the floor, ready to experience what I had previously been promised was the pinnacle of D-movie riches. But this movie sucked. It still sucks, and it will probably always suck. Regardless, I was the only one to finish it. Shitty Liz and Graham took off early, probably to go get some coffee and talk about literature or whatever other stupid shit people our age used to do instead of just immediately smashing our crotches together and getting it over with. Scary straight-edge Steve retired to the kitchen to disassemble and clean his handguns (I swear to fucking god), acerbically muttering under his breath "fucking edge-breaker" every time recently edge-broken (and totally hammered) Ron would stumble towards the kitchen for another 40 oz. Ron was just drinking by himself in his room by this point. I stuck it out for two reasons. A) I was really, really high and this terrible movie seemed like a better option than any of my others, and B) the fucking SOUNDTRACK.
Jon McCallum had me mesmerized. Try to imagine an early John Carpenter score bumping fur with that latest Fuck Buttons album that every music reviewer in the world is currently masturbating to. Only better, because this shit sounds like it was composed and recorded in the locker room of a public swimming pool by a rogue 1980's computer nerd who just ate a handful of Quaaludes and was attempting to therapeutically overcome the loss of his calculator watch at the hands of some real-life Surf Nazis. Sequences of surfing dudes and dudettes shot in extreeeeeeeeemely slow-motion melted into my brain by way of my eyes solely because of the music's ability to smooth-talk my disinterested persona into letting them pass. For years I've wandered around haunted by the memory of these sounds, unable to find the means of replication. I swore that I would never sit through this disastrous picture again, and uncovering a hard copy of the soundtrack is like trying to fuck without body parts. I remained hopeless that I'd ever hear any of it again until about a month ago when I stumbled upon some equally affected individual's blog, where he had for immediate download the score in its entirety, recorded directly from his goddamned VHS copy (sound effects and all).
I've been listening to it almost every single day since then, and have decided to put it up here for anyone who may be interested. It's probably not for everyone, but if you're anything like me then this will not only fill, but will forever define, a very specific slot within your vast library of musical appreciation. I recommend it for headphones during a walk through the city in early fall, assuming you have no particular place to be. Get caught up in it completely and come to realize the full potential of low-budget film scores and why typing the words "Claudio Simonetti mediafire" into Google may do more for your knowledge and appreciation of music than any number of blogs, magazines or bullshit record store recommendations will ever be capable of. If you're not breaking into goosebumps by the time "Blood in the Water" kicks its way into your head then I hate to break it to you, but you've got tampons in your ears.
Jon McCallum - Surf Nazis Must Die