Decline of Western Civilization Series Back from the Vault


The seminal chronicle of LA punk was re-released yesterday via Shout! Factory on DVD and Blu-Ray, bringing the three films by Penelope Spheeris together with additional archival footage into a comprehensive collection of possibly the best representation of punk, free of the exocitizing gloss that often wrecks documentaries of the kind before they’ve hardly begun. Spheeris, who also directed Wayne’s World, spoke with LA Record about why she sees this project as her most lasting and meaningful, beginning with the first film’s release in 1981. Decline I follows LA punk, Decline II covers LA metal, and III returns to the punks twenty years later. With performances by Germs, X, Black Flag, Circle Jerks, Alice Cooper, and Ozzy Osbourne, the series is a definitive regional chronicle worth watching, regardless of your music loyalties. Watch the trailers for each installment after the jump.


Liz Wood is a freelance editor, fiction writer, and current student in the NYU MFA program. More from this author →