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Story Of A Junkie (1985) Gringo 80’s East Village NYC Heroin Addict Docudrama

John Spacely Gringo Story Of A Junkie

Story of a Junkie is a 1987 drama film directed by Lech Kowalski and starring John Spaceley. Distributed by Troma Entertainment. Filmed in documentary-style, the film follows the character of Gringo, a young man looking for fortune in New York, only to fall into heroin addiction.

John Spacely Gringo Story Of A Junkie

The movie has amassed quite a reputation in certain circles for its depictions of hard drug usage in New York City’s East Village area. Many of the cast members, including leading man John Spaceley, are actual junkies. The numerous shooting-up sequences are reportedly entirely real, as are many of the drug dens and their denizens. Perhaps even more notable than the cinema verite structure is the almost total lack of moralizing on the part of the producers or its characters.

John Spacely Gringo Story Of A Junkie

Lead actor Spaceley died in the early 1990s, reportedly from AIDS, which he contracted through intravenous drug use. His final moments are chronicled in yet another Lech Kowalski film, “Born to Lose: The Last Rock & Roll Movie”, a documentary about deceased former New York Dolls guitarist Johnny Thunders.

Troma Entertainment hails Story of a Junkie as one of the company’s best films; it’s one of the most well-known outside of the films directed by Troma founders Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz.

Gringo Story Of A Junkie

A harrowing, bloody story of heroin addiction that puts films like Trainspotting to shame, Gringo mixes documentary footage with staged scenes to show the life of addict John Spacely.

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Perhaps you’ve seen him somewhere and just can’t remember his name. The face is about an enigmatic as they come: classic Roman features topped by a greasy dyed matt of slicked back blond hair, pirate-style patch covering his right eye and cigarette dangling from an ever-present smirk. Or maybe you’ve never really noticed him and could frankly care less who he is or was. To you, John Spacely is just another loser, a human being throwing their life away by indulging in the most shameless of self-satisfactions: drug abuse. The minute you learn he’s a card-carrying member of the Riders of the White Horse, you’re thoughts turn to how selfish and stupid he is, how addiction is for the weak and lazy. You now no longer wish to know anything about him, his life, or how he ended up strung out in New York City. Instead, you sneer down your self-righteous nose and blame him (and his kind) for all the problems of the world. Maybe it would help you to learn a little about who John Spacely is. Perhaps your perceptions will change when you learn what drove him to drugs and what he has to do on a daily basis to survive. One thing’s for sure, the minute you see the horrifying docudrama Story of a Junkie, you will think twice about ever attempting to use drugs. This film is as successful a PSA warning about the terrors of dependency that you will probably ever see. It makes the Hollywood glamorization of such struggling souls that much more laughable.

John Spacely Gringo Story Of A Junkie

GRINGO Story of a Junkie is about as close to pure European neo-realism as an American movie is ever likely to get. It is also a stunning example of the cinema vérité style of filmmaking, the capturing of events as they happen without concern about continuity or performance. Part documentary, part confessional, this occasionally brilliant but always brave movie is an incredibly searing indictment on the use and abuse of drugs.
Whereas Tinsel Town tripe likes to romanticize the ritualistic intake of mind and or mood altering substances as a photogenic character flaw, Story of a Junkie tells it like it really is. Never once white washing or trivializing the life of a heroin addict, director Lech Kowalski and his cast of real life drug users draw us directly into the warped urban war zone where the vast majority of pusher and partakers exist. Never cringing from the sights, the sounds, the smells and the surreality of the real drug culture, the desperation is palpable and the danger, predominant. From how fixes are “cut” to the hierarchy in a shooting gallery, you’ll be hard pressed to find another film that tackles this terrible subject with more authenticity. It is drug abuse as slasher film, a frightening, sometime funny and often fatalistic representation of people living a life with a maniacal monkey on their back.

John Spacely Gringo Story Of A Junkie

It’s impossible for us non-addicts to understand the struggles and the will to survive (if only for the next score) of the person hopelessly obsessed with using. But for some reason, we are no longer a society that accepts brutal honesty. Everything needs to be sugarcoated with a small fraction of hope inserted to keep us feeling safe and secure. Frankly, the plain truth is all that Story of a Junkie has to offer. Without its integrity, its desire to get to the very heart of this corrupt cosmos, all we’d have is a carnival sideshow, a scandalous showcase of pure exploitation. But because of the tales it tells and the people who tell them, Story of a Junkie transcends its trappings to become a work of astounding power.

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File under Cult Movies, Culture, Massive Consumption of Drugs, New York City History, Punksploitation, SeMeN SPeRmS BLArRrG, SeMeN SPeRmS ViDeO CLuB

The Runaways
Rock & Roll Just Had A Minor Revolution

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Conjured by o~ SeMeN SPeRmS ~o on May 22, 2014

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I Sold My Soul For Rock & Roll

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Conjured by o~ SeMeN SPeRmS ~o on February 10, 2013

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They Sold Their Souls For Rock N Roll – Religious Rockumentary – Music, Satan’s Best Tool

“Is it true that SATAN is the master musician working behind the popular music scene and influencing our youth? Fasten your seat belts as you go on an eye popping ride upon the roller coaster of Rock, and find out how Rocks most popular artists have Sold Their Souls for Rock and Roll. In this mind blowing exposé Pastor Joe Schimmel reveals just how SATAN has been effectively using popular music to undermine Gods plan for family and ultimately heralding the coming of the Antichrist and his kingdom on earth. Come behind the scenes with us as we expose the deceptive agendas of many of yesterday and todays secular artists, such as: Elvis, The Doors, Led Zeppelin, U2, Creed, Madonna, Britney Spears, DMX, Tupac, Tori Amos and many more. It’s time to remove the blinders – guard yourself and those you love from one of Satans most powerful tools.”

File under Culture, Massive Consumption of Drugs, Music, SeMeN SPeRmS Approved, SeMeN SPeRmS BLArRrG, SeMeN SPeRmS ViDeO CLuB

Punk In London (1977) Documentary Featuring The Clash, X-Ray Spex, The Jam


A documentary directed by German filmmaker Wolfgang Büld featuring The Clash, X-Ray Spex, The Jam, and other bands at the forefront of the movement in London circa 1976. A slice of British punk life filmed in the late seventies while it was actually happening. Filled with lots of live footage and stupid punkers runnin’ their mouths. You get a real feel for the raw energy of that time in history before it was co-opted.

Tracklist:

1. The Adverts – Gary Gilmore’s Eyes
2. Jimmy Pursey Interview


3. Chelsea Interview 1
4. Chelsea – Right To Work
5. Chelsea Interview 2


6. X-Ray Spex – Oh Bondage: Up Yours!
7. Poly-Styrene Interview Part 1
8. X-Ray Spex – Identity
9. Poly-Styrene Interview Part 2


10. Lurkers Interview
11. The Lurkers – Shadow
12. The Red Cow Club


13. The Jolt– Unknown
14. Jolt Interview
15. The Jolt – You’re Cold
16. Miles Copeland Interview


17. The Electric Chairs – (You Make Me) Cream In My Jeans


18. The Killjoys – It Could Be Me 1
19. The Killjoys – It Could Be Me 2
20. Kevin Rowland Interview
21. The Killjoys – At Night
22. The Rough Trade Record Shop
23. The Adverts – One Chord Wonders


24. Subway Sect – Ambition
25. Subway Sect – Out Of Touch
26. Subway Sect Interview
27. Rat (Damned Roadie) Interview 1
28. Sounds Newspaper
29. Teddy Boys Interview


30. The Jam – Carnaby Street
31. The Jam – In The City
32. Jean Jaques Burnell Interview And A Cynics View Of Punk


33. The Boomtown Rats – Do The Rat
34. Rat (Condemned Roadie) Interview 2


35. The Clash – Complete Control
36. The Clash – Hate And War
37. The Clash – Police And Thieves
38. The Clash – Garageland

Buy Punk In London Here

File under Cult Movies, Drunk Kids, Fashion, Fetish, Influences, Music, Punksploitation, SeMeN SPeRmS Approved, SeMeN SPeRmS BLArRrG, SeMeN SPeRmS ViDeO CLuB