American Punks is a story centered around a 20-something loser who collects unemployment, smokes pot and hangs out with
his loser friends. When one of his friends is killed by their pusher for
non-payment, he is blamed by the police for the murder. He misguidedly
believes that a local yuppie was the real killer, so he asks the homicidal
pusher for help in proving his case.
The story arc is refreshingly believable, and the anti-hero loser ends up
Unfortunately, the production is amateurish start to finish. Star Mike
Passion admits that he was drunk for 65% of the filming, and claims that
Richard Burton and Matt Dillon were his inspiration. The filming took place
over a year and a half, and he remembers endless technical debates about
things like lighting.
The film has a cult
following, and seems to resonate with Gen-Xers, thanks in part to a driving
soundtrack from Detroit punk bands like Shock Therapy, Itchy Wiggle Christ
and Lab Animals.