After much anticipation and even more speculation, the documentary Rebel Scum, which follows Knoxville punk band the Dirty Works and its lead singer Christopher Scum, premiered on Saturday, Jan. 16, to an enthusiastic crowd that spilled down the stairwell in the Great Room at Patrick Sullivan’s. The film, produced by Atlanta-based Worldstorm Art Labs, took more than two years to create and captures the band’s chaotic studio sessions as well as their substance-fueled and mostly short-lived tours.
As the screening progressed and the alcohol consumption continued, the crowd loudly interacted with the film, cheering for every bottle that was broken and arrest that was evaded. Even the film’s subjects couldn’t resist the temptation to comment on their own drunken antics. By the end of it, it was hard to hear the actual film over the audience’s interpretation.
Focusing on the band members’ battles with substance abuse and search for a record label, the film provides an unedited view of each of their lives, both at home and in the band, but focuses primarily on Scum and his battles with addiction and violence.
As of now, there’s no set release date for the film, but Scum says he hopes it will be widespread. He says he plans to occasionally play acoustic sets during the screenings.