Written by: Michael Den Boer on January 1st, 2018
BluRay released: December 15th, 2017
Approximate running times: 95 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: LPCM Mono English
BluRay Release: MVD Rewind Collection
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $39.95
“D.O.A.: A Right of Passage is the ground-breaking classic “rockumentary” about the origin of punk rock. Centered around the Sex Pistols 1978 tour of the United States which ended with the group breaking up, the tour was the only one the Pistols played in the United States. Director Lech Kowalski (East of Paradise) followed the band with handheld cameras through the clubs and bars of their seven-city U.S. tour. Mixing this with footage of other contemporary bands, trends in the fashion capitals and punks of all shapes and colors, Kowalski captured a grainy, stained snapshot of the punk movement at its peak (which includes the now famous footage of Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen in bed) along with rare interview and concert footage of the late seventies punk rock music scene.” – Synopsis provided by the Distributor
The main draw of this documentary is the inclusion of the only known footage from The Sex Pistols, first and only tour of the USA. And though this footage originally served as the jumping point of what eventually became D.O.A.: A Right of Passage. The film eventually morphed into a documentary of the Punk rock scene in the UK.
Besides the aforementioned footage of The Sex Pistols. Other highlights from this film include footage of other notable bands like Iggy Pop, The Clash, Generation X and The Dead Boys and an interview with a comatose Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen.
This documentary’s only weak link is a band named Terry and the Idiots. There were literally a one-off band, who performed only one show and yet they have almost as much screen time as The Sex Pistols. With that being said, the backstory about this film (which can be found on the internet) is more interesting, then their abysmal performance and the pretentious interviews from their lead singer.
D.O.A.: A Right of Passage comes on a 50 GB dual layer (36.7 GB) BluRay. This release has been flagged for progressive playback and the film is presented in its intended 1.33:1 aspect ratio. The source used for this HD transfer is in great shape and print related debris is minimal. There are no issues with compression and the image looks crisp.
This release comes with one audio option, a LPCM mono mix in English. There are no issues with distortion or background noise, everything sounds balanced and robust, when it needs too.
Extras for this release include, an image gallery, a trailer for the film (3 minutes 48 seconds) and a making of documentary titled Dead on Arrival: The Punk Documentary That Almost Never Was (115 minutes 16 seconds).
The documentary features new interviews with PUNK magazine founder and Ramones cover-artist John Holmstrom, renowned music journalist Chris Salewicz, legendary photographer Roberta Bayley, Sex Pistols’ historian Mick O’Shea, former Rich Kid guitarist and Ultravox lead singer Midge Ure, and original D.O.A. crew members David King, Mary Killen, Rufus Standefer, plus never-before-seen interview footage of Pistols founder, Malcolm McLaren.
Topics discussed in the documentary include, the origins of Punk Rock, Malcom McLaren, The Sex Pistols, Tom Forcade, High Times magazine, the origins of D.O.A.: A Right of Passage, director Lech Kowalski, guerrilla style filmmaking they employed to get footage of The Sex Pistols, memories / stories from The Sex Pistols U.S. tour, post production topics and audience reaction to the film.
Rounding out the extras is a slip cover, reversible cover art, a collectible two-sided poster and a twelve-page booklet with liner notes written by John Holmstrom, founding editor of PUNK Magazine. Also, included with this release is a DVD that has the same content included on the Blu-Ray included as part of this combo. Overall D.O.A.: A Right of Passage gets a definitive release from MVD Rewind Collection, highly recommended.