Director – Sami Saif (The UFO War, American Short)
Starring – Merle Allin (Tromeo and Juliet), Arleta Baird, and GG Allin (Affliction, Hated: GG Allin and the Murder Junkies)
Release Date – 2017
Rating – 4/5
Tagline – “One hell of a family”
I’m a metal head. I grew up in family that was obsessed with country. In the mid-90s, when I was just a kid, my brother introduced me to Black Sabbath and Motorhead. It was at this point in my life that I realized I was not like my father and cousins. All things rock was where my life was headed and I fully embraced it. I may not be the biggest fan or a scholar of the late, great GG Allin but I do know enough to know that he was a legend.
No one could put on a show like this front man and his untimely death shook the underground rock community. A little while back the fine folks over at MVD were kind enough to send over a documentary about GG’s family. Thanks again for sending this one over!
**Spoiler Alert**The film follows GG’s mother Arleta and brother/bandmate Merle as they cope with his death. GG died in 1993 from an overdose and his mother struggles to remember the GG that wasn’t drug addled and doing his antics on stage while Merle keeps his brother’s stage presence alive by touring with their band and selling memorabilia. **Spoiler Alert**
I was very curious how this documentary was going to play out but once it started rolling I couldn’t look away. At times we see the train wreck that was GG Allin before moving into the family side of the “Allins.” I knew some about GG and the Murder Junkies but this documentary does a fantastic job at showing another side of GG that many don’t see or hear about.
The interviews in this one mostly consists of GG’s mother and brother. Merle speaks of his brother almost like he was a mythical creature. He truly loves GG and really wants new generations of rock fans to remember him and his antics. However, his mother was never fond of those particular memories of GG and tries to remember him as the loving son with a passion for music. I really enjoyed the opposite disposition they have on the same person but it would have been amazing to have interviews from others that new him well. I know the film is called The Allins but it would be cool to get a little more insight on GG from those close to him but not family.
The film follows the two as they go on their daily lives 20 some years after GG’s death. Throughout the film we learn more about GG, his abusive childhood, his love for music and art, the dark path he followed with drug use, and his untimely demise. Scattered throughout this learning experience we see how they both struggle with his memory.
Finally, the film is edited together very smoothly and done with great care. I’ve seen several documentary filmmakers tackle topics because they know they have a following and there is money to be had. This is not the case. Saif is a clearly a fan or, in the least, respects GG as a music legend. He took great care with this and placed it together perfectly. Overall, The Allins is a fantastic watch about two figures that typically go unnoticed. GG Allin was a legend that left behind a legacy but rock fans never mention his brother and bandmate Merle in the same sentence. I highly suggest this film for any rock fans or someone looking for a fun documentary to check out. If you don’t care for GG and his music you can still appreciate this film.