There’s a moment in many horror movies when the director breaks from the main story to show how the monster got so monstrous. Then they return to the action, but the stakes are raised, because the bad guy isn’t as faceless as before. Jeremy Saulnier (Blue Ruin) has no time for that jive. Bad guys are bad guys.
The goal is to escape their clutches by any means possible. And so it goes for the punk band that ends up playing a gig at a white-supremacist compound in Oregon—shades of Malheur—out of sheer desperation. The punk group, which includes Anton Yelchin (Star Trek’s Chekov) and Alia Shawkat (Night Moves), raises a convincing racket, but they don’t help their cause when they open their set with the Dead Kennedys’ “Nazi Punks Fuck Off.”
Then they witness a murder and the neo-Nazis (led by a chilly Patrick Stewart, the cast’s other Trek veteran) give them the Hotel California treatment. From that point forward, it’s punks versus skinheads set to a soundtrack of Bad Brains, Slayer, and Poison Idea. In contrast to American History X and This Is England, Saulnier’s skins play more like coldhearted businessmen than pathetic fucks.
The fun is in witnessing the ingenious ways the punks—including two turncoats—fight back using the crudest tools available. It’s fast, bloody, and, when you least expect it, hilarious.