Knock yourself out watching the cinematic Scorcese snooze-fest that is The Band’s The Last Waltz — except for Neil Young’s asteroid of cocaine hanging out of his nose that was barely edited out; that’s comedy gold, Jerry — we’re watching the accidental VHS masterpiece that is The Cramps’ Live at Napa State Mental Hospital.
To wit, somehow The Cramps and San Fran punk fellow travelers The Mutants wrangled an invite in 1978 to do a show at a Californian mental hospital. The resulting chaos — and there’s really no other way to put it — musical and otherwise, was captured by folks from Target Video (not the big-box store) along for the ride.
The end result was rough, though no one was really to blame: The tech was new, the scene was probably ridiculously disorganized (to put it lightly), and the line between audience and performer was nil. Watching it now is almost like watching a found-footage horror movie, but with the emphasis instead on music’s strange power to unite and make folks boogie.
This particular repackaging includes the unexpurgated Cramps footage from their performance and, just as crucial, the lost footage from the Mutants set.
Really, just essential viewing.
9:30 p.m., Monday, Nov. 20, Enzian Theater, 1300 S. Orlando Ave., Maitland, enzian.org, $12.50.
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