Review - Live At Napa State Mental Hospital DVD

Artist: The Cramps

There's a cautionary warning on the back of this DVD explaining that "Live At Napa State" consists of "rough punk rock footage" with "some audio-visual distortion." That's a euphemistic way of saying this stuff looks like shit. And it truly does. However, said mea culpa also loudly proclaims that this is "some of the best content ever filmed," and that bit of hyperbole comes awfully close to being true as well. Filmed in 1978 before a crowd of mental patients, there are dozens of ethical questions the footage brings up about how we treat our mentally ill, none of which have a bearing on how great and raw Lux, Ivy and the rest of the group are in this brief, eight-song set. (Of note, the DVD adds footage by Flipper, Z'ev, Throbbing Gristle and other gems from the Target Video archives.)

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