DVD REVIEW: SAD VACATION – The Last Days Of Sid And Nancy
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar
I don’t know about a ‘sad vacation’, but the rapid junk-fuelled spiral into the abyss by Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen once they arrived in New York in 1978 was certainly a sad waste.
It’s easy, after watching Sad Vacation, to try to place the blame for their deaths solely on heroin, but the truth is far more complex. It’s entirely likely that even without the junk they would still have been destined to collide together in a shower of sparks, fists and fury, and end up dead in Room 100 of the sleazy Chelsea Hotel – a place with none of the charm evoked by the various songs sung about it.
Danny Garcia’s documentary gathers together many friends and acquaintances of the punk damage cases, both in London and New York, and paints a shocking picture of star crossed lovers bonded together forever by mutual childhood abuse, devastating drug habits, unscrupulous low-life dealers and hangers-on, co-dependancy, and a nihilism so potent that had anyone cared enough to try to talk sense into them it wouldn’t have made one iota of difference to their one-way journey into the void.
It’s a fascinating story, though, and one which casts considerable doubt on the established version of events which paint Vicious as stabbing Spungen to death in a junkie fog, and then OD’ing a few short weeks later, including examining several other suspects who could have been responsible for the murder.
Grim and gritty viewing, Garcia has been thorough and remains even-handed throughout his investigation, casting doubt without pointing fingers, and providing enough of the personalities of the main players for viewers to come away feeling for young John Simon Ritchie, a sweet guy who went off the rails, but nothing can warm anyone towards the abrasive Spungen.
Filed Under: Movie & Theatre Reviews
About the Author: Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE