The Bible and Rock Music
“Rebel Scum” chronicles two years in the life of Knoxville white trash punk band The Dirty Works. With its focus on self-destructive front man Christopher Scum, we get a chance to see something “of the seedy underworld where mental illness, addition, violence and family dysfunction fuel creative vision”. It is akin to watching God and man going to it.
Watching the film expands the boundaries of traditional rock documentaries in a manner that is not always comfortable, but is always fascinating. One of the characters that does not speak but that is always involved is the Bible Belt of the southern United States. The basic themes of the documentary include mental illness, addiction, relationships, family dysfunction, and the struggle for artistic expression.
Christopher Scum, shares his continuous drive to create art despite the barriers imposed by society and his own self-destructive tendencies. What we see here is something between comedy and tragedy as the film moves forward.
The film also takes a look at other Knoxville-based artists like Disobedients, and The Cornbred Blues Band, as well as musicians/producers Carl Snow, and Vadim, and poet Rus Harper as well as Dropsonic from Atlanta, and Asheville-based Monsters of Japan. The film has been two years in the making and it al began with filming Dropsonic on tour. Director, Video Rahim, of Worldstorm Arts Lab, from Atlanta, caught an opening performance of The Dirty Works at that concert and thought there was a story to be told. Francis Percarpio, Producer and Owner of WorldStorm Arts Lab, later saw the footage and independently found a way to bring The Dirty Works story to film. After spending time on the festival circuit early this year and most recently received the Audience Choice award at the Y’Allywood Film Festival in September.
Since the completion of the film, Christopher Scum was involved in a major car accident and over three quarters of his body was badly burned. His long-time girlfriend, Donna Renee Bailey, also featured prominently in the doc, did not survive the crash. This is certainly not a film for everyone but for those who get to see will be surprised at what it has to say.