Simon Ogston’s documentary is an affectionate tribute to both an unknown band worthy of rediscovery and to Christchurch's fertile punk underground that spawned them.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2011
Founded by friends Virgil Reality and Mike Hex, alternative rock band Squirm stalked the Garden City of the 90s leaving behind an EP and two albums of fantastically drugged-out art-punk before fading into obscurity. Simon Ogston’s documentary is an affectionate tribute to both an unknown band worthy of rediscovery and to the fertile punk underground that spawned them. Christchurch was home to a vibrant and innovative music scene throughout the 90s and Gone with the Weird fingers many of the culprits: featuring interviews with Squirm’s contemporaries such as Loves Ugly Children, Pumpkinhead, Ape Management and The Bats as well as Squirm’s surviving band members, including their Spinal Tap-like succession of drummers. We meet Virgil Reality reflective in middle age, paying homage to Mike Hex who died of complications from pneumonia in 2004 and ruminating on their heavy drug use during the band’s heyday. With Virgil reforming the band to complete an unfinished third album, Ogston’s reintroduction to a group we never knew couldn’t be more timely. — MM