Poster Children DVD review

Film / Video Reviews
Poster Children DVD review
Mar 26, 2002, 19:12


Some of you may remember Poster Children's minor 120 Minutes hit, “Junior Citizen” way back in 1995. Zero Stars chronicles the exciting (and not so exciting) life of the Champaign, Illinois band on tour. The only catch is that most of the action has been re-enacted, using friends and fans as “actors.”

Directed and edited by guitarist / vocalist Rick Valentin, the amateurly shot video alternates between short vignettes and live performances (only two shows, one being a hometown gig). The shows give a fairly good idea of what Poster Children are like live, and are presented with superb DVD sound quality. The band, who've been together for fifteen years, are quirky and expectedly tight. For those of you who've never heard them, imagine The Wedding Present if they met at a Dartmouth kegger. And when the camera pans the audience, all in some stage of a pogo dance, they all look exactly like the band. Shlubrock personified.

The road movie scenes that appear between the songs show the band eating, sleeping and engaging in obviously scripted conversations. Some of these skits are funny, like the one where a rude billiard player heckles the band's soundcheck as being “bad, bad, badly too loud,” or the one in which a fan haggles over a cheap T shirt and then asks for change of a twenty. Others are less successful, such as guitarist Jim's mind numbingly tedious “bedtime story” in a hotel room scene, or drummer Howie's adventures in mall survey volunteerism.

One can't help but admire the dedication and D.I.Y spirit of a band like Poster Children despite their arguable irrelevance within the nasty scope of things. While I wouldn't exactly give Zero Stars two thumbs up, it's certainly a worthwhile addition to the collection of old and new fans alike. [Champaign International Pictures]

-James Jackson Toth

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