Screen Reviews
Wendy O. Williams: Live and Fucking Loud From London

Wendy O. Williams: Live and Fucking Loud From London

directed by Rod Swenson

starring Wendy O. Williams, Lemmy, Wurzel

MVD Visual

Wendy O. Williams lived a short but noisy career. She led The Plasmatics, a classic 1970s style rock and roll with a bass, lead guitar, and drummer backing her up. The peak of her outrageous career took place in Milwaukee one night, when she was arrested for fornicating with a chainsaw on stage. Talk about weird kinks… Milwaukee is a bit conservative, and I may be off on one or two details, yet the point remains the same: Wendy was a bad girl on stage, and she didn’t wear much of a costume. Her core audience was college-aged men, and you can see those fans lapping up this show. Wendy retired early in 1991, and passed away later from a self-inflicted gun shot.

This particular release, Live and Fucking Loud From London, is a bare-bones show shot at Camden Palace in London. The sound, while not full Dolby, is high quality for a concert of that era. Lemmy and Wurzel from Motörhead drop in on a track, and they fit right in to her show. There are a dozen tunes here, shot with 2 cameras and audio that I assume is straight from the mixing board. Unlike today’s tiny cameras, the video equipment here is enormous, and the camerapeople and the cinematographer struggle to get good shots without blocking the action.

A few notable titles are “Pedal to the Metal,” “Jailbait,” and “Bump and Grind.” At the end of the show, Wendy stands on someone’s shoulders and chainsaws a live TV set or two. Back then televisions were full of glass shards and high voltages. Ah, the existential pleasure of anarchic entertainment! This DVD has excellent audio for the era, and Wendy puts on an exciting show.

She knew what buttons to press and fully went for it. She was an exciting entertainer and a big deal in 1985. But that’s all you get here: no interviews or outtakes, just an hour-long rock and roll show with a bikini-clad lead singer. Like a good punk song, Wendy gets the point quickly, beats it to death with a bass, and moves on to the next track. I can almost smell the stale beer.

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