Who Killed Nancy? DVD Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Feature 5.5
Video 7.0
Audio 6.0
Special Features 6.0
Total 5.5
Distributor: Madman
Running Time: 92
Classification: MA15+
Reviewer:
Simon Black

5.5


Who Killed Nancy?
(2009)

On the morning of 12 October 1978 Nancy Spungen, the 20-year-old girlfriend of Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious, was found dead in their New York hotel room having suffered a single stab wound to the abdomen.  A smack-addled Vicious was arrested and promptly confessed to stabbing Spungen, with whom he was known to have a volatile relationship, adding helpfully that he hadnít meant the wound to be fatal.  Several months later he suffered a lethal overdose of heroin provided by his drug-using mother and died before he could go to trial, aged just 21.  Case closed. 

Or not.  Pointing to several inconsistencies within Sidís police statement and acting on a promise made to Ma Vicious some two decades prior, director Alan G. Parker has assembled a rag-tag assortment of former bandmates, acquaintances and hangers-on, all of whom are eager to offer their two cents as to exactly what went down that fateful night at the Chelsea Hotel.  And thatís the main problem with this documentary: itís all just speculation.  Perhaps Nancy did kill herself in an attempt to live out some brazen death wish.  Perhaps one of their dealers or junkie friends did her in after an argument about drugs.  Maybe Vicious was so high he committed the act unknowingly.  Whatever the case he apparently stepped over her bleeding and near-lifeless body on his way to a methadone clinic that morning, only bothering to call the police after discovering her dead upon his return.  This latter titbit, if true, hardly points to his innocence.  I donít know about most fellows, but if I awoke to find my girlfriend bleeding to death in the bathroom after having evidently being stabbed by a drug dealer, Iíd be on the blower to the fuzz quick smart. 

The film offers several plausible alternatives, but none of these prove definitive and by the halfway mark the same conjecture ends up being pointlessly rehashed ad nauseum.  At thirty years remove and with Sidís prompt if addled confession, Nancyís death still seems to be an open and shut case of tempestuous, drug-fuelled love gone awry.  Having authored several books on the ill-fated rocker and with no signs of slackening Parker seems firmly convinced otherwise, however there simply isnít enough evidence to paint a convincing alternative and any attempt to do so is, as mentioned, merely idle speculation.   

Who Killed Nancy? may prove a worthwhile diversion for fans of the Sex Pistols or the London punk scene, but ultimately lacks the broad appeal of previous documentaries like The Filth and the Fury and fails to maintain momentum for anything approaching its 90-minute running time.  Most of the footage of Vicious has appeared previously, though the film does contain some rare stills and the DVD has over 90 minutes of special features. 

Special Features

Sid Vicious Backstage at the Roxy

Interview Outtakes & Additional Footage

ĎNo One is Innocentí Book Launch

Leon Hell performs ĎFast Track to Hellí

Alan G. Parkerís Story






 
 



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