"The Rise and Fall of The Stooges"

Content: -3 Excessive content and/or worldview problems.

What You Need To Know:

GIMME DANGER is a documentary directed by Jim Jarmusch about The Stooges, one of the more popular iconoclastic rock-n-roll bands from the 1960s and 70s. The movie goes alternates between contemporary interviews with Iggy Pop and footage, clips and photos from the band during their peak in the 1970s. It tells the story of how the band met, when they began playing, and what led to their downfall. This gives viewers a full retrospective of the band members and their lives and careers as The Stooges.

GIMME DANGER is an engaging documentary with eye-catching footage from The Stooges live performances. The movie succeeds in showing the extremes in rock-n-roll, highlighting the catastrophic effects of drugs. Also, some comical cartoon clips and caricatures of band members bring a lighthearted feel to the movie, depicting the good humor in the nature of the band. However, the movie has a mixed pagan worldview that puts rock and roll above everything else. GIMME DANGER also contains some foul language, brief nudity and many references to promiscuity and substance abuse. Impressionable viewers may emulate this bad behavior.


(PaPa, B, LL, VV, SS, NN, AAA, DDD, MMM) Strong pagan worldview, band members seek glory, fame and find their worth through adoration from fans, band members partake in illegal drugs at hippie camps to feel alive, documentary glorifies rock and roll above all things, with no mention of God, Jesus or the Bible, but some light moral elements where Iggy Pop displays love and compassion toward other band members, band members bond together to rebuke greedy managers and present some strong loyal friendships; 19 obscenities and profanities (including some “f” words), implied vomiting, passing out and urinating with drug overuse; moderate action violence, Iggy slams microphone on stage, rolls around, and jumps up and down violently on stage, implied violence with profound bloodshed when Iggy jumps off stage, and nobody catches him causing his tooth to go through his lip, implied violence when Iggy fights his classmates because they make fun of his trailer home; strong but not graphic sexual content overall includes implied sexual promiscuity, band members fornicate with girls on the road, Iggy Pop rolls around on stage with his tongue hanging out making sexual gestures with his body, Iggy licks microphone and puts it in his mouth sexually; woman in a short vest with breasts hanging out the front shown welcoming The Stooges on stage, upper male nudity and images of drugged out band members show their pants bareley hanging on their bodies and almost exposing their genitals; heavy drunkenness, The Stooges drink on the road and party to extreme measures; very strong illegal drug references as The Stooges discuss taking LCD, heroin, pills and smoking weed regularly, cartoon images of Iggy picking a marijuana plant and smoking it; and, very strong miscellaneous immorality includes greed, blackmail and bad role models which young viewers may want to imitate.

More Detail:

Directed by Jim Jarmusch, GIMME DANGER, is a documentary about the rise and fall of the popular rock-n-roll band The Stooges. The movie tells the story of how the Stooges met, when they became a band, and what eventually lead to their demise. The movie goes back and forth between present-day interviews in Iggy Pop’s home and past footage from the band in the 1970s. Iggy Pop, the man behind the crazy dance moves on stage and the face of the band, began as a drummer.

Iggy grew up in a very poor family and lived with his parents in a trailer. He recalls having a lot of energy and spending many hours as a child banging on his drums and doing flips in his trailer house. He played so much, his parents gave him their master bedroom, which was the living room of the trailer, so he could play his drums any time he wanted.

From a young age, Iggy was often made fun of for being so poor. There were a group of bullies at school who used to shake his trailer to see if they could knock it down. This stuck with Iggy the rest of his life where he vowed to become something so great those boys would never mess with him again. Despite being poor, Iggy felt very lucky to grow up living in close quarters with his mother and father as he reflects on the modern atrocity that most children don’t know their own parents these days.

After high school, Iggy started doing gigs for bands in the neighborhood until he formed his own little band. The boys were gaining popularity, but Iggy felt to be the best you had to immerse yourself with the best. So, he left for Chicago, where rock music was blooming. He played gigs with African American artists and grew a great love for their culture. He was mesmerized to see African American adults dancing in clubs. Like many of them, he decided when he was an adult he would make sure to still have fun in life. After months of living gig to gig with little food and never knowing where he would sleep, he decided to go back home, filled with a burning desire to make his old band a success.

Iggy got the old band back together, passed the role of the drums to Scott Asheton and took on the role of lead singer. The Stooges began to play around the neighborhood and eventually began booking performances at local festivals. Their big break came on Halloween when they played at a music festival in Michigan. Iggy realized the band seemed uninspired. So, without telling anyone during this performance he decided to act like the monkeys he had seen at the zoo. He flopped his body around, threw off his shirt and rolled on stage. When he did this, he felt the band played better than they ever had in their life and decided to continue doing crazy things on stage at every concert because it helped the band and its music come alive.

The band began to gain popularity with their wild performances and moved to Los Angeles to continue their music. However, their drug and alcohol use eventually caught up to them and led to their downfall.

When Iggy and a few others started to do heroin, they couldn’t keep it together anymore.

They began looking sick, and losing money. Finally, in the late 1970s they split up and each band member moved back home. Their parents were grateful they were back, where they could nourish them back to health, but it would be a long recovery as each struggled to survive without drugs.

Although the critics were never a fan of The Stooges nasty stage performances and mindless lyrics, in 2010 they were inducted into the rock-n-roll hall of fame. The movie ends with a clip from Iggy’s speech were he says, “Music is life, and life is not a business,” urging people never to stop doing their art despite nasty managers along the way. The movie ends with a dedication to deceased band members and an appreciation for The Stooges who did something no band had done before.

GIMME DANGER is an engaging documentary with eye-catching footage from Stooges live performances. The Stooges are a legendary rock band. They were ahead of their time and are viewed as instrumental in the development of the punk rock movement of the late 1970s and 1980s. That said, their brand of nascent punk rock isn’t for everyone. In fact, more than a few knowledgeable music critics even think that the brand of music they created was actually a huge step backwards for rock music.

Even so, GIMME DANGER does manage to accurately portray The Stooges and their history. It succeeds at showing the extremes in rock-n-roll, including highlighting the catastrophic effects of drugs. Also, comical cartoon clips and caricatures of the band members inserted along the way bring a lighthearted feel to the movie, showing the good humor in the band’s iconoclastic nature.

In addition to highlighting the bad things alcohol and drug abuse can create, GIMME DANGER has some light moral elements showing Iggy Pop displaying love and compassion toward his band members. Also, the band members bond together to rebuke greedy managers and display strong loyal friendships.

However, GIMME DANGER also glorifies rock and roll above all things, with no mention of God, Jesus or the Bible. Thus, it has a mixed pagan worldview that neglects to show the reasons God gives us a talent for creating beautiful music and/or a talent for appreciating beautiful music. Finally, listening to many of The Stooges songs, one might very well wonder, “Where’s the Beauty?”

GIMME DANGER also contains some strong foul language, brief nudity and references to the sexual and substance abuse antics of the band members. Thus, it’s not a movie for children, or teenagers for that matter. Most media-wise adults probably will want to skip the movie, despite whatever insights they might glean about The Stooges and the punk rock movement of which they were so much a part. Ultimately, GIMME DANGER is made by fans of The Stooges and punk rock music for fans of The Stooges and punk rock music. So, the movie’s biggest problem may be that younger viewers will want to emulate some of the bad behavior depicted in this movie.