Nick Zedd: Steal This Video (1998)

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One of the founding members of the underground film movement dubbed "the Cinema of Transgression" (others include semi-legit cult figure Richard Kern), Nick Zedd has directed and starred in some of the movement's most savage and uncompromising works. This tape collects some of his best short films of the 1980s, including 1987's ferocious Police State, in which Zedd is arrested and severely beaten by fascistic lawmen; 1984's Thrust in Me, featuring the director in a dual role as a suicidal woman and her necrophilic male abuser; and 1988's Whoregasm, a surrealistic compendium of found footage which does for film what Negativland does for music. Also included is 1980's The Bogus Man and the much-screened The Wild World of Lydia Lunch (1983), an obsessive document of the wanderings of actress Lydia Lunch which makes a great deal more sense after reading Zedd's marvelous auto-hagiography, Totem of the Depraved. A perfect companion/antidote to Kern's often exploitation-oriented entries in the subgenre (available as the two volume collection Hardcore: The Films of Richard Kern), this tape is a useful reminder that the Cinema of Transgression also had its serious (if occasionally self-indulgent and whiny) side.