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In the Beginning Was the End1976

The Truth About De-Evolution

  • 4.4
"De-evolution," the idea that mankind is on a downward spiral of regression, was initially espoused by deconstructionist rockers Devo as a joke until the Ohio National Guard opened fire on students at Kent State (including band members Gerald Casale and Mark Mothersbaugh), turning the idea into a more serious social accusation. IN THE BEGINNING WAS THE END: THE TRUTH ABOUT DE-EVOLUTION is the earliest and perhaps purest statement by the band on this concept. A far cry from the era-defining pop-sheen of their later "Whip It," IN THE BEGINNING WAS THE END is a disturbing send-up of the Rust Belt suburbia the band hailed from and features early, abrasive renditions of "Secret Agent Man" and "Jocko Homo" (as well as a dissonant cover of "Because" by the Beatles, exclusive to this film). Mothersbaugh also claims to have inserted subliminal messages like "SUBMIT" and "OBEY" into the film (which, coincidentally or not, won an award at the 1976 Ann Arbor Film Festival). The success of IN THE BEGINNING WAS THE END would go on to attract the attention of rock luminaries such as Neil Young, Iggy Pop and David Bowie, the last of whom helped secure the band a record deal. - Tom Fritsche

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4 members like this review

Akron Ohio—Rubber City, USA—is probably the last place you’d expect De-Evolution to break out. On the other hand, maybe it was the perfect spot, especially in the tired, bloated, Post-Vietnam, Post-Watergate, Post-Evertything America of 1976. Here is where the lab rats took over the experiment. Board, frustrated baby boom kids (they can’t get no satisfaction) convulsively kick out a multi-media seizure of chaotic images, DIY electronic music and Weill & Brecht-like melodies for other bored, frustrated baby boom kids, helping set the stage for the coming Punk Rock explosion bubbling and boiling in other American cities. Pass the dynamite, ‘cause the fuse is lit.

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top reviewer

Member Reviews (10)

81629.small
top reviewer

Akron Ohio—Rubber City, USA—is probably the last place you’d expect De-Evolution to break out. On the other hand, maybe it was the perfect spot, especially in the tired, bloated, Post-Vietnam, Post-Watergate, Post-Evertything America of 1976. Here is where the lab rats took over the experiment. Board, frustrated baby boom kids (they can’t get no satisfaction) convulsively kick out a multi-media seizure of chaotic images, DIY electronic music and Weill & Brecht-like melodies for other bored, frustrated baby boom kids, helping set the stage for the coming Punk Rock explosion bubbling and boiling in other American cities. Pass the dynamite, ‘cause the fuse is lit.

4 members like this review
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top reviewer

A wonderful glimpse into the very short life of Devo, and what Devo was all about. My only disappointment was that the film was so short, I loved it, and wish it would have gone on and on and on.

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top reviewer

So as far as I can tell this is a video by the band Devo. Which is cool, and everything. Worth watching to see what they were doing in the beginning.

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top reviewer

This is groundbreaking stuff in the 1970s, and DEVO (the de-evolution band, as the credits tell us) is still cutting edge. With their lanky frames, "punk rock" sunglasses, rubber baby masks, and hazmat suits, DEVO gave the New Wave the blueprint to follow as the nation entered the 1980s. Perfect soundtrack to the Reagan years...

yes DEVO yes. Come togeher now "we must repeat" D-E-V-O!!!! love the grotesque and kitsch nature of all Devo related nature. Every mask is pure horror show.

Cutting edge and ahead of its time !!!!

Good

Once in your brain, you will never be the same. In fact, it's already begun.

great!

Ten minutes of fun with Devo. Not a dull moment.