Cultural histories are inevitably filled with the non-descript attempts by the unlucky, untalented and generally pathetic to grasp the attention/fame/security that they believe are rightfully theirs. To use the common parlance of our time, they are ‘scenesters’, or to be more unkind: hangers on from the last refuge of the damned… Bruno Wizard is one such habituate (but it could be any story: same dance, different disco).
Elisabeth Rasmussen’s documentary is as confused as it is technically and formally inept. Jumping from decade to decade, she seems to miss the point too many times to mention. Bruno was marginally successful with his bands – The Homosexuals and before them The Rejects (regulars at legendary punk venue The Roxy) – but he always appeared to be on the outside looking in, and what follows is to be expected: drug abuse, death, NY, homelessness and a council flat in East London.
The interviewees in the film are far more interesting (Don Letts, Stephen Jones, Marilyn, etc.) and seem perplexed that this court jester of the Warren Street squat is attracting such attention, but of course if you hang around for long enough everyone will get their chance in front of a camera.
The last word should be left for the (then) NME hip young gunslinger Tony Parsons’ review of The Rejects: “like a braying donkey run over by a truckload of Librium, they are out of tune, out of talent and out of their depth.” Very much like this ‘film’.