Skull Skates: Resist Control

Skull Skates: Resist Control

From Canada via Skull Skates, the new DVD Resist Control is not your typical skate video by any means. The company that once made asymmetrical regular and goofy-foot boards has no problem bucking the system and following their own path. Resist Control is a loose documentary of skateboarding from the 60’s to present day. And by “loose” I mean very loose. This is not in the slick style of Dogtown or even Stoked. Resist Control is a cut and paste photocopied zine style film that is made up of archival footage and an equal amount of appropriated footage coming from a wide variety of sources such as the Oscar winning 1965 short film Skater Dater, Thrashin, Skateboard Madness, and some more recent skate videos. Some of the 60’s school bank footage was also used in the Dogtown movie. The non-appropriated footage covers 60’s and 70’s 8mm clips and video from the 80’s on. The film is presented in sometimes grainy black and white even through the more recent footage. There is no narration and only rarely is the incidental sound included. The soundtrack is provided by “Vancouver Hip hop Pioneer” DJ Kilocee, a turntable artist. This surprise may sound like a horrible idea, especially for a company that has its’ roots so deeply entrenched in Punk Rock, but fear not. The music is mixed from tracks that are often representative of the particular onscreen era in an almost unbroken montage. Kilocee does a good job of picking a good mix of tunes, and the sampling or scratching or whatever it is keeps it interesting. It’s like hip hop technology applied to different types of music to provide a movie soundtrack rather than a dance club track. Trust me, it works.

Skull Skates - Resist Control

Resist Control is an engaging piece if you approach it from the standpoint of an animated canvas as opposed to the typical skateboarding video that you watch once and thereafter you cue up the best runs and gnarliest tricks. After a brief introduction of some out of sequence footage, the film is roughly chronological. Aside from the footage you most likely have seen already, some of the most interesting parts are the 8mm footage. There is some rare 60’s era mass downhill action from Montreal, and some equally rare ditch, bank, street, and driveway ramp footage from 70’s era New Jersey and Vancouver. What makes this footage so cool is that is definitely not the same spots and same guys you see in other movies and documentaries. It’s happening in places off the beaten (skateboard) path, and truly is some underground activity forma different time period. Also of note is some of the 80’s video footage of some skate jams.

Although not strictly a Skull Skates focused piece, the company and it’s riders do have a recurring presence that is thankfully not very heavy handed. There is a Canadian presence that extends to Collin McKay, Kevin Harris, and the RDS crew. There is recent footage of the RDS park as well as Bill Danforth’s during or near the photo session for the cover of Concrete Wave magazine. After covering the emergence of street skating (and hip hop) Resist Control comes full circle with some Olson and Hackett footage, essentially illustrating the re-birth of “old school” as it were. The film ends with some fun longboarding footage, including one skilled mofo that rides his deck like it’s a short board.

Extra Features: Director’s commentary with a voice track run through an audio filter that is very hard to take for the duration of the film. Besides not providing much interesting to listen to, the sound level sometimes gets lost in the music so you can’t hear what is being said. There’s an audio disk with music from the film that is about 52 minutes long, 48 of those being one long continuous track. A curious choice once again, considering the roots of the company. There is a Much Music piece on the Vancouver Museum’s skateboarding exhibit narrated by Skull Skates very own P.D.. A preview of an upcoming skimboarding documentary that actually looks good too. An old Gang Green video with skating is presented in its entirety. Not really my cup of tea, but a trip down memory lane for sure. Also included is some footage of DJ Kilocee mixing some of the music in the film and a some guy doing s thankfully short freestyle rap at a party.

Bottom Line: Resist Control is worth checking out if you are looking to add some variety to your skate video collection or see a less dogmatic and more experimental version of a skateboarding documentary. Resist Control should stoke you to skate a wide variety of terrain. The only downside is the price. At $40 Canadian (Approx $30 U.S.) it’s a little on the spendy side. It makes sense considering that the initial production is only at 2000 copies, and it’s a double disc set. The value of the soundtrack may be negligible to some, and I can’t think of too many movies that are really worth paying $30 to own, so it’s a tough choice. It’s your loss if you don’t get a chance to see Resist Control. Definitely worth owning if you an afford it. Maybe one day it will be available as a cheaper one-disc movie only.

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