MUDKISS FANZINE

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SID VICIOUS NO ONE IS INNOCENT 'WHO KILLED NANCY'? - REVIEW BY BRIAN MACKIE

Who Killed Nancy?....is the title and lead question of Alan G Parker’s brilliant new film about the lives of Sid Vicious, his girlfriend Nancy Laura Spungen and crucially the tragic events that unfolded in Room 100 of New York’s Chelsea Hotel on the 12th of October 1978 when Nancy was fatally stabbed to death by someone.

For many years, it was presumed that the “someone” was most likely to be Sid, her 21 year old heroin addicted boyfriend who was then the newly ex-bass guitarist of the notorious Sex Pistols. No doubt the Pistols notoriety did little to convince those other than die-hard Pistols fans of Sid’s probable innocence.

Alan G Parker’s new documentary style film tries to get closer to a truth that we may never truly find. Parker made the film in honour of a dying wish of Sid’s mother Anne who Parker had befriended in 1985 and remained loyal to. Anne had pleaded with him to make it known to the world that her Sid “was a lot of things but he wasn’t a murderer”...and so the film begins. Parker had a lot of film companies’ mess him around before one, Soda Pictures actually came up with the goods and independently financed the movie. Possibly the success of Alan’s great biography on Sid, 'No One Is Innocent', helped in the end up speed the case for the film up.

The film really is great and includes many of the people who were close to Sid or were in and around Room 100 of the Chelsea on the fateful night of Nancy’s murder. One big area of focus on the film is the botched job that the NYPD made of properly investigating Spungen’s murder, which I’m afraid to say leads us to why there may never be a conclusive answer as to who really did kill Nancy. One thing does become clearer than ever and that it sure doesn’t look as if it was even humanly possible that Sid could have killed her.

The real exclusive of this film which probably hasn’t ever been documented up until now was the presence of another junkie in Room 100 on the night of Nancy’s murder. Many fans who believed of Sid’s innocence up until now probably imagined the most likely suspect was dealer, junkie and general hanger-on Rockets Redglare but the film exposes another man known only as Michael to probably really be the real number one suspect. Several witnesses testify to his presence in Room 100 and also testified to the fact that shortly after Nancy’s murder he appeared with a pile of notes wrapped in Nancy’s hair band. This version of events is also corroborated by NYPD’S police records which repeatedly stated that there was another unidentified man in Room 100 on the night of Nancy’s murder. Sid by the way was comatose on one of the beds having consumed 30 tablets of the cancer painkiller Tuinol and was unconscious, according to Belleview Hospital records, for 7 hours....including the time frame of Nancy’s murder.

If you aren’t a Pistols fan the fact that there is no actual conclusion to the film may frustrate you as you watch this as a movie but if you are a fan, the film is a great and thrilling way of learning more of the details first hand by accounts from the likes of Lee Black Childers, Steve Dior, Neon Leon, Howie Pyro, Peter Kodick and Helen Killer.

Sid’s death and the theories around it are also explored to some extent too, the only criticism would be that Parker doesn’t mention the stunning claim that he made in the television programme Sid Vicious Final 24 that it was Anne Beverly who actually killed Sid as a final act of mercy. It does seem to try to dispel the theory that Sid was killed by a hotshot by pointing out that Sid was aware of the heroin’s potency before taking it after being advised by Peter Kodick.

In all, Alan Parker has done Sid and his mother proud as the film, with all its great first-hand accounts, makes it clear that like The Exploited once sang Sid Vicious really was innocent. The only question now is who was Michael and was he Nancy Spungen’s real killer?

Check out Mudkiss interview with an old flatmate of Sid & Nancy and a Mudkiss contributor Den Browne. Here

Den's interview for the Nancy Spungen web site Here

Review by Brian Mackie.24.02.09

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