Before the Sex Pistols appeared in the film The Great Rock and Roll Swindle, Johnny Rotten, Sid Vicious, Steve Jones and Paul Cook teamed with sexploitation filmmaker Russ Meyer on a chaotic movie called Who Killed Bambi? that was going to be the punk answer to the Beatles’ A Hard Days’ Night. The film happened to be penned by a young film critic and part-time screenwriter named Roger Ebert, who of course went on to become one of America’s most popular film critics. Unsurprisingly, 20th Century Fox cut funding on Who Killed Bambi? just days into filming and only a few scenes managed to be salvaged. However, for the first time, Ebert has revealed the entirety of his Who Killed Bambi? script as a tribute to Sex Pistols’ manager Malcolm McLaren, who as RS reported, died earlier this month after a battle with cancer.
“Comments are open, but I can’t discuss what I wrote, why I wrote it, or what I should or shouldn’t have written. Frankly, I have no idea,” Ebert writes on his blog before posting the full script, which is as every bit as nonsensical and strange as you’d imagine a film about the Sex Pistols directed by the guy who made Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! would be. The opening scene alone features the Pistols starting a riot in an unemployment office and a judge who sings “Blue Suede Shoes.” The dialogue includes lines like “We’re so pretty vacant and we don’t care” and “You may hate us — but as much as you hate us, we hate you more” that strove to capture the nihilism of the times.
In addition to the script, Ebert posted the clips of Bambi? that made their way into Swindle and The Filth and the Fury. For more on Ebert’s time with the Sex Pistols, check out his memoriam to McLaren, “McLaren & Meyer & Rotten & Vicious & me.” Plus, check out New York Dolls’ Sylvain Sylvain’s tribute to the notorious punk icon.