We’re used to Patrick Stewart wrapping his plummy British tones around Shakespeare or the grandiose visionaries he plays in Star Trek and X-Men. In Green Room, he has a badass blast as Darcy, a neo-Nazi nutjob who runs a skinhead-filled roadhouse in Oregon – to hell with any punks who get in his way.
And do they ever! Green Room revolves around Darcy’s attempt to kill the punk band that has the bad luck to play at his club just as one of Darcy’s white supremacists stabs a girl in the skull. The band, called the Ain’t Rights, includes bassist Pat (a superb Anton Yelchin), singer Tiger (Callum Turner), guitarist Sam (Alia Shawkat) and drummer Reece (Joe Cole). Also, Amber (a wicked-awesome Imogen Poots), the dead girl’s BFF. The Ain’t Rights talk a lot about live performance and the energy that flows between band and audience. It’s electric. The same applies to this movie. It keeps getting up in your face with tricks you don’t see coming. Green Room is way more than crass exploitation. It’s a B movie with an art-house core.
The plot, cooked up by directing maestro Jeremy Salnier (his Blue Ruin is some kind of mad classic), can be summed up in four words: The punks must die! Green Room is a high-tension siege thriller spiced with black humor. The Ain’t Rights actually sang the Dead Kennedys’ “Nazi Punks Fuck Off!” to these backwoods creeps. Saulnier also has an artful way of pushing your fear buttons with machetes, guns and attack dogs and then making you scream for mercy. It’ll do you no good. Green Room means business, the nastiest kind. You’ve been warned.