• Hey! Is Dee Dee Home?

    Released by: MVD
    Released on: December 16, 2003.
    Director: Lech Kowalski
    Cast: Dee Dee Ramone, Johnny Thunders
    Year: 2003
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    The Film:

    Lech Kowalski interviewed Dee Dee Ramone in 1992 to discuss his relationship with the late Johnny Thunders for his, at the time, in progress documentary, Born To Lose (The Last Rock And Roll Movie). With that in mind, it’s not surprising (though it is slightly disappointing) that Dee Dee spends the vast majority of this hour-long interview talking more about his relationship with Thunders than his work with Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame inductees, The Ramones.

    That’s not to say, however, that this isn’t worth watching. There are some really interesting stories told over the documentary’s hour and three minute running time, as Dee Dee talks about his problems with drug addiction and how he (at the time) overcame them, made all the more tragic by the fact that one June 5, 2002 he died or a heroin overdose at the age of fifty.

    In addition to stories about scoring drugs and getting high, we’re also treated to anecdotes about running from the cops, getting clobbered by Debbie Harry (who had a horseshoe in her purse that she’d use to hit people with), and hanging out with Thunders, Richard Hell, and Jerry Nolan, who he all used to get high with. Most of the stories eventually come back to drugs at some point.

    He also gives us a rundown on his tattoo collection, tells some (though not enough) amusing stories about life in The Ramones like pawning Joey’s television set to get some money to score dope with. There’s also a lot of time spent detailing the history of writing Chinese Rock and how he had to argue with Johnny Ramone to get the band to record it.

    Overall, it seems like the documentary was put together out of spare footage that was unused from the Thunders film after Dee Dee died. Whether it’s a cash in or a tribute is debatable but the film does serve as a good (but not great) testament to Dee Dee’s influence on rock and roll.


    The movie was shot on BETA SP with a single camera and as such, picture quality isn’t exactly perfect but overall the image is very stable and quite colorful. Older footage is mixed in with the newer interview material and looks a little worse for wear but the footage that Kowalski shot of Dee Dee looks nice and sharp and leaves very little to complain about.

    Everything comes through nice and clear with the more recent footage, and, much like the video, degrades noticeably when the older footage is spliced in. There aren’t any problems at all with the documentary in regards to this mix though, and very clean and consistent without any noticeable defects to report on.

    There are a couple of cool extras on the disc. In addition to a replica poster with a comic strip on the reverse side, there are also some temporary tattoos included. On the disc you’ll find an outtake from Born To Lose (The Last Rock And Roll Movie) where Johnny Thunders performs Chinese Rock in its entirety. There’s also a gallery of behind the scenes still photos.

    The Final Word:

    While it probably could have been edited down to a really tight forty minute feature, there’s still a lot of good material here that Ramones and Johnny Thunders fans are for sure going to dig. MVD has done a really nice job bringing this title to DVD with good audio and video quality and even thrown a few little extras on for good measure.
    Comments 3 Comments
    1. Alison Jane's Avatar
      Alison Jane -
      I clicked on this because I wondered if it was about Steve and Krista's dog.
    1. Roderick's Avatar
      Roderick -
      Somebody call me on the phone
      Say hey is Dee Dee home
      You wanna take a walk
      You wanna go cop
      You wanna go get some Chinese rock
    1. Mark Tolch's Avatar
      Mark Tolch -
      This movie was pretty sad to watch.

      Also, that's pretty rad that Punish is letting you post his reviews here under your own name.