Like many a young punk rocker, the Sex Pistols were one of my favorite bands growing up. With the Sex Pistols comes Sid Vicious. With Sid came Nancy. With Nancy came turmoil. With turmoil came the murder (?) of Nancy. With Nancy's murder came the overdose of Sid. With Sid's overdose came infamy, notoriety, and legendary status. With this legendary status came the legend of Sid and Nancy, and why 30 plus years after the death of these two junkies in their young 20's we're still wondering what the hell happened that night and how did Nancy end up in the bathroom laying in a pool of blood with a stab wound in her stomach.
With a title like Who Killed Nancy I was expecting this to be a deep investigation into the crime that ended with the death of Nancy Spungen in room 100 of the Chelsea Hotel. In actuality this is more of a biography of Sid and Nancy, their relationship together, and their demise. The story is strung together with interviews with their friends (but none of the famous ones you'd really expect - No Johnny Rotten), interspersed with some crudely animated drawings/pictures, reenactments, live performances, old documentary footage (DOA?), and news footage. The "who killed Nancy?" question seems thrown into the movie as more of an afterthought. Seems like they had the idea about making a movie about who killed Nancy (as per author Alan Parker's supposed promise to Sid's mom), but realized they had about 5 minutes worth of that title subject matter, so they decided to fill up the time by telling the story of Sid and Nancy. The movie probably should have been called Sid and Nancy, but Alex Cox beat them to the punch using that title decades ago.
Overall an OK documentary, good for both those who do or don't have knowledge of who Sid and Nancy were (but probably better for those with an interest in the subject matter).
From the Press Release:
Based on the book Sid Vicious: No One is Innocent
On October 12th 1978 Nancy Spungen, an ex-prostitute, sometimes stripper and heroin addict, was found dead in a bathroom at the Chelsea Hotel in New York. She also happened to be the girlfriend of the Sex Pistols’ bassist Sid Vicious, who was quickly accused of her murder. Less than 6 months later, he died of a heroin overdose and the case was closed.
The death of Sid and Nancy has passed into rock legend and has only added to the controversial and notorious image of the Sex Pistols and punk music. At the request of Sid’s mother, who committed suicide in 1996, rock author and punk expert Alan Parker has devoted himself to discovering Who Killed Nancy? By interviewing 182 people and re-examining NYPD evidence, he reveals what he believed happened that night in room 100.