Sad Vacation: The Last Days of Sid and Nancy

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The story of the tragic demise of former Sex Pistol Sid Vicious and his girlfriend Nancy Spungen has been told many times, on film and in a plethora of books. Vicious died of a heroin overdose in 1979; Spungen preceded him in death as a homicide victim in 1978. Perhaps the reason why the story still holds audiences riveted is because Spungen's murder was never solved, and while authorities liked Vicious for the crime, he was never charged. The story in a nutshell is that Nancy was found dead from stab wounds in the apartment that she shared with Vicious, and while Sid was the obvious suspect, he had at some moment adjacent to the time of death left the apartment to go get methadone to treat his heroin addiction, something he did at the same time every day, leaving a window for some unknown assailant to commit the murder. With a mind hopelessly muddled by drugs at the time, Vicious himself didn't know whether he did it or not. The consensus among the majority of the couple's acquaintances offering opinions in this documentary by Danny Garcia is that Vicious did not kill Spungen, and that he was incapable of doing anything of the sort. Some of the scenesters interviewed by Garcia include Sylvain Sylvain of the New York Dolls, Howie Pyro of D Generation, Walter Lure of the Heartbreakers, Kenny Gordon of Pure Hell, Cynthia Ross of the B-Girls, photographer Leee Black Childers, and several residents of the Chelsea Hotel in New York City where the murder took place. With all the commentary from those in the know and information gleaned from newly-released Grand Jury documents, there is still not enough evidence to prove anyone guilty. About the only conclusions that can be drawn are that Nancy was a conniving shrew to most people, and Sid, who dearly loved her, just wanted to be loved by family, friends and fans. It is especially sad to note that the heroin that killed Sid was given to him by his own mother who was also a junkie. While the mysteries remain, the story of the couple's relationship and how it came to be comes to vivid life here in all its sordidness, and many may rightfully consider Sad Vacation to be the definitive statement on the matter. Certainly with nearly 40-years having passed since the day in question it is unlikely there will ever be any more to say. The film is narrated by Huey Morgan of the Fun Loving Criminals and contains snippets of music from a handful of punk bands of the era along with previously-unseen photography of Sid and Nancy.

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Sad Vacation: The Last Days of Sid and Nancy

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