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By Eric Campos | June 16, 2003

It’s a documentary on punk rockers Speeder. No, it’s a fictional film about a filmmaker trying to get her creative juices going. It’s a documentary on the San Antonio metal and punk rock scene. No, it’s a…okay, you get the point. It’s really hard telling just what the hell this movie is supposed to be. All I know is that it features some great bands and some really cool, loud, nasty music, but sadly there just isn’t enough of it.
“Speeder Kills” focuses more on Amalia, our fictional portion of the program. Having been commissioned to make a film, but not producing anything within the following two years, Amalia finds herself having to come up with something quick or she’ll have to pay back the $45,000 she was given for the job. She decides to make a rock doc and after checking out several bands at the famous Taco Land (“it’s a panacea”), she settles on punk rockers Speeder. But as hasty as she is to do this documentary, the band isn’t too enthused. They’re more interested in their upcoming shows and making a music video so that they can enter a contest where the winning band will play a music awards show in New York. So a deal is forged – the band will agree to do the doc if Amalia makes their music video for them. After some not uninspired efforts, the ultimate idea for a music video comes to Amalia. As Ferris Beuller once did, Amalia plans for the band to take over a float during a major parade, rocking out to their own song, while she films the entire thing – instant music video.
“Speeder Kills” offers an exciting look into the San Antonio music scene, dressed up as a frumpy narrative. It’s bad enough that the fictional portion of this film draws away from the documentary aspect, which includes real, kick-a*s Texas punk rock and metal bands, but it’s also plagued by a terrible narration from Amalia, the least interesting person in this whole film. In fact, there’s more narration than actual dialogue. Rarely is this ever good in a film and in “Speeder Kills,” it’s especially bad. Even though the float hijacking is fairly amusing, filmmaker Jim Mendiola would have been better off making a straight documentary. The strengths of this film are the real people – musicians and artists. When you have so much interesting talent working for you, creating more just isn’t necessary.

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