In 1997 in Amarillo, Texas (nicknamed Bomb City because it is home to a nuclear weapons assembly plant) a young man, Brian Deneke was intentionally killed during a brawl. The film Bomb City focuses on the small window of time before the brawl, shows the brawl itself and then the end results. All steps along the way are divisive, affronting and shocking.
The preps train hard, play hard and then party hard. The punks have the same pattern as the preps, the outcome just looks different. Their work is in a field painting signs, not in a gym. Their playing is on a punk rock stage at the club, not on a sports field. What the groups have in common is an abundance of testosterone and the need to release wild energy. More often than not in Amarillo the paths of these two groups would cross at the moment of release and the town would ignite. Teeth and windows were broken, things were hit, smashed and damaged and the stakes continued to rise until the fatal night when Brian Deneke was murdered.
Beautiful photography and cinematography (this was shot with anamorphic film) great performances and a strong script keep viewers engaged if they can stomach watching the gross parties with vomiting and fighting, the rampant violence and the heightening tension.
The filmmakers had a difficult task when scripting and creating the setting because most of the people, especially the family of the young man who was killed are still alive. It was incredibly important to the entire team to be as honest and as loyal to Brian’s family and his story as possible.
“Hollywood says to get the rights and not get to know the actual people. In true punk fashion we decided, ‘Fuck that!’ One of the hardest things we ever had to do was ask the Deneke’s permission to tell the story.” –Jameson Brooks, Director
After screening the film at The Museum of Fine Art Houston for the Houston Cinema Arts Festival, several people responsible for making the film discussed the process and experience.
“I felt Brian watching me so everything I did I flt I had to go a little further, be a little more wild and combative to the powers that be.” – Dave Davis, plays Brian in the film