Feature image: Bob Umbel by Doug Pensinger
Last week, skate documentary Blood and Steel: Cedar Crest Country Club (SubTerra Films) screened at the Regent Theater in Los Angeles. The crowd was large and lively, cheering as favorites appeared on screen. Cedar Crest Country Club was also in the house selling gear and rare photo prints of young skate legends taken by sports photographer Doug Pensinger.
Blood and Steel documents the roots of the late 80s East Coast underground skateboarding and punk music scene, and the skaters, artists, and bands that made history there. Much like how Valley Uprising covered Yosemite Valley in 1960s and 70s as a mecca for illegal climbing and BASEjumping, Blood and Steel focuses the Cedar Crest Country Club in Virginia, the ultimate shrine to grind where fans of this “anti-team” sport (a mix of skinny teens, tough guys, punk bands, and criminals) converged to test themselves against the steel mega-ramp. At a time when skaters were nabbing plywood from construction sites to make DIY backyard ramps and pissing off neighbors with all-night sessions, the CCCC half-pipe was a 24/7 skate destination with dream specs for vert skateboarding. The style of the film and its soundtrack are on point, and fans will enjoy being transported to the acid-washed tones of the 80s, when skateboarding, zines, and punk rock and art were ways to push the limits and build a common connection during a time of social disenfranchisement and uncertainty.
Blood and Steel features interviews with Mark Hooper, Mike Mapp, Bruce Adams, Wade Herren, Fred Smith, Paul Wisniewski, Sam Boo, Allen Losi, Bob Umbel, Randy Jansen, Dave Tobin, Ian MacKaye, GWAR, Tony Hawk, Bucky Lasek, Tony Magnusson, Dan Heyman, Derek Krasauskas, Pete Stahl, Franz Stahl, Keith Lanharr, Rob Mertz and more.