Sad Vacation: The Last Days Of Sid And Nancy review

Just say no, kids

Cover artwork for Sad Vacation: The Last Days Of Sid And Nancy

You can trust Louder Our experienced team has worked for some of the biggest brands in music. From testing headphones to reviewing albums, our experts aim to create reviews you can trust. Find out more about how we review.

With a similar skeletal crew serving-up first–person testimonials to those in director Danny Garcia’s Thunders biopic Looking For Johnny, Sad Vacation is just as morbidly fascinating, ghoulish and opiated – and measures up equally short.

What’s in it’s fair enough (even if the reliability of the witnesses is questionable, to say the least), it’s what’s not that frustrates. Having been spoiled by definitive, wholly satisfying Julien Temple efforts in this general cinematic area, you’re left wanting. Uncontaminated by Sex Pistols, there’s little here most fans don’t already know about Sid’s life leading up to Nancy’s final sordid days in NYC’s Chelsea Hotel and his own stupid demise three months later (and, being realistic, fans and hard-core ones at that, are the sole audience a film such as this is likely to reach).

The silence of obvious absentees (Lydon, Viv Albertine, Steve Dior) is deafening, and the distinct lack of Pistols recordings only serves to accentuate a fair few baffling soundtrack choices.

At the heart of the movie is a sketchy investigation into who it was that actually despatched Nancy. But after watching the same few still shots spool past for a couple of hours, trying not to nod out to endless footage of ex-punk ‘scenesters’ trying not to nod out, you’re left feeling no closer to the truth than you were in 1978.

Ian Fortnam

Classic Rock’s Reviews Editor for the last 20 years, Ian stapled his first fanzine in 1977. Since misspending his youth by way of ‘research’ his work has also appeared in such publications as Metal Hammer, Prog, NME, Uncut, Kerrang!, VOX, The Face, The Guardian, Total Guitar, Guitarist, Electronic Sound, Record Collector and across the internet. Permanently buried under mountains of recorded media, ears ringing from a lifetime of gigs, he enjoys nothing more than recreationally throttling a guitar and following a baptism of punk fire has played in bands for 45 years, releasing recordings via Esoteric Antenna and Cleopatra Records.