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The Independent Critic

Jerry Lehane, Paul O'Halloran, Paul Lovell, Peter O'Halloran, Tommy Long
Rudy Childs
90 Mins.

 Movie Review: The Dogmatics: A Dogumentary 
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In the early 1980s, The Dogmatics were considered by many to be Boston's true house band, a quartet of brothers and brothers by choice not that different from any other talentless, self-deprecating, beer-swilling, girl-chasing lunkheads with guitars. In many ways, The Dogmatics were a bridge that created a strong sense of community in the rock solid Boston music scene. From their Thayer St. loft in Boston's South End, The Dogmatics hosted the likes of Blood in the Saddle, The Del Fuegos, The Replacements, and a host of others. The Boston scene gave us the likes of Gang Green, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Scruffy the Gate, The Flies, Cheapskates, and a host of others. In a world filled with "me" bands, The Dogmatics were a "we" band and it endeared them to their fans, other bands, club owners and many others. 

Massachusetts filmmaker Rudy Childs captures this all in his entertaining feature doc The Dogmatics: A Dogumentary, a film that captures this vital Boston band that far too few people know about unless they were actually there. On October 23, 1986, the first go-round with The Dogmatics ended after bassist and co-founder Paul O'Halloran was killed in a motorcycle accident. After O'Halloran's death, the band stopped playing with the exception of a couple shows a year. In 2018, however, things started to change as band members' children were growing up and the musical itch needed to be scratched once again. Keeping most of their original line-up, The Dogmatics began performing in earnest and became determined to record new material. 

The Dogmatics connected with Boston-based indie label Rum Bar Records for a series of well-received EPs, as well as a collection of the band’s older material, and have received enthusiastic airplay on Sirius XM’s Underground Garage channel and elsewhere around the country, including Milwaukee’s WMSE. Ramo Records, run by Miss Georgia Peach and Travis Ramin, both also members of opening band Beebe Gallini, reissued The Dogmatics’ Cat single, which includes a cover of Eddie Cochran’s “20 Flight Rock,” in 2008.

While the Boston scene has changed, The Dogmatics are back. 

For those of us who grew up in the 80s, this critic included, The Dogmatics: A Dogumentary is a vibrant and alive blast filled to the brim with kick-ass garage rock, a rock n' roll spirit, and an emotional core that keeps you rooting for these guys from beginning to end. 

If you never knew a thing about The Dogmatics, you'll find yourself rushing to find out more after watching this low-key but dazzling doc with tremendous archival footage, engaging interviews, and spirited music to keep you rockin' all night long. 

While The Dogmatics: A Dogumentary may not change the world, it damn well will surely entertain it. The recently completed documentary, sorry "dogumentary," is just getting set for its festival run and will be announcing its world premiere in the near future. Watch for it at an indie fest near you.

Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic