It's a Rockabilly World
SLIFF alum Brent Huff (“Cat City”) — a native of Springfield, Mo., and a Mizzou grad — returns to the fest with a lively documentary on rockabilly, both the music and the burgeoning subculture that’s grown up around it. Performers such as relative newcomer Drake Bell and longtime rocker Jimmy Angel receive their due, and groups such as psychobilly pioneers the Cramps and genre popularizers the Stray Cats are discussed, with the Cats’ producer Dave Darling contributing an instructive interview. But the film dwells less on the music and its history than on the associated rockabilly scene: the retro hairstyles, the elaborate tattoos, the vintage clothes, the stylish pin-up girls, and the tricked-out muscle cars. Rockabillies — as members of the subculture are known — proudly dwell in their version of the 1950s, and the gatherings where they display their tats, ducktails, and provocative dresses provide the scenesters with a place of empowerment, a space where they can dare to be different and mingle with the like-minded. A rockabilly's greatest fear is not being noticed, and “It’s a Rockabilly World” gives this strange and fascinating corner of popular culture plenty of welcome attention.