About 10 or 11 years ago I got an email from Emily Dutton. Her boyfriend was a member of a Southern California car club called The Shifters. She was an aspiring film maker that decided to follow him and his pals around as they built and drove traditional hot rods. The result was a film that pretty much changed my life – Desperate Generation.
A few years later I found myself in Orange County hanging out with Jimmy White and Skinny Jeff (Emily’s boyfriend). They were no longer in the Shifters car club by that time, but seeing their faces off screen and meeting them in person kind of drove the movie home for me. See, this wasn’t some reality flick that would run on the Discovery Channel between Orange County Choppers and American Hot Rod. This was an honest documentary made by the folks that understood the dynamics of being in absolute love with an automobile and how that changes everything.
Of course, I had a roughly cut VHS of the movie back then. You have luck on your side though – The Mad Fab Society has recently taken the rights of the flick and released it on DVD with a ton of extra footage.