I seriously doubt that any documentary about a defunct local dance club from the ‘80s and ‘90s holds much interest to very many outside the city where it was located. With 2350 Last Call: The Neo Story — its title incorporates the club’s address on Clark Street — director and documentarian Eric Richter starts at the “farewell party” in July 2015 and goes backward, telling the story of Chicago’s iconic nightspot Neo’s 36 year history.
Starting as a new wave bar in the early ‘80s, Neo evolved into an industrial goth club and for a long time created its own scene. That alley was the perfect lead in! Neo attracted some famous guests, obvious ones like Al Jourgensen and My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult, both on Wax Trax at one point. Neo also attracted some not so obvious ones, like Debbie Harry, Trent Reznor, Prince, and David Bowie. Richter lovingly tells about some of the theme nights (like Nocturna), the music, and of course regulars, from bouncer Kimball Paul (R.I.P) to a Mexican guy who looked like he’d be at home on a Herb Alpert and Tijuana Brass record cover.
For all his local focus, Richter does something that puts 2350 Last Call: The Neo Story beyond mere local interest: he gets to the heart of club culture and community, something that simply doesn’t exist anymore.
Jaimz Asmundson’s music video “Plastic Heart” by Ghost Twin was a fitting prelude. It’s irreverent, fun, and over the top with its tongue in cheek goth and satanic sensibilities.
With Suzanne Shelton, Jeff Moyer, Scary Lady Sarah, Brian Dickie
Production: Eric Richter Films
Distribution: Eric Richter Films
Screening introduced by CIMMfest cofounder Carmine Cervi and followed by a live Q and A with director Eric Richter and Eric Richter, Suzanne Shelton, Jeff Moyer, Scary Lady Sarah, Brian Dickie
(Gman Tavern) B-