(Click here for “Destroying America” Trailer in Quicktime)

10/21/00 Long Beach, CA on the top of a four-story parking garage.

Rarely is extra entertainment on hand at video premieres these days. At the Destroying America premiere, in addition to watching the video, one had two other options: smash the hell out of the Hook Ups van with a sledgehammer; or ride a mechanical bull. It wasn’t until after the video was shown that many other options became available. More on that later.

Spotted in the crowd or on the mechanical bull were Bam Margera, Arto Saari, Heath and Jeremy, Steve Berra, Mark Appleyard, Kenny Anderson, Alex Moul, Leo Fitzpatrick, Tony Hawk, Dan Rogers, and Eric Dressen.

Note to future video makers: if you want companies to cater your premiere, include many product shots in your film. Hook Ups lined up Wahoo’s Fish Tacos, Coca-Cola, and two beer brands to feed and intoxicate the moviegoers. And yes, you see plenty of those logos and product placement shots in the movie.

The movie itself was on the same cinematic level as The End. What the video lacked in skating was made up for with skits and destruction. And yes, there was tons of destruction, but I won’t go there. It really must be seen and not read about.

The biggest bonus of the film for me was witnessing unseen Mark Gonzales footage from the Hook Ups tour several years ago. Erik Estrada of ChiPs fame was an integral part of the film. It was apparent that he had a terrific time working on the film. Unfortunately, he did not make an appearance at the premiere.

So after the movie finished the crowd found lots of new activities to keep themselves entertained. Many chose to start smashing the plastic chairs into the van. That escalated into throwing the chairs off the top floor of the garage. The crowd got so worked up that they managed to flip the van on its side. Chairs, beers, railing supports, and parts off the van were all flying randomly through the air. Blitz distribution types were trying to calm the crowd and get them to go to the after party at another location. By then was so loud that the local neighbors were lined up in the alley shouting at the top of their lungs. Full tables and umbrella sets were being tossed over the side of the building. Then, finally, the police showed up. And they certainly did show up in force. Some even chose to wear their cute riot gear outfits.

When it was all over and done with the stats read like this: 30 cop cars; 50 riot clad police; Long Beach Blvd. closed for 1 hour; four reported injuries that needed medical attention, including plastic surgery to an almost severed ear.

Out of the 300 plastic chairs, only 60 made it out to be re-used again. Destroying America indeed.

(Click here for “Destroying America” Trailer in Quicktime)