Underground Film Journal

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She Had Her Gun All Ready — Vivienne Dick

By Mike Everleth ⋅ December 26, 2017

She Had Her Gun All Ready By Vivienne Dick (1978).

This is the second film by Vivienne Dick and the first one that included a plot and actresses playing roles. Her first film was Guerillere Talks (1978), a collection of filmed portraits of female punk musicians, including Lydia Lunch and Pat Place, both of whom star in She Had Her Gun All Ready.

Lydia Lunch and Pat Place in Vivienne Dick's She Had Her Gun All Ready

The film was shot on Super 8mm and screened at the New Cinema, a short-lived storefront theater on St. Mark’s Place in New York City’s Lower East Side. The film is considered part of the “No Wave” film movement that included Eric Mitchell, James Nares, Amos Poe and Beth and Scott B. “No Wave” was the cinematic extension of NYC’s downtown punk music scene.

While all public screenings of the film are not known, it is known that it screened at the Collective for Living Cinema at 52 White St. in NYC on Oct. 2, 1982 at 8 p.m. It screened in a program of short films by Ken Kobland, Ken Ross, Vicki Peterson, Bette Gordon and Brian Hansen.

Although the official title appears to be She Had Her Gun All Ready, the title in the actual film — handwritten in a notebook — includes an exclamation point at the end: She Had Her Gun All Ready! This is the only text that appears in the film.

The above bootlegged version of the film (source unknown) is exceptionally pixelated, especially during the climactic murder scene on the Cyclone roller coaster, a Coney Island landmark that was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1991. For a glimpse of how the Cyclone sequence looks in non-pixelated form, please watch the below interview with Dick that includes a few clips.

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