Danny Garcia (“The Rise and Fall of the Clash” and “Looking for Johnny”) is back with a fascinating look at a tragic situation in rock history. As the title suggests, “Sad Vacation: The Last Days of Sid and Nancy” is a documentary which traces the final days of Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen. Featuring archival footage, some not made public before, crime scene photos, and interviews with those that knew the couple when they were living in the Chelsea Hotel in New York City; including testimonials from at least two acquaintances who stopped by Vicious and Spungen’s room shortly before she was murdered.
There remains a lot of controversy around Spungen’s death and Vicious’ subsequent overdose. Garcia hits a home run with interviews showing the juxtaposition between Vicious and Spungen. He as the naïve wannabe rocker turned punk rock icon. She as the drug addicted hustler looking to hitch her wagon to a rising star. It’s crazy to think that their lives ended when she was just 20 and he 21.
The documentary offers no definite conclusion as to what really happened the night of October 12, 1978; as those who were in their lives at the time remain divided. Those who believe Vicious killed Spungen maintain that belief to this day. Those who believe someone else killed Spungen while Vicious was passed out hold firm to their convictions.
Still, what “Sad Vacation: The Last Days of Sid and Nancy” does shed light on is that Spungen;s death was senseless. She slowly bled to death from a superficial wound. If she had been able to seek help or if someone had investigated the moans they’d heard coming from their room Spungen would have survived. In addition, we finally learn what really happened with Vicious’ ashes.