Film Festival Awards – The Dogmatics: A Dogumentary
Best Music Documentary
Audience Choice Best of Festival
The Dogmatics: A Dogumentary
They were Boston’s house band
A documentary by Rudy Childs
Last updated: December 5, 2023
Screening at Film Festivals & Special Events
The full-length documentary film has been submitted to various 2023/2024 film festivals. Selections to date include:
- Ocean City Film Festival – Ocean City, MD (3/7/2024)
- World Music & Independent Film Festival – Herndorn, VA (5/3/2024)
- LA Punk Film Festival – Los Angeles, CA (12/1/2023)
- Orlando Film Festival – Orlando, FL (10/26/2023)
- Albuquerque Film + Music Experience – Albuquerque, NM (9/27/2023)
- Manchester International Film Festival – Manchester, NH (8/10/2023)
- 9th Music Film Festival – Buenos Aires, Argentina (7/2/2023)
- Brighton Rocks International Film Festival – Brighton and Hove, England (6/20/2023)
- Vero Beach Film Festival – Vero Beach, FL (6/7/2023)
- Independent Film Festival Boston, IFFBoston – Cambridge, MA (4/26/23)
- Berkeley Springs Film Festival – Berkeley Springs, WV (3/31/23)
- Sound on Screen Music Film Festival – Cape Town, South Africa (3/31/23)
- Youngstown Film Festival – Youngstown, OH (2/26/23)
The Documentary (Synopsis)
Are you ready to experience what Lou Mansdorf at Rum Bar Records likes to call “Garage Rock 101”? See an intimate glimpse into the early 80s Boston music scene. “The Dogmatics: A Dogumentary” shares the untold story of the band that unwittingly pioneered and became emblematic of the genre.
This documentary is a four-year effort by family and friends, crafted as a tribute to The Dogmatics’ late co-founder and bassist Paul O’Halloran. It takes you back to the band’s origins, recorded on long-forgotten 8mm film reels. It gives you a glimpse into the dilapidated loft on Boston’s rundown South End, where the band lived with many other local musicians.
The quartet was no different than any other talentless, self-deprecating, beer-swilling, girl-chasing lunkheads with guitars. It wasn’t about money. Catching a girl’s eye, a free round of drinks, or simply completing a song in unison were their rewards. But somehow, success discovered them as they created music that fans of pop to hardcore could vibe with.
As their songs appealed to many audiences, they became known to many as “Boston’s House Band.” It’s not just a story of brothers (by blood and bond) but a rock and roll quartet that included identical twins with a shared passion for music and its rich history.
The Band (Bio)
Formed in 1981 and still writing and performing new music today, The Dogmatics is a Boston-based band known for their pioneering garage punk/rockabilly sound. They released two albums in the 1980s and toured with renowned acts such as The Bangles, The Fleshtones, The Replacements, and Beastie Boys. Multiple bands, including The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, have covered their songs.
After the tragic loss of bassist Peter O’Halloran in 1986, they disbanded for quite some time. They never lost their friendship or love for playing together and would occasionally regroup for charity events in the following years.
In 2019, they teamed up with Rum Bar Records to record their first new material in over 30 years with the release of their EP “She’s The One.” The new tracks delighted long-time fans and newcomers alike. Despite the disruption of the pandemic, they kept up their momentum and released their latest EP, “Drop That Needle,” in 2022.
Reviews & Accolades
You can’t help but be a bit smitten by the charm of the film’s subjects, and a lot of that is thanks to Childs approach in how he brings us into this world.
An affectionate love letter to a band, a city, and a time when it all came together in the ultimate garage band punk lifestyle. If you know The Dogmatics, you will enjoy the nostalgia and good times remembered. If you don’t, then you’ll love getting to know them and what it was like in Boston when they appeared on the scene.
(IFFBoston 2023 screening) The film perfectly captures the joie de vivre of the early days of Boston punk rock, preserved by the band’s current members who continue to play live shows. It is also a bittersweet memorial to Paul O’Halloran who died suddenly in a motorcycle crash in 1986, ending an era and devastating the Boston music community.
Music fans who recognize the longevity of this “quick-witted hometown band” will appreciate the group’s endurance and ability to adapt to varying music styles.
The Dogmatics: A Dogumentary is a vibrant and alive blast filled to the brim with kick-ass garage rock, a rock n’ roll spirit, and an emotional core that keeps you rooting for these guys from beginning to end.
It’s a heartfelt story of brotherhood and a cool insight into the garage rock scene, based on the experiences of those directly involved and unique images of the band members growing up and performing. Highly recommended.
Dogmatics and local music fans alike are going to go bonkers for this. The film tells the band’s story from the very beginning and right up to their latest release… All bands would be lucky to have a career spanning documentary like this.
The Dogmatics: A Dogumentary has it all, the start of the band the middle and what’s still ongoing. It’ll make you laugh, shed a tear and mostly importantly appreciate the music created by the Dogmatics. A must see for any fan of the “Boston scene”!!
"I Can't Get Over You" is nothing more and nothing less than a straight-ahead rock 'n' roll tune in a timeless style. It's got a great hook, and it will get your toes tapping in no time flat... Jerry Lehane sure knows how to write a three-chord rock 'n' roll tune!
The years seem to just melt away when you hear the new Dogmatics song “I Can’t Get Over You”. The song is mid-80’s Dogmatics ...It has two of the attributes we love the most with punk songs – it’s catchy and short. At 1:52 you can listen to it over and over – you know we did.