There's Gonna Be a God Damn Riot in Here

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There's Gonna Be a God Damn Riot in Here
Film poster
Directed by Jon Monday
Produced by Dennis Del Torre
Starring Charles Bukowski
Distributed by mondayMEDIA
Release date
  • 2008 (2008)
Running time
97 minutes
Language English

There's Gonna Be a God Damn Riot in Here[1] is a film documenting the last live poetry reading given outside the US by Charles Bukowski, even though he lived and wrote for another 14 years. The reading was given at the Viking Inn, a small concert hall in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada on October 12, 1979. It is produced by Dennis Del Torre and directed by Jon Monday for mondayMEDIA distribution.


Dennis Del Torre was a fan of Bukowski and wanted to bring him to Vancouver for a reading. He wrote to Bukowski and Bukowski agreed, but with certain conditions, including that he receive a copy of any recording. Del Torre hired a video crew from the local college to video tape the event. The video tape was lost, but years later when John Dullaghan was working on his Bukowski documentary, Born Into This, he discovered a copy of the tape at the home of the widow Linda Bukowski. The video was restored and a deal was made with Bukowski's widow and mondayMEDIA to turn it into a DVD and distribute it. It turned out to be the penultimate live reading Bukowski ever gave.[2]

By 1980 Bukowski's book royalties and movie advances provided him enough of a living that he no longer had to do readings.

Bukowski's readings were known for their riotous back and forth with the audience and this recording shows this in full color. Each poem is set between a tense dialog – with Bukowski giving and taking insults and threats with members of the audience. It ends with the statement that "I'll never do another of these readings", but in fact, he did one more in California in March 1980 – see the film The Last Straw.

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