Patrick Pryor’s review published on Letterboxd:
I still can't believe I saw this in a theater. The different emphases on "hate" and "I don't care" in Bonecrusher's acerbic monologue? Poetry.
Nihilism aside, seeing Deadbeat at Dawn large and in crazy charge on the big screen opened my jabronie eyes to the craft and efficiency and actual thought put into some of those backyard gang beatdowns. Sure, dudes rip each other's throats out and scream to the rust belt heavens and twirl nunchucks solo in graveyards like aggressively macho chuckleheads. But those smart cutaways to railway tracks ratchet up tension in the final rumble. Long takes of a deadbeat smashing a rival's skull into concrete until blood smears thud smart and loud and visceral. The kaleidoscope drone transitions crush urban malaise and seething hate and dysphoric grief into a raw cinecoal.
If anything, Deadbeat at Dawn serves as a masterpiece of seething anger and hate and disdain for fellow man. Throw out your rotting copy of Nietzsche! Van Bebber's got something to say in fewer words and with more heat about how hating life makes you a more insightful and caring and enlightened human. These punks rage for a better life beyond their reach. They beat down for want of something else. Money. An existence without shit smeared walls. No more fights with shirtless junkie dads. DO BETTER, AMERIKUH.