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2020 DOCUMENTARY THREAD


Dolfan in NYC
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Continuing down the Prime Music Doc road, Gimme Danger was really good. I dunno if Jim Jarmusch has done other documentaries but this one worked. Then again, the topic was the Stooges, so really he couldn't lose. I knew all the stories and more from various books so there wasn't much new to me but for those who don't know the history of the Stooges it's a must-see. Iggy is another of those wonders of nature, who knows how or why he's still alive and not in a wheelchair either, he just has that strange glow around him. Scott Asheton on the other hand sounds like an 80 year old man trying to remember his name (not to speak ill of the dead or anything). I really just wish Ron would have lived to do this, I'm sure he would had some mercurial thoughts to provide, especially concerning the Raw Power and after stuff which they pretty much gloss over recording-wise and in talking about the debauchery in Hollywood where Ig was taking every drug known to man while Ron was living off table scraps with holes in his boots. 

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Tread

Remember the guy in Colorado who went crazy and build a tank out of a bulldozer? This is a documentary about it.

Appears to have a lot of re-enactments in it.

Was at SXSW last year but is finally being released the end of the month

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  • 2 weeks later...

Lucha Mexico is a solid doc covering CMLL and AAA in 2015. Unfortunately Starz only has subs in Spanish, and the only guys speaking English in the whole movie are Shocker and Jon Anderson. Luckily they are the most featured of all the wrestlers. Shocker seems like a real nice guy. He was in the US Marines as a kid, had his dad teach him how to wrestle; his mom was a singer and after he dislocates his kneecap (ugh... you won't like the description) and is out six months he gathers some cash and stars his own restaurant which eventually spawns a second. We follow him from Arena Mexico to wrestling in tents. Everywhere he goes it seems like he's taking pictures and signing autographs, at one point he even signs a kid's shirt during a match when he's on the outside. Unfortunately Fabian el Gitano dies while they're filming which is an omen for the later of passing of Perro Aguayo Jr. We get to see the footage of him dead in the ring and it is super creepy, with a visibly disturbed Rey checking on him and people still trying to revive him though he's long dead. Super sad. Jon Anderson also gets a good showing and his lifting in the gym is just wild. He gives props to Kemonito at one point saying that guy walking the ramp is like someone walking a mile. Out of sympathy Jon says he'd pick him up, and he's really heavy, "It's like lifting a bag of sand" he laughs.

Edited by Curt McGirt
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Went down the rabbit hole on Prime last night: 

American Scary: Fun, fun, fun doc about the history of American horror hosts on television. Horror hosts were of course the guys and gals like Vampira, Zacherly, Ghoulardi, and countless other regional onscreen performers that introduced blocks of horror films like Shock Theater and other syndicated B-films for legions of young kids and the wasted college-agers they turned into. All of these hosts had their own madcap quirks and sense of humor and would make sitting through the often terrible movies fun. The biggest success stories were probably Elvira, Joe Bob Briggs, and eventually the Mystery Science Theater 3000 gang who were horror hosts in their own fashion. It's a loving depiction of all these very individual characters and presses the nostalgia button hard for a simpler era before corporate changes squeezed the life out of TV. 

X: The Unheard Music: A doc made in 1986, finished five years to the day later, and finally released on DVD/BluRay in 2011! I was thinking "man this looks old" and it certainly was, done after the Los Angeles band made their fifth record and before guitarist Billy Zoom left. If you've seen their segment on the first Decline of Western Civilization doc you won't learn anything new, but this is a solid look at a highly in-the-pocket, propulsive rock group that emerged from the LA punk scene to moderate success, despite the reluctance of studio execs (one of whom gets interviewed here as Chris from Slash Records says "these guys even turned down the Go-Gos" and reveals that his next big band for MCA is destined to be Point Blank, a bunch of Southern rock/AOR wastrels who I didn't even remember). With their off-tune but oddly harmonized male/female vocal duo, Zoom's rockabilly pedigree and DJ Bonebrake's drum chops they formed a formidable, catchy group that produced several classics, especially Los Angeles and Wild Gift. An arty slice of punk history showing them playing live, writing songs, detailing their personal histories and there's nary a talking head in the bunch. And hey, guess what, the whole thing's on Youtube! 

Stiv: No Compromise No Regrets: This one is fun. Stiv Bators was the singer for the Dead Boys, the Lords of the New Church, the Wanderers and solo from the advent of punk rock in the '70s up until the mid '90s. Sadly he died several days after getting hit by a slow-moving taxi in Paris after a doctor misdiagnosed a brain hemmorhage he had from hitting his head on the curb. This is a retelling of his life from his friends, of which he had many, describing the wildness of the era with plenty of stories of Stiv car-surfing (literally getting on top of cars through the window and riding on them while in motion) and other chaos. He seemed to be a very nice and magnetic personality for whom drugs still became a hindrance as they do for anyone on the road. Somehow he managed to keep his demons in check for the most part, unlike his running mates like Johnny Thunders or Sid Vicious. I think he would have had a musically fruitful life after the demise of the Lords and lived happily in France with his wife but it was not to be. Some great footage of his intense stage antics and thankfully only one brief clip of him blowing his nose into a slice of bologna and eating it, which grossed me out worse than anything ever when I first saw it on the live Dead Boys DVD. 

NSFW for language and nudity

Oh, and just go out and buy Young Loud and Snotty and the self-titled Lords album, you'll thank me later

Edited by Curt McGirt
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Well it turns out I remember Point Blank after all. This album was reviewed in Chuck Eddy's Stairway to Hell book reviewing what he considered the 500 best heavy metal albums ever. It featured everything from Slayer to Teena Marie (?!) so his qualifications were, well, rather loose, and they included this album and even a picture of the cover which would probably make me buy it at the store even if I hadn't heard it. The back even has the POV of the guy holding the gun with the smoking shells! 

Not bad heavy Southern/blues rock that pounds hard when it starts to boogie, with the requisite double guitars harmonies. I approve. Apparently they went AOR later on and added the dreaded keyboard player, either kiss of death or chart-topper for bands of this stripe.

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McMillions is so fascinating.  You could not script better characters than the real people involved in this.  My wife and I keep cracking up at Jerry Columbo's brother and his wife.  The brother is so obviously a wanna-be mobster.  We were saying we can totally imagine him trying his ass off to get in the crime family when he was younger and the actual gangsters being so annoyed by him.  

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On 2/28/2020 at 1:29 PM, Curt McGirt said:

I remember there being a ton of things around The Omen. 

Seemed like a fun film until they decided to bring up the helicopter scene and Brandon Lee -- I'm not sure if I'm cool with that. 

Yeah, that moment haunted poor Michael Massee until the day he died.

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On 3/2/2020 at 2:37 PM, Log said:

McMillions is so fascinating.  You could not script better characters than the real people involved in this.  My wife and I keep cracking up at Jerry Columbo's brother and his wife.  The brother is so obviously a wanna-be mobster.  We were saying we can totally imagine him trying his ass off to get in the crime family when he was younger and the actual gangsters being so annoyed by him.  

It really was fascinating. I enjoyed this series. Really messed up how we had no chance to win other than free food. 

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On 3/10/2020 at 2:35 PM, John Austin said:

It really was fascinating. I enjoyed this series. Really messed up how we had no chance to win other than free food. 

 They really need to do a spinoff covering A.J. Glomb's life of crime! That his path in the underworld started after doing amyl nitrate with Harold Robbins is nuts! Also Glomb has the Pittsburgh accent that's more common than the "Yinzer" one most people associate with the city.

 

Spoiler

The Feds cutting a deal with Jerry Jerome and going after all of the people who cashed the game pieces was really shitty, I guess number of convictions was more important than actual justice.

 

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I guess this could go into Sports, too, but Women of Troy was pretty fucking awesome.  I mean, yeah, what Bill Simmons said about it is kinda true - that the highlight is hearing Doris Burke swear - but the rest of it is really well-done.  I can recall enough of the beginning of the WNBA to remember how Cynthia Cooper just showed up and blew everyone away by pretty much being distaff Lou Williams, but I had no idea this was where she'd started or how she ended up in Italy piling up so much experience.  Even the little snippets of seeing Miller play make you think, "Jesus, that's just not fair."  It would've been something if she'd been born 10 years later so she could go up against Griner or Parker or Taurasi, but, then again, without her, they probably don't have careers.

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The Last Blockbuster

Some fun participants here -- Doug Benson, Kevin Smith, Ron Funches. 

The former Blockbuster head saying he doesn't miss renting videos makes me want to reach through the computer and strangle him on principal alone.

Edited by Curt McGirt
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Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley's Island of Dr. Moreau was great. Known as one of the greatest boondoggles in motion picture history, 1996's The Island of Dr. Moreau with Marlon Brando and Val Kilmer started from the highly fertile imagination of one Richard Stanley, director of cyberpunk classic Hardware and bizarro horror-art film Dust Devil. He spent years bringing it to fruition by hook and by crook, and finally got it greenlighted for filming in Australia for New Line. Brando was to star along with Bruce Willis and James Woods, everything was in place... and then the shit hit the fan. The result was Kilmer replacing Willis and bumping Woods, which led to Stanley getting fired, which led to asshole John Frankenheimer being hired, which led to sheer madness. Somewhere in all that is black magic, a hurricane, the smallest person in the entire world taking the place of a legitimate actor, Brando and Kilmer feuding as to who was going to leave their trailers first, Frankenheimer screaming at everyone in the cast and crew, Stanley invading the set under a mask and costume, and the result being a cinematic turd that could have been one of the coolest movies ever made. Stanley comes off as an awesome guy and a true auteur who the studio didn't trust from the jump. Fairuza Balk admits wanting to walk but being threatened with her career being ruined. All the studio heads interviewed don't admit that they didn't even give a fucking AD to Stanley, so he was screwed from the start. It's a fascinating story. 

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