A list of Edgar Wright's favorite 1000 Movies per his list on Mubi on July 27th, 2016.
The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years
It's more than music...it's a way of life.
This flick interviews up and coming glam bands who made their home in the L.A. scene. Also interviewed are some of the genre's idols including Kiss, Aerosmith, Alice Cooper, Poison, Megadeth, Lemmy from Motorhead and of course, Ozzy. Also, spotlighted performances from bands such as Faster Pussycat, Odin, London (Nikki Sixx's old band), Seduce and Megadeth. The movie's range of topics include groupies, alcoholism, drugs, the glam image and why it attracted so many people from many walks of life. The movie's funniest (and saddest) segment includes filmmaker Penelope Spheeris's attempt to interview a W.A.S.P. guitarist in his pool, drunk as a skunk and with his MOM sitting right there!
"Why didn't you pick better songs?" - Some Jabroni who kept throwing devil horns during the dopiest metal moments.
Where oh where did Penelope Spheeris stumble upon Chris Holmes? Time stood still during the swimming pool interview where he douses himself with vodka as his mom glares. Probably the most arresting segment I've seen in a movie this year. I can still see him splashing his mom when I close my eyes.
Spheeris asks some really great questions, like "What if you don't make it?" And, "Is dating girls for food and money prostitution?" They occasionally put the subjects in a bind or tee them up for self-incriminating answers. One of my favorites: Steven Tyler's rambling comparison between masturbation and…
Not necessarily the best movie to watch back to back with the original. Where the original feels immediate, urgent and objective, this movie is so staged and angled towards condescension that it's almost off-putting as a documentary. In order to believe that Ozzy is really spilling orange juice all over his countertop, one has to ignore that it's an insert shot showing this (Ozzy maintains that this was staged). The memorable Chris Holmes bits, which thrilled/shocked me so much when I first saw this, may also have been largely staged. But then you gotta consider the subject matter. Isn't making something ridiculously fake and laughable exactly the form that this content deserves? The answers is, for the most part, yes!…
A document of both cringe-inducing comedy and high personal tragedy, this subjects of this film leave a vague depressing sensation that only grows more poignant as time marches on. The general ickiness in behavior on display is undercut by the obvious self-destruction of some of these folks, while others are just clearly dumb assholes. The most unforgettable moment is still Chris Holmes in the pool, calling himself "a piece of crap" and drinking to incomprehensibility. KISS might be the most loathsome band in the world, and how they managed to achieve this end while maintaining general sobriety I'll never know. But the person who comes off the best in the interviews is probably Lemmy, mostly because he doesn't say awful…
A glorious exploration of dumb-assedness.
"Belief in yourself should be the drug."
The inverse of the first volume in so many ways.
First, except for closing act Megadeth, none of the bands shown in concert here are remembered today. Odin, anyone? Spheeris knows this intuitively which leads to a great montage of her asking a bunch of aspiring rockstars what will happen if they don't become rich and famous. (They all refuse to believe that this is an option, let alone the likely one.)
Secondly, this film is almost entirely about the objectification of women, with the musicians recounting their various sexual escapades (edited ingeniously together in a cross-cutting montage which renders them all incomprehensible) and an uncomfortable extended sequence depicting a horrible sleaze pageant run by a despicable, perverted promoter. In…
A real documentary showcasing the LA 'hair bands' of 1988. Whats great about this movie is the TIMING! It catches the over-saturated, tail-end of the heavy metal music genre. In just a few years it would suffer it's death when party-music fans would turn to hip hop, and Kurt Cobain (the last musical 'legend') brought grunge which took over metal until this very day (as most rock today is still in the grunge genre). Today, the industry works like Japan - everything is manufactured.. it doesnt go by talent anymore, but rather by who you know, so break out talent, one hit wonders, etc is no longer possible. This movie showcases a time when talent was scouted and recognized... clubs were worked with the music industry back then. Totally different time.
It's not quite as insightful as the first film (and it feels like it somehow cover's less), but it's such a high energy romp built by bands who just had such an obvious love for what they did (even if it destroyed some of them). At times it can play like self parody or possibly even condescension. But I think part of the films point was to shatter that bullshit illusion of super stardom being all sex and drugs.
To cover a time period this expansive would take a lot longer than 100 minutes. So the film is definitely more of a cultural examination than a history lesson.
least favorite of the series but still on point
I loved Penelope Spheeris’ examination of punk in part 1 of the trilogy from 1981. In part 2, she continues her probing questioning into the glam metal scene in Los Angeles. I felt the documentary was (maybe intentionally) repetitive, but still entertaining to see these metal bands talk about their lifestyle. It’s a paradox that they were worshipped, yet most of them come across as unsympathetic, selfish and shallow. Many of the musicians appeared to not have an education, and not have a backup plan, if their music career didn’t work out. They might have different, more mature answers, if you asked them again now. Megadeth seemed to be the most grounded and with an awareness that they are role models for young people. The b-side Cradle To The Grave by Motörhead was a great find.
Fuck this movie is crazy and glam rockers are gigantic idiots. The subversive feminist subtext that runs through this elevates the already hilarious hijinx of the dropkicks on screen. Ozzy Osborne surprisingly well-spoken here, and Lemmy (of course) trumps all with his consistent level-headedness and oozing coolness.
Operates in a completely different mode to its predecessor, far more exploratory and stagey with a narrative throughline in mind, lacking the original's immediacy and (projected) honesty in its ethnography, but that's okay, this works just fine as the pulpy, self-aware, glossy commodity it is.
Spheeris does a great job documenting the shallowness and misogyny of the '80s LA metal scene. Everyone comes off as a douche or an idiot - except Lemmy. As it should be.
despite having the most celebrities i think this is the least interesting part of the trilogy. and i wish there had been a bigger focus on some female musicians but ya know
Damn, 80's metal really was freaking stupid.
It's still a good documentary, though. Looking back it's really easy to pick out which icons ended up influencing entire metal genres with entirely different attitudes of their own.
All of the big (glam) metal stars in this prepared their interview shots with lots of gimmicks and sexy models and they put on lots of make-up and stuff. And then whenever Dave, Lemmy or Ozzy come on screen they're just like "Yeah no, fuck all of that shit. I don't care."
I mean Ozzy is just letting the interview happen while he's preparing some eggs and bacon for breakfast. Love it.
TL; DR: metal heads are kind of shitty dudes.
Here are some #DirectedbyWomen Film Viewing Possibilities... Will add MANY more soon...
Also building a major list here:
***EDIT (March 30, 2014)***
Wow! I never would have expected that I'd get anywhere close to 100 likes on this…