This week: METALLIMANIA!!!
While 'Monday Morning Movie Madness' thus far has consisted solely of films in the sci-fi and/or horror genre, this movie is in fact a documentary. But you can't get much more low-budget or independent than Metallimania. And you can't get much funnier either. Shot in the dark, post-Black Album years of 1995 and 1996, Metallimania (created by San Francisco resident Marc Paschke, right) presents conclusive proof of what we have all known since the beginning: Metallica fans are fucking ridiculous. Playing out like a feature-length version of Heavy Metal Parking Lot (only MORE pathetic and hilarious), the film is a documentation of American culture at its worst, from drunken, gun-toting rednecks blathering about how awesome Jason Newstead's bass playing is to sloppy interviews with an also highly-intoxicated (and bemulleted) James Hetfield.
What's that? You'd like to see a preview? No problem:
Despite copious amounts of excellent footage featuring vomiting Hessians, gibbering tweakers, slutty rocker chicks and Kirk Hammett cleaning up dogshit, the funniest part of the film (for me, at least) is the smug, sarcastic narrative delivered by Paschke himself. Obviously a fan of the band, he is nonetheless unafraid to expose them as the money-grubbing douchebags that they really are, through the eyes of both their obedient fans and Metallica themselves. Somehow, he manages to get backstage and interview Lars, Kirk, Jason AND James for the movie, but rather than becoming offended by his obvious ridicule they seem to actually ENJOY his presence, enough so that at one point they bring him to a party at Madonna's house. Ever the intrepid documentarian, Paschke (who looks like something out of Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes, as one strip club door girl points out) proceeds to interview Madonna herself about Metallica (below), inspiring both awe and incredulity.
Travelling from the vast, inbred swamplands of Florida to the lurid strip clubs of San Francisco's North Beach, Paschke's camera captures all manner of obscene, embarassing, and violent debauchery, causing not only full-on belly laughs but also a fair amount of somber introspection. Who are these people? Why are there so many of them? What the fuck is up with his sideburns?
Simply put, this movie is AMAZING. You don't have to be a Metallica fan to enjoy it (quite the contrary, actually). You don't even have to be a fan of metal (although the interviews with Tom Araya and Rob Halford may cause quite a few fan-boy boners during the course of the film). All you need is an inquisitive spirit, a hearty sense of humor, and a case of frosty suds. This one is a future CLASSIC.
Although Metallimania dwelt in obscurity for nearly a decade, it was finally released on DVD in 2005. You can get it on Netflix here, buy it (for 8 BUCKS!) here, or watch it in its entirety here.