Monday, April 2, 2012

Can this madness be FIXED?

D.Douglas Freel
Gigantic Pictures

AL JOURGENSEN is certainly legendary in the music industry having earned his place birthing industrial music. He also is a legend for his copious drug use over the years and counter culture lifestyle. This documentary picks up in the late 90's as MINISTRY is on tour for the album DARK SIDE OF THE SPOON and are on the down side if being the record label darlings. The then current drummer is our tour guide through the land mine filled mind scape of Al Jourgensen as we look at what drives his madness.

Along for the ride are other music luminaries that have either worked with Al or been inspired by him such as TRENT REZNOR, MAYNARD JAMES KEENAN, DAVID YOW, KING BUZZ, DAVE NAVARRO and several label people.

What the film does is give a decent look at the insanity of being on tour with Jourgensen. From his meticulousness of performing music to his obsessive belief in superstitions, such as making sure everyone has anointed oils at all times. But the meat of the film deals with the man's drug habit, his inhuman heroin intake. A drug addiction so frightening that other rock stars find it frightening. So extreme that the men Al looked up to in the counter culture like Timothy Leary were concerned for his well being. Watch as Al shoots up and Junky philosophizes and tells embarrassing stories about being an asshat rock star that night River Phoenix died. Experience the paranoia as Al believes he is being stalked by government operatives.Making everyone on tour were bullet proof vests between shows.

What the doc is missing is a good look at the band it self. There is some great performance footage but not much on the formation of the band, the early Euro-syth years, why Paul Barker eventually left and the eventual switch to political speed metal. All of which makes it feel uneven and slapdash. Thankfully the interview  footage with other musicians fill those gaps well enough.

If you are a Ministry fan you'll want this, but I'm not sure anyone else will get anything much from it. But you do get to see both David Yow and Al Jourgensen's dick's. So that is something I suppose. Al even fucks a cooked chicken. How very rock star of him....

The set comes with a music cd called FIX THIS I guess recorded by Paul Barker that is really good. Yet when I put it in a player it still comes up MINISTRY (see covering that break up would be really helpful indeed. I am sure die hard Ministry fans know what happened, someone enlighten me...)

Review © Andrew Copp

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