As much as I love films, music will always be the most important art form to me. I was much more in to music before I started to truly appreciate the art of filmmaking. Of course, you will always have bonds and connections when it comes to films, but I have much more fonder memories of listening to the likes of The Smiths and Lloyd Cole for instance when I was being bathed by my dad as a child (keep your mind out of the gutter you, Jim never fixed it for me!) and then going to gigs with him and getting to see bands like Gomez and The Beta Band. Then there’s my mum who used to be quite in to 80’s pop, 90’s dance music and of course, if it weren’t for her, I may not have discovered the greatest band of all time; The Clash. Growing up, I would do my best to ingest all sorts of music from family and friends. It didn’t matter if it was old school rap, punk or metal. To me, there’s only two types of music; good and bad. I say that, but music (just like cinema.) is a completely personal and subjective thing. Who are we to judge what others listen to? Don’t get me wrong, I’m crossing my fingers for an inevitable Justin Bieber drug overdose, but in the meantime, if that whiny little twit is your kinda thing, more power to you! I still hold those values and have those same habits to this day. Now, when it comes to likes of grindcore bands like Kadaverficker, I can openly admit that they just aren’t my thing. My preferred choice of metal is stoner, doom or whatever else you want to label it. So why did I decide to give Kadaverficker: The Movie a try? I really enjoy music documentaries. That’s why! Not only that, but the title was kindly sent to me by the wonderful guys over at Black Lava to review.
It doesn’t matter what the band, genre or era, music documentaries are something I never tire of. Going in to Kadaverficker: The Movie, I had no idea what to expect. From the first few scenes I knew I was in for something really intriguing. Right from the off, you just know that this documentary is going to be crude in its execution and thankfully, won’t take itself too instantly. It’s a rather informal affair that is informative, but fun at the same time. Every now and then we are treated to off the wall and genuinely amusing set pieces using everything from cheap smartphone special affects app to crude green screen techniques. If your’e here to find out about the band’s history, its members and their exploits, you are in for a treat. Utilising interviews with fans, band members and seemingly everyone else from the underground black metal and goregrind music scene in Dortmund, a really vulgar, yet beautiful picture is formed of a collective who love what they do and live for their art, but have a shitload of messy fun in the process. You’re not going to find hipster scum or pretentious music critics here, but there are some appearances from the likes of Uwe Boll and Lloyd Kaufman that were a nice surprise. Of course, what would a music documentary be without live performances? There’s some great live footage throughout and again, though not my thing, I did enjoy seeing both the band and fans going absolutely apeshit.
As I said earlier, this is a very crudely made documentary that actually suits the subject matter and perfectly compliments the DIY aspect of underground music. Being someone who loves the no rules DIY nature of punk (real punk, not this posey bullshit “punk” we have nowadays.) I felt quite at home watching this. It may not be a big budget Hollywood social justice or BBC nature documentary, but it’s just as accomplished in its own way and I found the almost feature length runtime a little too short even though the story of Kadaverficker was perfectly paced. All in all, a very solid and enjoyable documentary indeed.
As well as genuinely great film, the release from Black Lava is packed full of features. There are outtakes and an extended version of the “Night of the Living Ralle” segment (one of the highlights of the documentary, you’ll know when you see it!). As well as that there’s a bountiful and bloody selection of music videos, trailers and Kadaverficker live show. If you are a fan of the band, the scene or just have a morbid curiosity, this is something of a definitive release. Not even many of the big bands out there can boast such a selection on some of their DVD releases. To Kadaverficker, Alan Smithee and Black Lava, the music may not be my thing (I’m currently writing this review listening to Chic for fuck’s sake!), but you have all helped produce and release one of this years most enjoyable documentaries. To those reading this review, you can (at the time of writing and publishing this piece) still pick up a limited to 500 run DVD of this for the measly price of €15. Do it now!
Peter “Mondo Squallido” Davies