The title of Paul Kermizian’s “Buck Nelson Presents: Lifting the Cloak of Mystery Off Rock Drumming” is funnier than anything which appears in this 10 minute short, and that’s not saying much. Buck Nelson is the rocker alter ego of Dan Menke, who wrote this mock instructional video on how to play the drums like a music legend.
The problem with this film is that it presents a fun concept and promptly ignores it. There is not a single lesson in rock drumming, just chapter headings of lessons promised but never delivered. Instead, there are faux-testimonials of Buck Nelson’s brilliance laced between unfunny sight gags including Buck Nelson in a karate uniform to show self-defense drumming, putting a microphone under his stool, and hitting what looks like a drum surface but which is actually a drum full of milk, with the white liquid splattering in his face. Menke’s character speaks in a nasally drone and stares at the camera with unblinking maniacal glare, which makes him seem more like a villain in a third-rate Hanna-Barbera cartoon rather than a rock drumming legend.
The film does have one genuinely funny moment, albeit a brief one: a Swedish pop singer exclaims her admiration of Buck Nelson’s drumming completely in Swedish, with nary an English subtitle to decipher her praise. Otherwise, this drumstick is all splinters.