What do you get when you take one of the most offensive bands and make a documentary about them? You get an offensive “rockumentary”…but an interesting one.
The Mentors are a band from Seattle, Washington that went for pure shock value in the 80s. Their lyrics were violent, sexist, homophobic, and flat out grotesque. Their very over-the-top lyrics gave birth to a genre which would be known as “Rape Rock.” The band originally consisted of three members: Eldon Hoke aka “El Duce”, Eric Carlson aka “Sickie Wifebeater”, Steve Broy aka “Dr. Heathen Scum.” The Mentors: Kings of Sleaze Rockumentary explores the men behind the black executioner masks and crude lyrics and tells the story of the band’s rise and demise.
“…it would be hard to find a person that did not find something offensive about this documentary.”
The documentary features interviews from all of the members of the band new and old, family and friends of the band, and even some members of other rock bands. The interviewees give first-hand accounts of some really insane stories involving the band members and insane is probably putting it nicely. At the very beginning, I was warned about the graphic content that the documentary may contain, but even that warning was not enough when you hear the stories and see some very explicit footage from some of the shows The Mentors played. I’m not one to get easily offended but it would be hard to find a person that did not find something offensive about this documentary. There are quite a bit of sexual acts displayed, so be warned.
Initially, the only time I had ever heard of The Mentors was from another documentary called Kurt and Courtney which was about the murder conspiracy surrounding former Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain. The Mentors member El Duce appears in that documentary which this rockumentary circles back to. Kings of Sleaze features the same footage from Kurt and Courtney where El Duce reveals that Courtney Love (former Hole frontwoman and wife of Kurt Cobain) offered him fifty thousand dollars to kill Kurt Cobain. When you find out the type of person El Duce is, you can easily assume that he’s just a drunken person making things up but they show evidence that he actually passed a lie detector test. Not long after that interview, El Duce was mysteriously found dead after being hit by a train. This opens up another murder conspiracy. Since I’m a very huge Nirvana fan, I found this subject the most interesting part of the documentary. I could have watched a whole documentary just on the conspiracies alone.
“…with the rise of the ‘Me Too’ era, it’s a questionable time to release a documentary such as this one.”
The editing of the documentary is something that I have to highlight because it stands out in a good way. There are plenty of transitions from interview to archival footage that transition very naturally.
In this day and age with of the rise of the “Me Too” era, it’s a questionable time to release a documentary such as this one. The Mentors are everything that feminist and the Me Too supporters are against. Also if you are easily offended then The Mentors: Kings of Sleaze Rockumentary is something you will want to skip. With that being said, this was a very informative documentary and director April Jones found a way to make me interested in a documentary about a band that I never cared for.
The Mentors: Kings of Sleaze Rockumentary (2018) Directed by April Jones. Starring Steve Broy, Eric Carlson, El Duce.
8 out of 10