So let’s see. On paper (well, on the computer monitor, but you know what I mean), this movie should be an anarchic sick-humor claymation anti-epic of the type that Film Threat fans should plug right into. Which is precisely the reason why I rented it, hoping for a good laugh.
Movies like this are the reason why ‘hope’ is a four-letter word.
‘Live Freaky! Die Freaky!’ comes to us courtesy of the newly-minted Hellcat Films, an offshoot of Hellcat Records, owned by Joe Strummer-wannabe Lars Frederiksen of the ska-punk band Rancid. The entire movie is vocalized by non-threatening (as a friend of mine, Tara, sagely noted, you don’t have to be angry to be in a ‘punk’ band these daze) radio-friendly castrato pop-punk ‘icons’: the ‘Pop-Punk Bono’ Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day, drummer Travis Barker of Blink 182, Benji and Joel Madden of Good Charlotte…and on and on, through various sonic semi-nonentities. The whole thing is crowned by writer/director John Roecker (some perennial Los Angeles punk scenester; I’ve never heard of him, though I used to love the punk music that city produced in the early 80s – Black Flag, Suicidal Tendencies, Bad Religion, Descendents, Circle Jerks, Angry Samoans, etc), who apparently directed some doc about the 2004 melodramatic navel-gazing teen angst Green Day album ‘American Idiot’.
Anyway. Sidestep. “Live Freaky! Die Freaky!” brings us the sorry tale of the way the earth shapes up in 3069, after the ozone layer goes and the human race turns into a race of nomadic desert-wanderers “eating insects and pigs.” One of these transients finds a copy of the book ‘Helter Skelter’ about ‘Charles Hanson’ and his family’s death-dealing deeds two millennia before, and he takes it to share with the rest of the survivors and they model their futuristic society after Chuck’s buckshot-spray semi-poetic nothing-meaning gibberish rants. Actually, we are only told this. The live-action sequence that starts and ends the movie tells us this stuff in a flat, awful, atonal voiceover by Tim Armstrong, another Rancid escapee. What 98% of the movie is about is basically a satire of the whole Charles Manson story in claymation, with the names first letters of the last names of the characters changed to ‘H’ to stop Roecker being sued. It’s sort of like an X(crement)-rated version of ‘Robot Chicken’ only that show is far, far funnier.
So what do we get along the way? Rampant homophobia, puppet porn, dumpster diving hippies, terrible and overlong song-and-dance numbers (dis)courtesy of Faith No More keyboardist Roddy Bottum, LSD abuse, pig-killing babies…and less. Rarely have I seen such a juvenile mess of a movie from an ostensibly adult human being. The trying-to-be-offensive-but-just-ultimately-boring dialogue and clichéd ‘sick’ humor wouldn’t have been out of place in a Kevin Smith movie (most notably a yawn-inducing scene with a gay character talking about sex with mentally retarded people and dogs) and the pathological fixation with bodily fluids of every splash and fart could have come from a 14-year-old boy. Admittedly I did laugh a few times (around six times in 75 minutes, I would say; mostly at stupid s**t said by Billie Joe Armstrong) at stuff like a pregnant ‘Sharon Hate’ snorting coke (“Now I’m snorting for two!”) and seeing the fetus in a nose candy blizzard inside her, but what happened to her real-life counterpart is hardly fuel for comedy. To all but clichéd one-note ‘nihilist punk’ mentalities, that is.
You have to ask yourself why a ‘filmmaker’ would even bother making a satire about a tragic, insane court case nearly four decades old. I mean s**t, what’s the f*****g point? The audience this crap is aimed at, those in their late teens or early 20s, will be mostly clueless about what is being satirized, after all. Who cares, even if Charlie is a tedious alternative disenfranchised goth icon? I suppose with Roecker coming from LA the case must still resonate in his psyche (“You don’t f**k with Hollywood.”) but nobody else will really care. Do NOT see this film: you will regret it if you do, trust me. It would ONLY be really funny if you were stoned or on an LSD giggle-trip. If the humor had been intelligent or vicious enough I could have forgiven this film its very existence, but because it wasn’t…flush it. And I would say…
…ah f**k it, I can’t even be bothered writing any more about this f*****g shite; wasted enough of my time watching it as it is. So I’ll leave the final say on it to a cop character from this very movie:
“Would you guys stop talking about poops and cocks? I mean, who gives a f**k? There’s more important things to talk about than what goes in and out of your anus!”
Why do I even f*****g bother… sigh…