Live Freaky! Die Freaky! has nothing to do with the graphic absurdity of the content.

The hipness of the cast and the solid soundtrack aside, the plot itself relies too heavily on bursts of juvenile sex humor when a retelling of the Charles Manson story should be consistently dark and terrifying, something that shows glimmers of promise in the stop-motion/claymation approach used here.

The idea and presentation never live up its potential—and Roecker seems to try too hard to shock—but Wellspring has included a soundtrack CD with this release that is excellent on its own. Just don't make the mistake of picking up this unrated/uncensored version for your favorite 14-year-old fan of Green Day or Good Charlotte (and they are legion) because this is the equivalent of puppet porn.">
  07/25/2014  
Prom Night on Blu-ray and DVD Sep 9Ghostbusters & Ghostbusters II in Theaters Aug 29 & Blu-ray Sep 16Toy Story of Terror! On Blu-ray + Digital Copy, DVD, and More Aug 19The Railway Man on Early Digital Aug 1 on DVD/Blu-ray Aug 12Gangster on DVD & VOD Jul 22Spartacus: The Complete Collection on Blu-ray, Digital HD, DVD Sep 16Awkward: Season 3 on DVD Aug 5

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Prom Night on Blu-ray and DVD Sep 9...
Nick Jonas Releases 'Chains' Single ...
Ghostbusters & Ghostbusters II in Theaters Aug 29 & Blu...
'Bosom Buddies' Star Donna Dixon Resurfaces, Stunning a...
'Fargo' will return to FX next season but with new ca...

JB Joseph Burke

The Answer to American Idol's Problems Is......
CONCRETE BLONDES...
CREAM FAREWELL CONCERT...
JACK REACHER...
MANBORG...

CA Chuck Aliaga

CORRUPTION (BLU-RAY)...
THE ATTACK (BLU-RAY)...
TANK GIRL (BLU-RAY)...
HORROR STORIES...
THE UNINVITED (BLU-RAY)...

RR Rich Rosell

THE GIRL...
THE HORDE...
LIFE IS SWEET (BLU-RAY)...
SHOUT AT THE DEVIL (BLU-RAY/DVD COMBO)...
THE BLUE ANGEL (BLU-RAY)...

MZ Mark Zimmer

BABY PEGGY: THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM...
STORAGE WARS: VOLUME THREE...
Take Part in a Film Restoration...
THE 39 STEPS (BLU-RAY)...
DARK SHADOWS: THE BEST OF BARNABAS...

JS Jesse Shanks

2 BROKE GIRLS...
DOWNTON ABBEY SEASONS ONE & TWO LIMITED EDITION...
FLORENCE AND THE SPIRIT OF THE RENAISSANCE...
NAZI COLLABORATORS...
KATT WILLIAMS: KATTPACALYPSE...

RJ Ross Johnson

THE LIFE AND DEATH OF COLONEL BLIMP (BLU-RAY)...
PURPLE NOON (BLU-RAY)...
WEEKEND (BLU-RAY)...
JUAN OF THE DEAD...
THE DEVIL'S NEEDLE AND OTHER TALES OF VICE AND REDEMPTI...

JD Jon Danziger

SUNSET BOULEVARD...
SALO, OR THE 120 DAYS OF SODOM...
TABLOID...
CUL-DE-SAC...
3 WOMEN...

JC Joel Cunningham

YOJIMBO/SANJURO...
SUMMER HOURS (L'heure d't)...
WIZARD OF OZ...
WINGS OF DESIRE...
HORTON HEARS A WHO!...

DH Dan Heaton

REVANCHE...
LAST DAYS OF DISCO...
NIGHTS AND WEEKENDS...
STARGATE SG-1: CHILDREN OF THE GODS...
STARGATE ATLANTIS: THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON...

MS Matt Serafini

THE STEPFATHER...
THE HILLS RUN RED...
MANAGEMENT...
NIGHT OF DEATH...
GNAW...

KC Kevin Clemons

Freddy Got Fingered...

JU Jeff Ulmer

Secure The Second Season of The Border on DVD August 25...
THE WALTONS: THE COMPLETE 9TH SEASON...
Dance Me Outside kicks onto DVD May 6, 2008...

DD Dale Dobson

Film-Fest 4: Sundance 2000 & Hawaii...

RM Robert Mandel

Saving Private Ryan...

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif



Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Wellspring presents
Live Freaky! Die Freaky! (2005)

Charlie: You panicked those people last time. Don't panic these people. I'm sure they have enough on their minds. They don't need any more stress. Just cut them up like ribbons and be done with it. No one likes a showoff. Be nice to them, and let their spirit live in peace to infinity.
Hex: Uh, Charlie. They're right over there, and they can hear every word you said.
Charlie: Just do it. And don't forget to do something witchy.
Hex: Jeez, whoever thought that the Son of God would be such a hot head.

- Billie Joe Armstrong, John Doe

Review By: Rich Rosell   
Published: January 23, 2006

Stars: Billie Joe Armstrong
Other Stars: Theo Kogan, John Doe, Jane Wiedlin, Asia Argento, Nick 13, Sean Yseult, Rob Aston, Mike Dirnt, Tre Cool, Joel Madden, Benji Madden, Travis Barker, Warren Fitzgerald, Davey Havok, Matt Freeman, Jason Schmidt, Jen Johnson, Tim Armstrong, Kelly Osbourne, Doug McKean, Lars Frederiksen
Director: John Roecker

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (explicit puppet sex, language, violence)
Run Time: 01h:17m:22s
Release Date: January 31, 2006
UPC: 720917548227
Genre: cult


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B C-B-B B+

DVD Review

The retelling of the Charles Manson mythos as a rock musical with stop-motion animation—and a gaggle of rock stars tossed in for good measure—sure seems like a wonderfully bizarro idea. Director John Roecker waves his punk aesthetic proudly in Live Freaky! Die Freaky!, referring to the film's message as "do not conform or listen to anyone," and presents an intentionally edgy (if edgy means "hit me in the face with a hammer") satire of Manson and his followers that I guess is supposed to shock viewers—and I'm sure this film will—with its graphic claymation sex and broad dismantling of mainstream values, such as the surefire tactic trampling on religion.

Now I'm about as religious as a rotted tree stump, so one can throw around Jesus/organized religion jokes all day long and I'll barely even notice them. The stuff just doesn't shock me like I guess it's supposed to. A difference in belief doesn't make the simple act of bashing funny, because like any attempt at humor, it takes a good gag to do that. For Roecker, the idea of an LSD trip transforming a crucifix first into a swastika and then an undulating mass of penises screams that this is supposed to be shocking, and the explicit sex scene that follows continues this sort of sensory assault involving Manson and more religious icons. Yes, I get it. He's trying to startle viewers with a don't-give-a-damn punk value system, but it's not that easy. There has to be some substance behind it, doesn't there?

Like Dragnet, the names have been changed, though it hardly seems like protection of the innocent. For Roecker's film, the names of the real-life characters have been altered with the subtle finesse of a poor Mad Magazine parody. There's Charles Hanson (Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong), his faithful followers Hadie (Lunachick's Theo Kogan), Hex (X's John Doe), and Heslie (Famous Monster's Sean Yseult), and eventual victims Sharon Hate (Kelly Osbourne), Mrs. Ha Bianca (Jen Johnson), Mr. Ha Bianca (Matt Freeman), and Habagail Folger (Asia Argento). Oddly enough, the only name that remains unchanged is Squeaky (Go-Go Jane Wiedlin), and if you've heard Wiedlin speak you'll understand why. A prologue features a wandering desert nomad (the film's only live action sequence) in the year 3069, where, according to the narration, Earth has been ravaged by "virus, famine and death." Said nomad discovers a buried copy of the book "Healter Skelter", and it's there that the story flashes back to 1968, and the claymation begins.

The opening straight-jacket interrogation of Hadie—overseen by a trio of pigs (get it?)—is an eerie looking bit of subversive animation, full of strange angles and dark shadows, but any hope that the rest of the film could maintain that level of surreal intensity is short lived. What follows are interludes featuring lots of unnecessary sex of every variety (you name it, it's here) that make the controversial puppet coupling in Team America look like high art. Instead of being shocked to see a female character perform oral sex on another female character, I just felt dulled, as if Roecker was trying to desperately push too many buttons at one time.

There are lots of hip, happening rock stars cropping up throughout, including Green Day's Tre Cool and Mike Dirnt, Rancid's Lars Frederiksen and Tim Armstrong, AFI's Davey Havok, Blink 182's Travis Barker, and Good Charlotte's Madden brothers. The weird thing is, many of these bands appeal to the young teenage/Hot Topic mall crowd, and Roecker's film (at least this unrated version) seems like it could be a little heavy for unsuspecting eyeballs that live to drool over Billie Joe Armstrong and everything he does. That doesn't make the content shocking as much as perhaps just inappropriate, at least for 14-year-old girls.

I'm sure Roecker didn't make this for 14-year-old girls, but the presence of Green Day and Good Charlotte is lure enough to make this a curiosity. Who knows, maybe this will become some underground rite of passage amongst the mall-walking Green Day army. I'm liberal and open-minded, and I do admire Roecker's stab at unadulterated shock-value filmmaking, but I question the marketing aspect. But I guess that's the punk aesthetic.

Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: C-

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.78:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: Presented in 1.78:1 nonanamorphic widescreen, the relatively debris-free transfer here has very soft edges throughout. Colors are warm, but a bit smeary in spots. Hardly a showcase transfer, the feature waffles more often than not toward being good, but far from great. It's a case of the imperfections suiting the rough-edged material.

Image Transfer Grade: B-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishyes
Dolby Digital
5.1
Englishyes


Audio Transfer Review: Two surround sound audio choices here, one in 2.0 and the other in Dolby Digital 5.1. Opt for the 5.1 if you can, because though it isn't particularly aggressive when it comes to rear channel usage, the music sound far more crisp and clean than the 2.0 mix, with a bit of a more pronounced bottom end. Voice clarity and quality is clear at all times, with moderate directional movement.

Audio Transfer Grade: B

 

Disc Extras

Animated menu with music
Scene Access with 12 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
Cast and Crew Biographies
1 Original Trailer(s)
6 Other Trailer(s) featuring Unknown White Male, The Intruder, A Hole In One, Dear Wendy, The Beat That My Heart Skipped, Happy Hour
1 Deleted Scenes
Production Notes
1 Documentaries
5 Featurette(s)
Storyboard
1 Feature/Episode commentary by John Roecker, Billie Joe Armstrong, Jane Wiedlin
Packaging: Amaray Double
Picture Disc
2 Discs
2-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. Soundtrack CD
  2. Insert booklet
Extras Review: Wellspring has top-loaded this release with extras, including a bonus 21-song soundtrack CD (39m:17s). The CD includes all of the original songs and music, such Billie Joe Armstrong's Mechanical Man and the big titular finale with Jane Wiedlin, Jen Johnson, and Kim Chi. On its own, the soundtrack works very well as an oddball disc to pop in, especially the original instrumental music from Faith No More's Roddy Bottum and Rancid's Tim Armstrong

The DVD features a commentary from director John Roecker, Billie Joe Armstrong, and Jane Wiedlin. Aside from revealing the secret location of Viggo Mortenson's head in one scene, the chatter is giggly, mumbly and lightweight, made all the more surreal by the dominant presence of Wiedlin's chirpy, helium-esque voice.

A quickie of a deleted scene (:34s) sports a baby slaughtering a pig, and nearly half of the runtime is a title card describing the scene, so in actuality the scene runs about 15 seconds. The behind-the-scenes section features Making the Puppets Speak (15m:16s), with rough and tumble footage of Billie Joe Armstrong, Jane Wiedlin, Davey Havok, Lars Frederiksen, and John Doe recording their various bits of dialogue. The Recordings and Rehearsals section has behind-the-scenes looks at the making of the music video for Mechanical Man (01m:38s), clips from the recording of the Original Title Score (05m:42s) featuring Jen Johnson and Blink 182's Travis Barker and as well as scenes from the Recording "Your Blood Will Set You Free" (11m:00s). There's also storyboards, a peek at the filming of the film's only live action section—Desert Footage (02m:04s)—and a music video for Mechanical Man (03m:01s).

A glossy six-page insert booklet carries an interview with John Roecker, answering such questions as what effect would Live Freaky! like to have on an audience, and what the main point of the film is. This interview provides more answers than the commentary does, so I guess that's a good thing.

The film is cut into 12 chapters, and features optional English subtitles.

Extras Grade: B+

 

Final Comments

There's a real trick bag here, because condemning the unrated/uncensored version of John Roecker's film will likely label one a prude or someone who just doesn't "get" it. But that's oversimplifying things, because it takes a lot to shock or stun me anymore, and not completely liking Live Freaky! Die Freaky! has nothing to do with the graphic absurdity of the content.

The hipness of the cast and the solid soundtrack aside, the plot itself relies too heavily on bursts of juvenile sex humor when a retelling of the Charles Manson story should be consistently dark and terrifying, something that shows glimmers of promise in the stop-motion/claymation approach used here.

The idea and presentation never live up its potential—and Roecker seems to try too hard to shock—but Wellspring has included a soundtrack CD with this release that is excellent on its own. Just don't make the mistake of picking up this unrated/uncensored version for your favorite 14-year-old fan of Green Day or Good Charlotte (and they are legion) because this is the equivalent of puppet porn.

 


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 



Microsoft Store

Keywords

horror, music, nick jonas, jonas brothers, jason evigan, r&b, chains, comedy, television, donna dixon, bosom buddies, dan aykroyd, james brown biopic, get on up, saturday night live, doctor detroit, fx, fargo, martin freeman, billy bob thornton, allison tolman, animation, drama, tca awards, breaking bad, true detective, matther mcconaughey, hbo, itunes festival 2014, september, pharrell williams, kylie minogue, maroon 5, david guetta, sam smith, blondie, beck, kasabian, movie, philip seymour hoffman, february death, cooper, tallulah, willa, mimi odonnell, james cahill jr., david friedman, box office, movies, action, app, james garner, maverick, the rockford files, devine secrets of the ya-ya sisterhood, 8 simple rules, the children's hour, doris day, reality, marvel comics, thor, femail, god of thunder, mjolmir, super hero, johnny winter, blues guitar player, zurich switzerland, johnny winter album, willie dixon, walter horton, sex tape, the purge: anarchy, planes: fire & rescue, dawn of the planet of the apes, documentary, soccer, world cup, germany, argentina, mario goetze, dancing with the stars, abc, cheryl burke, botox, no eating disorder, no plastic surgery, simian flu, matt reeves, rick jaffa, amada silver, mark bomback, andy serkis, jason clark, keri russell, kodi smit-mcphee and gary oldman

On Kindle!
On Facbook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too
Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact