Run time: 1 hour 46 minutes
Director: BJ McDonnell
Writer: Dave Grohl (Story), Jeff Buhler & Rebecca Hughes (Screenplay)
Starring: Dave Grohl, Taylor Hawkins, Rami Jaffee, Chris Shiflett, Pat Smear, Nate Mendel, Jeff Garlin, Leslie Grossman and Jenna Ortega
When I first heard that the Foo Fighters were making a horror movie I knew I HAD to see it. They’ve made some crazy video clips over the years so I knew this was going to be epic and thankfully Australia scored a four-day cinema release this month so we could see Studio 666 in all it’s glory. I even convinced my non-horror friend to come see it by telling her to think of it as a long Foo Fighters video-clip, but during the week I got an email to let me know the movie was rated R which could mean it’s either heavy on the swearing or heavy on the blood and guts and just hoped I wasn’t about to traumatise her too much. I avoided the trailers as much as possible because they tend to give too much away these days.
No horror movie would be complete without an opening kill scene to set the tone of the film. They take us back to Encino, 1993, where we watch as a young woman (played by Jenna Ortega) dragging herself across the floor, her thigh-bone sticking out of her leg, a man behind her with a hammer ready to strike and what’s left of some guys face on the other side of the room. Straight up we know this movie is going to be gory!
The plot is quite simple: The Foo Fighters are about to record their tenth album and it needs to bring something new to the table. They don’t want to use the music studios around town because they all sound the same so they’re sent to check out a house in Encino where Dave decides the acoustics are the sound of their next album. While he claps we get flashes of demonic faces and the rest of the band stand there not seeming to hear anything special. Dave later gets the guys together to listen to some riffs he’s working on when one of them points out he’s playing ‘All My Life‘. Next he’s playing ‘Everlong‘. Suddenly, Dave realises all his best songs are already written and his career is over. One night while watching YouTube videos to get over his writer’s block, he goes looking in the basement and finds a dead animal gutted and hanging up on the wall and a recording from the band Dream Widow who stayed there previously. After headbanging to the intro where the song suddenly stops, Dave is possessed by evil spirits that need him to finish writing the song.
Watching this gave me flashbacks to horror movies in the 80’s; proper 80’s – not this Stranger Things crap everyone keeps regurgitating. The 80’s gave us movies like Trick Or Treat and Black Roses: movies with heavy metal, rock and roll bands and demonic curses. We had movies with creepy scores, deep demonic voices, questionable acting, the weird townie and special effects makeup that had you growing up wondering if heads really could explode that easily. Studio 666 gives us not so subtle hints of The Evil Dead and a nod to The Exorcist thrown in. We even get a cameo from 80’s icon Lionel Ritchie! The film has some big names in horror behind the scenes too: we have Tony Gardner (Seed Of Chucky/Freaks Of Nature/Army Of Darkness) in the makeup department and horror legend John Carpenter wrote the theme music.
This movie delivers gallons of blood, projectile vomiting, cannibalism and between the kill scenes and the non-stop bitching between band members you’ll be laughing from start to finish. Afterwards, I asked my friend her thoughts and she was impressed with the chainsaw sex scene – I have to admit I was too. The only thing that could have made this film better was a Jack Black cameo.
Are you a diehard Foo Fighters fan? Hopefully you managed to get tickets to their ONLY Aussie show this week (read about it here).
Review by Kim Anderson (@kimshootsthings)
Find Studio 666 showtimes at your local cinema here
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