FILM REVIEW | STUDIO 666
photo manipulation by nacrowe
iconic ALTERNATIVE ROCK musician DAVE GROHL of NIRVANA / FOO FIGHTERS fame has been on a bit of a creative streak the past few years, diversifying his many interests into a string of well-received documentaries and HBO specials centered on the role of music and its many facets (production, recording, touring, inspiration) in society. it doesnt seem that far-fetched that the next outlandish GROHL production would be a schlocky HORROR film that effectively parodied his self-perception as the slavedriver of the FOO FIGHTERS.
in STUDIO 666 (ROSWELL FILMS, 2022), whose title is a reference to the band's longstanding BURBANK recording facility STUDIO 606, GROHL is demonically possessed after setting up shop in an old abandoned hillside estate and recording there. again, this conceit is parodying GROHL's recent real-life proclivity for cooking up ever more outlandish concepts for recording albums (i.e. his home on tape for WASTING LIGHT or utilizing studios across AMERICA in SONIC HIGHWAYS, each studio a different song about that city). its pretty funny that its actually conceivable that recording in a haunted house would could probably be the hook or premise of an actual FOO FIGHTERS album (or even recording in space or on ANTARCTICA or in a submarine).
now i will fully admit that i am not a fan of HORROR films, especially the 1970s and 1980s SLASHER variety that thrives on gore and jump scares. its arguably the only genre i avoid. exceptions include early GERMAN EXPRESSIONIST films and the later inspired series of UNIVERSAL MONSTER movies. but in STUDIO 666 i see much less GEORGE ROMERO or TOBE HOOPER and much more HERSCHEL GORDON LEWIS or even MEL BROOKS. in essence the violence is so over-the-top and ridiculously that its beyond hilarious. its very much reminiscent of DRACULA: DEAD AND LOVING IT (BROOKSFILMS, 1995) with regard to how the ultra-violence is interpreted and ultimately perceived.
obviously the real-world passing of drummer TAYLOR HAWKINS a month after STUDIO 666's release makes watching it a bittersweet experience. there has been quite a bit of discussion and controversy over a universally derided hit piece by the ROLLING STONE which essentially stated that HAWKINS was overworked and suffering from exhaustion and was looking to limit the band's brutal touring schedule before and up to the time of his passing. people close to the band have bitterly stated that this is complete utter bullshit, but its still uncomfortable that the subtext of the film's basic plot surrounds the band going along with GROHL idiosyncratic notions despite their own reservations. its just a little unnerving and odd, thats all.
my hope is that GROHL will continue when the time's right and find the proper creative venue for his passion of connecting people through music. its what he does and to me that is what the FOO FIGHTERS legacy very much is about. even this goofy and schlocky labour of love deep down is ultimately about that need to connect and find a sense of community (in METAL!!!!).
sending all my love to the band at this horrible moment.
R.I.P. TAYLOR HAWKINS