Heavy Metal started out of an article about the band that Vice magazine ran in 2004. Unable to shake the idea of these four musicians struggling to make a go of the rock and roll life in the middle of a war zone, a pair of Vice journalist/filmmakers (Eddy Moretti and Suroosh Alvi) went to Iraq a year later to find out what was going on with the band. What the rather raggedly produced film still manages to vividly put across is that, like many elements of Iraqi society, after the 2003 American invasion, things for the band members went from bad to worse. Under Saddam Hussein, Acrassicauda (a superbly metal name, it comes from the Latin for "black scorpion" and is regularly misspelled by the band members) were barely allowed to play, which was insult enough. But in Baghdad's post-invasion sectarian tumult, the English-speaking metalheads were seen as practically infidels; in a bitterly comic aside, one of them notes how some Islamists claimed that the longhaired headbangers were actually singing Jewish prayers and so deserved to die. Death threats and accusations of Satan worship were par for the course.
Continue reading: Heavy Metal In Baghdad Review
On his very first assignment, "Vulgar," as he goes by after hours, finds himself beaten and gang raped by a group of horny guys. Oops. No sooner has Vulgar/Flappy recovered than he saves a young girl from her murderous father, lands on the talk show circuit, and soon is offered his own kids' TV show. Soon enough, the hillbilly types catch up with him and attempt to blackmail him for the inevitable videotape of the night. Pulp Fiction-style revenge ensues.
Continue reading: Vulgar Review
'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.
The two awards have made for a great 72nd birthday present for the country music icon.