Reviews - Specialty Releases


Film Review: Last Days Here

A living horror show, rocker Bobby Liebling’s sad, appalling tale is told in a film that will have some niche appeal but little else.

March 1, 2012

-By David Noh


filmjournal/photos/stylus/1315078-Last_Days_Here_Md.jpg

For movie details, please click here.

Diane and Joe Liebling of Germantown, Maryland, surely deserve some kind of medal for parental tolerance. Residing in their basement for decades is their son, Bobby Liebling, the burnt-out, drug-addicted rocker whose seminal 1970s band, Pentagram, never lived up to its initial, considerable promise, largely due to his self-destructive ways.

Co-directors Don Argott and Demian Fenton have literally dug up this fascinating, if rather stomach-turning, subject for their awestruck documentary Last Days Here, likening him to a caveman in ice. Liebling, toothless and frighteningly gaunt, is anything but camera-friendly, and when you factor in his paranoid delusion that parasites are eating him alive, causing him to hideously claw at his own flesh, it’s something of a grim prospect for the viewer. But it’s the music that matters here—Liebling was a definite pioneer of doom metal—and for three years the filmmakers follow Sean “Pellet” Pelletier, his diehard manager, who is determined to score his idol one last chance at a recording. Although most people around him, including his mother, expect him to completely self-destruct, Liebling tells the filmmakers, “If you want me around, I’ll stick around.” He even signs a contract with Pelletier, promising to lay off the drugs, with the condition that, should he relapse, he will give up his entire record collection.

Talent aside, there’s nothing duller than the rantings of an addict trying to self-cure, and Liebling is no exception, even at one point evoking “sex, drugs and rock-and-roll” as his mea culpa. Thank God, then, for those parents, who emerge as the real, compelling protagonists of the film. Despite every setback, which includes a jail stint for their son which occurred during the filming and is frustratingly glossed over, they have implicit belief in his talent, not to mention unconditional love. Joe served as Defense Department adviser to a string of U.S. presidents and admits to having spent more than $1 million on Bobby, only hoping for him to “be in the range of normalcy.” Diane is equally likeable, bustling about her crowded kitchen over a pot of chili while discussing the living corpse in her basement, to whom she brings Fig Newtons and assures for the umpteenth time that no, he doesn’t have parasites.


Film Review: Last Days Here

A living horror show, rocker Bobby Liebling’s sad, appalling tale is told in a film that will have some niche appeal but little else.

March 1, 2012

-By David Noh


filmjournal/photos/stylus/1315078-Last_Days_Here_Md.jpg

For movie details, please click here.

Diane and Joe Liebling of Germantown, Maryland, surely deserve some kind of medal for parental tolerance. Residing in their basement for decades is their son, Bobby Liebling, the burnt-out, drug-addicted rocker whose seminal 1970s band, Pentagram, never lived up to its initial, considerable promise, largely due to his self-destructive ways.

Co-directors Don Argott and Demian Fenton have literally dug up this fascinating, if rather stomach-turning, subject for their awestruck documentary Last Days Here, likening him to a caveman in ice. Liebling, toothless and frighteningly gaunt, is anything but camera-friendly, and when you factor in his paranoid delusion that parasites are eating him alive, causing him to hideously claw at his own flesh, it’s something of a grim prospect for the viewer. But it’s the music that matters here—Liebling was a definite pioneer of doom metal—and for three years the filmmakers follow Sean “Pellet” Pelletier, his diehard manager, who is determined to score his idol one last chance at a recording. Although most people around him, including his mother, expect him to completely self-destruct, Liebling tells the filmmakers, “If you want me around, I’ll stick around.” He even signs a contract with Pelletier, promising to lay off the drugs, with the condition that, should he relapse, he will give up his entire record collection.

Talent aside, there’s nothing duller than the rantings of an addict trying to self-cure, and Liebling is no exception, even at one point evoking “sex, drugs and rock-and-roll” as his mea culpa. Thank God, then, for those parents, who emerge as the real, compelling protagonists of the film. Despite every setback, which includes a jail stint for their son which occurred during the filming and is frustratingly glossed over, they have implicit belief in his talent, not to mention unconditional love. Joe served as Defense Department adviser to a string of U.S. presidents and admits to having spent more than $1 million on Bobby, only hoping for him to “be in the range of normalcy.” Diane is equally likeable, bustling about her crowded kitchen over a pot of chili while discussing the living corpse in her basement, to whom she brings Fig Newtons and assures for the umpteenth time that no, he doesn’t have parasites.
Post a Comment
Asterisk (*) is a required field.
* Author: 
Rate This Article: (1=Bad, 5=Perfect)

*Comment:
 

More Specialty Releases

Fanny
Film Review: Fanny

"Classic" is a word all too casually bandied about, but for Daniel Auteuil's screen adaptation of this beloved French trilogy it is completely apropos. More »

Alive Inside
Film Review: Alive Inside

Incredibly moving and powerful documentary about combatting Alzheimer's with music. Without the use of a single CGI effect, you see literal miracles happening here. More »

A Five Star Life
Film Review: A Five Star Life

With a lot of travelogue-type footage and some introspection, director Maria Sole Tognazzi’s A Five Star Life finds a new angle to the women’s issues we thought we already settled, or at least had enough of for now. More »

Aftermath
Film Review: Aftermath

Imagine Night of the Living Dead, then take away the zombies and add radiation sickness: The result would be something like this claustrophobic post-nuclear apocalypse tale about how quickly civilized people revert once civilization is gone. More »

ADVERTISEMENT



REVIEWS

Sex Tape review
Film Review: Sex Tape

Couple's homemade porn circulates on the web in an R-rated comedy that wastes the talents of its stars. More »

The Purge: Anarchy
Film Review: The Purge: Anarchy

A modest but noticeable improvement on its predecessor, The Purge: Anarchy offers a more effective—if still far from ideal—realization of the series' killer premise. More »

Player for the Film Journal International website.


ADVERTISEMENT



INDUSTRY GUIDES

» Blue Sheets
FJI's guide to upcoming movie releases, including films in production and development. Check back weekly for the latest additions.

» Distribution Guide
» Equipment Guide
» Exhibition Guide

ORDER A PRINT SUBSCRIPTION

Film Journal International

Subscribe to the monthly print edition of Film Journal International and get the full visual impact of this valuable resource for the cinema business.

» Click Here

SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

Learn how to promote your company at the Film Expo Group events: ShowEast, CineEurope, and CineAsia.

» Click Here