Like a lot of folks around my approximate age, I keep in mind the days of Twisted Sister in the early and mid-1980s, and the launch of their careers into the stratosphere by means of comprehensive airplay of their videos “I Wanna Rock” and “We’re Not Gonna Take It,” one of which included Mark Metcalf, who played Neidermeyer in Animal Residence. Like a lot of individuals around my approximate age, I had little information of the story of the band and their existence to that point, and Andrew Horn’s documentary (titled “We Are Twisted Fucking Sister!”) tries to explain this.
Rather than serve as a career retrospective, the story of Twisted Sister began a decade before the release of its very first album, in clubs in Lengthy Island, New York and New Jersey. The band played covers from David Bowie and Mott the Hoople among other individuals and ultimately hired Dee Snider (then in a band of his own in the location at the time) to front the band. The group began their ascent as Dee and guitarist Jay Jay French would do what they could to stir audience response, and a single night they held up a ‘Disco Sucks!’ sign and that began to plant seeds of interest from the individuals.
Even though the band had not recorded an album, they have been carrying out just about almost everything else in the course of their decade ahead of stardom. They did merchandising, had a fan club, toured England, and although they didn’t have a lot of nationwide or international reputation, these who did see them have been their most significant fans, like a record executive who was threatened with his job if he didn’t cease talking about them at 1 point. They got to England, caught the eye of an executive over there, and dominoes sooner or later started to fall.
Horn interviews the band’s existing and former members along with management and fans as they speak about some of the items they did and the memorable experiences in the years just before generating it large. And all through the film (a mammoth two hours and thirteen minutes, I’ll add), you can see that it really is not just a really like letter to the band but its need to show that there was some sense of…nightlife(? Society?) in that area and what folks liked and did not, the lengths that the musicians took to do some of the things they did, and the film captures these issues nicely. The final thoughts from Snider and French about the break to stardom is a little bit telling too there is some regret in producing some of the choices they did, and possibly they alienated some of their longtime fans in the process, but Twisted appears to have identified a sense of closure to their arc as a band and continues playing today.
In a quiet and wise way “We Are Twisted Fucking Sister!” both covers the roots of the band and also serves as a statement by those still related with them now. It not only gives the novice a deep dive into the workings of the band but shows their motivation and desires in playing, laughs at their errors and revels in their judgments. It is a film by a fan, for the fans.
The film is presented in 1.78:1 widescreen and makes use of the AVC codec for its 1080i presentation, with the disc seeking just fine. It juggles a variety of sources like camcorder footage at club shows, stills, old British television show footage is all incorporated into the mix with the modern interviews and factors appear fine all through. Interviews look extremely good and possess ample color reproduction with tiny noise or saturation troubles that weren’t already inherent in the source. This is quality viewing.
Two DTS-HD Master Audio lossless tracks, and I went for the 5.1 over the two-channel selection. The music sounds clean as can be and the interviews are related. There is a lack of channel panning or directional effects to this track, and the subwoofer does engage, albeit sparingly more than the course of the film. But it is fine listening.
You get extra footage. A LOT of extra footage. It’s thrown into a variety of topics (“The Clubs,” “The Fans” and “Attitude” amongst them) and there are a number of interviews in every single. Operating a little longer than the film itself (2:21:44), it is a worthy complement to the film. Horn also contributes a commentary which touches on his connection to the band, how he got some of the interview subjects and material for the film. He supplies backstories on a lot of folks and stories in the film, even though calling it the “Ben-Hur of rock documentaries.” It is a track that is much more remembrance of the events than on the production which is fine. There is also a trailer (2:23).
I came into “We Are Twisted Fucking Sister!” not realizing what to expect of a band that had a couple of hits then went away. I left with a deeper appreciation and understanding of their story and feel that the film does a good job in illustrating that they could deserve a deeper spot in rock history than what they have. Technically, the disc is strong and the additional material and commentary are good. The film has been out for some time now and if you happen to be searching for a alter of pace (and a pleasant surprise), this may possibly be the factor for you.
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