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OzzyApu, October 28th, 2009

This release was the last one to hold fans over while they waited for The Headless Children. Two years after the release of Inside The Electric Circus and they were begging for something. The live album had already been done, so why not regurgitate all the videos up to this point and string it between interviews as a documentary! For most bands, this would utterly fail, but W.A.S.P.’s videos go perfectly with their respective songs and the antics shown as each member tells their tale; we see what went on behind the scenes of the band.

Not only can you find all of W.A.S.P.’s videos on Youtube, but you can pretty much find this as well, which is how I’m reviewing the album since this is bar none pretty much a collectors item (as in only a collector would fork over the hundreds of dollars required to own this). The quality is particularly good for an 80s band documentary, but there isn’t any real standard to compare it to besides This Is Spinal Tap. There isn’t much fuzz, so everything from speech to miscellaneous noises to the instruments are all pretty clear. The quality itself is pretty damn good for online, which is still amazing as it comes from a VHS over twenty years old. No real issues stem from cut-ups, poor editing, or the usual issues that you’d find from films from someone like Uwe Boll.

As for the content once again, you go from interviews primarily with Blackie and Holmes – Lawless is mainly shown on his ranch with boot that make mine look like sneakers, while Holmes has a full bottle that’s probably less tipsy than he is during the interview (he even knocks it over without noticing). We get brief discussions with the other members, Johnny Rod and Steven Riley. They pretty much only tell their story, especially at this time where W.A.S.P. was mainly the project of both Holmes and Blackie.

Between these interviews and random concert shots are the actual music videos for multiple songs spanning their first three albums (and then some). They are shown in their entirety and are quite varied without even considering the tracks themselves. The videos are shown in chronological order as the band progresses from the early days of Sister into the more stadium epics of Inside The Electric Circus and other songs thereafter. However, I find that they slow the pace / flow of the film; a clip of each music video would be sufficient for me, since the interviews are so interesting that you’d rather hear them talk about the band then watch videos the whole time.

It’s a nice collection – like they gathered all of their music videos up to that point (1988), but the things Holmes and Lawless toss to the interviewer are hilarious. For instance, how Lawless found out about Holmes is one of the most laughable discoveries of any band member, ever. Otherwise, it’s very informative; a lot of explanation goes into what W.A.S.P. were all about in the early days leading up to, and surrounding, the debut. This includes all the antics, aesthetics, what lead to the creation of certain songs, projects, and the events dealing with P.M.R.C., son.

I won’t give the whole thing away, but I’ll definitely end by saying that any W.A.S.P. fan that hasn’t seen this ought to give it a go. There’s a ton you’ll learn from it and it’s a great recap that’ll make you wish you were living in the ‘80s when this band was at their live peak. What’s depressing is how this would be one of the last visual moments where Blackie isn’t scarred. Overall he’s pretty chill in this, but he has that growing anger in his eyes that’ll turn into resentment after the release of The Headless Children.