“And the Oscar for best supporting actor goes to … Mr. Pat Smear.”
“Wait, you mean Pat Smear of the Foo Fighters? That Pat Smear?”
“That very one.”
“Are you serious?”
“I am not.”
OK, so neither Pat Smear nor any of the Foo Fighters, even leader Dave Grohl, will be bounding down the aisle to collect a trophy for their work in the gross horror-comedy “Studio 666” (R, 106 minutes, in theaters). But the film, directed by BJ McDonnell, who also made the classic “Hatchet III” (yeah, I didn’t see it, either), is often bust-a-gut funny, and the Foos deliver most of the yuks. If you don’t mind spraying blood and other forms of violent excess, you might want to check it out.
The story: The Foo Fighters have struggled to get their 10th album recorded. Their manager (Jeff Garlin) suggests they move into a mansion in Encino, California, to focus their attention and get it done.
Ah, but there’s a catch: Another band once tried to record there and a slaughter ensued, with demonic possession of some sort involved.
This doesn’t bode well for Grohl and bandmates Taylor Hawkins, Rami Jaffee, Chris Shiflett, Nate Mendell and Smear.
From the start, Grohl has issues. He struggles with what he calls “songwriting constipation.” Then he is visited by the disapproving specter of Lionel Richie. Then he goes into a basement and … well, I don’t want to give everything away. Let’s just say ol’ Dave turns into a hard-rock Jack Torrence.
With Grohl becoming increasingly unhinged, the film works as a funny spoof of how rock stars can become egomaniacal artistes indulged by everyone around them. After Grohl falls under the control of an evil spirit, for instance, he insists that his band play his new creation in “L-sharp.”
Other comic moments include someone saying of the Foo Fighters, “You’re my second favorite band after Coldplay!” Plus, there’s the appearance of a sacrificial raccoon.
And then there’s Smear, who’s easily my favorite person/character in the movie (also appearing: Whitney Cummings as a neighbor and Will Forte as a delivery guy). The guitarist plays it low-key compared to the rest of the cast, and, given the insanity surrounding him, that makes his performance all the more uproarious. *** (out of four)
** Click here for Tim Miller’s previous movie columns for Cape Cod Wave **
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Tim Miller is a Cape-based member of the Boston Society of Film Critics. He and Tony Raine host “Tim ’n’ Tony’s Rock ’n’ Pop Show” from midnight to 2 a.m. Sunday nights/Monday mornings on WOMR (92.1-FM), WFMR (91.3-FM) and womr.org (archived shows at https://womr.org/schedule/broadcast-archive/). He also teaches film and journalism at Cape Cod Community College in West Barnstable. You can contact Tim at [email protected] or follow him onTwitter @TimMillerCritic. Or you can ignore him completely.