MOVIE REVIEW: Iwrestledabearonce in “A Beary Scary Movie”

Film: A Beary Scary Movie
Director: Justin Beasley
Studio: KOTK Productions / Century Media Records
Release: Spring 2012

(Caution: light spoilers ahead. If you want to know absolutely nothing about the plot, read the first and last paragraph only).

Iwrestledabearonce are a band unafraid to hoist the flag of metal high into the sky and venture into unknown territory. Since forming in 2007 they have, at a relentless pace, set the heavy world ablaze with their technical take on the genre while simultaneously ushering throngs of new listeners into the scene with a bombastic stage show and ridiculously witty marketing tactics. It’s as if they found a way to make not giving a fuck look cool while remaining the smartest people in the room with a childish sense of wonder and it has all lead to their very first film, A Beary Scary Movie.

Filmed on a microbudget of $25,000 in an abandoned pantyhose factory in North Carolina this past July, A Beary Scary Movie finds the members of IWABO fighting for their lives, cracking jokes, and performing while paying homage to nearly every classic horror film imaginable*. It’s the night of a big gig and the members of IWABO are embroiled in a murder investigation following the slaying of the evening’s opening act by way of a blade-carrying killer. Southern-twang’d, slow-witted police believe the group to have committed the crime, though they have no evidence, and decide to detain the members until answers can be found. This of course lends itself to a plethora of witty moments, both through dialogue and action, but also gives us an ample amount of victims.

Not long after the openers’ corpses are found, the band encounters a creepy janitor (referred to as such) who tells of a fallen egotistical 80’s metal guitarist known as Shreddy that perished during an accident on a late-night metal TV show and is now out for revenge through dreams (think Freddy Krueger meets Eddie Van Halen with Dee Snider’s hair and a guitar that can literally kill you). Thinking the man crazy, the band disregard his words entirely until their Eli, their beloved merch guy, is murdered before their eyes. From here, it’s all about staying awake to stay alive and as well all know, that’s easier said than done.

It may not be the dramatic turn of the century, but A Beary Scary Movie is without a doubt the best metal-themed film I’ve ever seen. Iwabo accept that they’re silly and run with it, making for some of most jaw-dropping, laugh-out loud moments in recent cinematic history, all while creating a believable realm for Shreddy to terrorize. Writer/Director Justin Beasley truly outdid himself this time and something tells me the results will be talked about for years to come. If you can see this film and have any passion at all for metal or horror, do so as soon as you possibly can. You won’t regret it.

Review written by: James Shotwell

* = I should note, the version of the film shown at the premiere was the very first “final cut” of the film. The version released next year (Spring 2012) will likely differ in some ways, but the majority of this review should still be relevant.

James Shotwell
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