ARROW has announced the exclusive premiere of The El Duce Tapes, the new X-rated music documentary about El Duce, the self-styled “King of Sleaze”, a legendary underground figure who once boasted he was asked to kill Kurt Cobain for $50,000. Directed by Rodney Ascher and David Lawrence, with interviews directed by Ryan Sexton, The El Duce Tapes is an outrageous expose of a rocker described on national television as a “disgusting pervert”, a hugely divisive, troubled figure who was a skilled musician and relentless provocateur.
Since the world premiere at the Hot Docs International Documentary Festival, The El Duce Tapes have provoked strong, often contradictory feelings. CineVue called the footage “One of the best music docs to come along in a while” while The Last Thing I See hailed it as “by turns powerful and harrowing and disgusting and stomach churning.” Flickering Myth highlighted the “treasure trove of recently-unearthed VHS footage” while admitting “some will simply find El Duce and his music too repulsive to entertain, yet this deftly-edited doc provides a comprehensive account of the man, while underlining our own tirelessly complicit thirst for controversy”.
In the early 90s, aspiring filmmaker (and “General Hospital” co-star) Ryan Sexton lugged a giant camcorder into some of the seediest clubs and filthiest apartments in Hollywood. There he filmed hour upon hour of VHS footage of the jaw-droppingly offensive Shock Rock band The Mentors, focusing on their infamous lead singer, “El Duce.”
Almost 30 years later, the team behind The Nightmare and Room 237 uncover this dusty stockpile of long forgotten – and much unseen – footage. They begin to search for clues to piece together a picture of the man under the black executioner’s hood and what his wilfully offensive act and controversial views might tell us about 21st Century America.
ARROW began streaming with headliners The Deeper You Dig, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Crumbs, The Hatred, Cold Light of Day, Videoman and The Herschell Gordon Lewis Feast. Also immediately available are perennial Halloween hits Hellraiser 1 & 2, Elvira: Mistress of the Dark, Ringu, the complete Gamera series, as well as full collections from the ARROW archives packed with exclusive extras, rarely seen interviews and documentaries.
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