Friday, May 22, 2009

Mayhem at the Cinema

There is going to be a movie made about the story of Varg Vikernes and the band Mayhem. It's a story about murder, Satanism, arson, and various forms of insanity in a repressed, depressed, rather cold country (Norway was not always the same-sex-marrying smile factory it is today). It is apparently going to be at least a little based on the totally awesome book, Lords of Chaos, and going to be directed by Sion Sono, who previously made Suicide Club. Not a bad sign.

On the other hand, the film's American producers have determined that it is going to be "a story of youth and youthful energy," and it is going to "fall under the teen film category." One of the most twisted stories in musical history is going to be turned into some American Pie-ed version of Rebel Without a Cause.

And to boot, Varg Vikernes, crazy insane arsonist and murderer, is going to be played by Jackson Rathbone, star of Twilight.

Let me re-emphasize this. The famed neo-nazi neo-pagan erstwhile-Satanist crackpot producer of amazing atmospheric black metal:

is going to be played by the boy who gives the best kisses!

For the record, it's very possible that the film is still salvageable. Sono is clearly a good director and to be fair I have not actually watched Rathbone's acting. That said, I know the story very well, and like many metalheads, I'm sure, I have thought about this as a potential movie. In my head, though, it was always a story about Dead (Per Yngve Ohlin, Mayhem's singer, committed suicide). He seemed to be insane in a much more endearing way than Vikernes. For that matter, it could be a story of comparative insanity. Put the messiah-complex story of Varg next to the tragic, inward, dark soul moping of Dead, throw in the histrionic ambitiousness of Øystein Aarseth (Euronymous, guitarist from Mayhem, killed by Varg), and you've got a movie that not only connects with teens' assorted neuroses, but can still keep the interest of an adult cinemaphile.

I'd like it a lot if they did this well.


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