The MetalSucks Guide to SXSW 2014: The Metal Flicks – “The Metallers Are Just Out To Party!”

  • Corey Mitchell
The MetalSucks Guide to SXSW 2014: The Metal Flicks – “The Metallers Are Just Out To Party!”
Hellion Cast & Director Kat Candler

SXSW is offering up slim pickings this year as far as films with a metal element to them are concerned. But what they do have looks good as usual. Many of these films may not seem like they pertain to metal at first glance, but that metal sound comes from somewhere.

Below are the SXSW-provided descriptions of each film along with their screening times and locations. I hope to review as many of these as possible for upcoming posts on MetalSucks. I’ll also be scouting several horror films and metal bands for possible inclusion at this year’s Housecore Horror Film Festival.

Check out our complete listings of metal showcases and metal panels as well.





* Full disclosure – I worked as the music supervisor, music consultant, and true crime consultant for Hellion director Kat Candler’s 2013 short film Black Metal.

** Hellion also features actor Jonny Mars, who starred in Black Metal and the short film version of Hellion.

*** Hellion features music from Metallica, Slayer, and The Sword.

A portrait of a family on the brink of dissolution set against the haunting backdrop of the refineries of Southeast Texas. Obsessed with metal and motocross, the actions of 13-year-old Jacob have begun to raise concerns, especially when they start to involve his little brother Wes. While the boys’ father Hollis (played by Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul) loves his sons, he is still reeling from the loss of their mother, spending more time at the bar or working on his damaged beach house than with them. When the authorities catch wind of the increasingly volatile situation, Wes is taken into custody by his Aunt Pam. In Wes’ absence, Jacob becomes increasingly driven by two things: winning a motocross race and getting his brother back.

Screening Times: Sunday, March 9 @2:15pm – Topfer Theatre at ZACH, Wednesday, March 12 @7:00pm – Topfer Theatre at ZACH

Jimi: All Is By My Side

OutKast’s André Benjamin stars as Jimi Hendrix in this revealing biopic from writer-director John Ridley (“12 Years A Slave”). Covering a year in Hendrix’s life from 1966-67 as an unknown backup guitarist playing New York’s Cheetah Club to making his mark in London’s music scene up until his Monterey Pop triumph, the film presents an intimate portrait of the sensitive young musician on the verge of becoming a rock legend.

Screening Time: Wednesday, March 12 @9:00pm – Paramount Theatre




All-America High Revisited

*Not sure if it’s metal, but one guy talks about the “metallers” as a group of students. Curious if he remained a metalhead or if he sold out, bought a soccer mom van, and listens to Rush Limbaugh now?

“The metallers are just out to party!”

In 1984—before cell phones, the web, and reality TV, a young director set out to document a year in the life of a typical California high school. The result was All America High, an unusually honest and humorous look at 80’s teen life. The Hollywood Reporter found it “fascinating and insightful” and The Village Voice called it “a laugh out loud documentary.” Told through the eyes of a visiting foreign exchange student, the film presents an uncensored view of senior year in the era of big hair, punks and parachute pants. Thirty years after they lived it, some of the film’s original subjects return in new interviews, revisiting one of the most memorable chapters in their lives.

Screening Times: Sunday, March 9 @ 4:30pm – SXSatellite – Marchesa, Wednesday, March 12 @ 2pm, SXSatellite – Marchesa

For Those About to Rock: The Story of Rodrigo Y Gabriela

This is the story of Rodrigo Sánchez and Gabriela Quintero, two Mexicans who at a very early age decided to take the risk to pursue their dreams to live from what they loved the most: music. The combination of their adventurous spirits, a lot of hard work and a little bit of luck, took them from performing at anonymous hotels and restaurants in Ixtapa, in their native Mexico, to -just a few years afterwards-, playing their acoustic guitars on the stages of the most important venues and festivals around the world. For Those About to Rock narrates their amazing and inspiring journey, which teaches its viewers that is possible to live one’s wildest dreams.

Screening Time: Saturday, March 15 @2:00pm – Paramount Theatre

Johnny Winter: Down & Dirty 

*Directed by Greg Olliver, who also directed the excellent documentary Lemmy.

Speaking about Johnny Winter, Muddy Waters said “When I first heard him, I thought he was one of the greatest blues players in the business.” Lemmy co-director/producer Greg Olliver spent two years following Johnny from his home in Connecticut to France, Japan and beyond to create an intimate portrait of the Texas musician who played Woodstock, partied with the Rolling Stones and John Belushi, dated Janis Joplin, and jammed with Jimi Hendrix. Aptly named Johnny Winter: Down & Dirty by Johnny himself, this documentary explores what it’s like to live a life of sex, drugs and rock & roll debauchery with only a few regrets… but not without consequences.

Screening Times: Wednesday, March 12 @6:45pm – Alamo Ritz 1, Thursday, March 13 @7:00pm – Vimeo Theater

Obey The Artist

Obey the Artist travels deep inside Shepard Fairey’s creative process, exploring how politics and music inform his iconographic work. Tracing his punk rock roots from his early days of rigging copy machines and tagging to helming a thriving, independent business by harnessing the power of technology, the film follows Fairey as he transforms a photograph by National Geographic’s Aaron Huey from a digital print to the streets of L.A. in the form of a remarkable 12-foot mural in order to give voice to the forgotten history of Native Americans. The latest in a series from A Total Disruption, Obey The Artist looks at this groundbreaking artist who is innovating his independence.

Screening Times: Saturday, March 8 @2:15pm – Topfer Theatre at ZACH, Monday, March 10 @4:30pm – SXSatellite: Marchesa, Thursday, March 13 @2:00pm – Vimeo Theater, Saturday, March 15 @11:00am – Rollins Theatre at The Long Center


In his directorial debut, Mike Myers documents the astounding career of Hollywood legend Shep Gordon. Following a chance encounter with Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix, Shep went on to manage an eclectic list of artists including Alice Cooper, Blondie, and Anne Murray. He produced films, invented the celebrity chef, and worked with the Dalai Lama. Making playful use of archival footage, new interviews, and his own close relationship with the legendary talent manager, Myers reveals a man who has embraced his dualities: a hard driving dealmaker who wants everyone to be happy, and a rock ‘n’ roll hedonist who yearns for a family. Against a backdrop of debauchery, he’s a man on a spiritual quest.

Screening Time: Sunday, March 9 @6:30pm – Paramount Theatre




Unlocking the Truth

*The above video is NOT from the documentary short film.

There is a particular moment right before fame strikes a young musician – between the full flowering of talent and believing in a dream so pure and strong as to feel bulletproof – which at the same time is almost imperceptible as it is happening. In watching Malcolm Brickhouse and Jarad Dawkins of the band Unlocking The Truth, this metaphysical friction is in full effect.

Screening Times: Saturday, March 8 @2:15pm – Topfer Theatre at ZACH, Monday, March 10 @4:30pm – SXSatellite: Marchesa, Thursday, March 13 @2:00pm – Vimeo Theater, Saturday, March 15 @11:00am – Rollins Theater at The Long Center



Nekrogoblikon – “No One Survives”

John wants what every man wants. The Promotion, The Girl, The Recognition. There’s only one problem: HE’S A GOBLIN!

Screening Times: Tuesday, March 11 @11:00am – Alamo Ritz 1, Friday, March 14 @9:30pm – Rollins Theatre at The Long Center

Why wait? See it now!

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