Watch the Ozzfest Documentary Directed by Penelope Spheeris (The Decline of Western Civilization)
The middle entry of Penelope Spheeris’ Decline of Western Civilization documentary trilogy, 1988’s The Metal Years, remains one of history’s most entertaining movies about the music we love. There are many reasons for this, not least of which is that it contains one of the best Ozzy Osbourne interviews ever conducted:
This being the case, it’s little wonder that in 1999, Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne hired Spheeris to make a documentary about Ozzfest. The resulting film, We Sold Our Souls for Rock ’n Roll, is a pseudo fourth entry in the Decline series. Although it played at several major film festivals in 2001 — including Sundance — it never got a wide release for some reason.
Which is too bad, because it has now found its way online, and it’s everything you’d hope it would be. Anyone pissed that Decline II focuses too much on glam and not enough on other genres will be thrilled to see that most of the bands featured here — including Sabbath, Slayer, System of a Down, Fear Factory, and Static-X — are all on the heavier side. The interviews, which include various members of these bands as well as fans, Ozzfest vendors, Christian protestors and all sorts of other folks, are all great. There’s some cool performance footage. And, on top of all of that, there is a terrific little section in which Buckethead, who was touring with Primus at the time, does a nunchaku routine in a graveyard before giving one of his patented hand puppet interviews.
You can check it out below. The A/V quality isn’t 100% but it’s not total garbage either.