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Turbonegro | The ResErection | review | dvd | Lollipop
The ResErection (MVD)
by Brian Varney
The ResErection is a Turbonegro documentary originally produced for Norwegian television. For the loyal Turbojugend ("Turbo Youth") and those of us whose homeland's television is not cool enough to finance and broadcast Turbonegro documentaries, the always-fine folks at MVD have released it on DVD with some cool bonus footage, including live 2002 performances from the res-erected band.
The main order of business here is the documentary itself, which is very well done and an essential addition to the collection of any Turbojugend. The program, approximately an hour in length, is composed almost entirely of interviews with the band members, who detail the reasons for the band's breakup back in 1998 and, eventually, the healing process that allowed for the 2002 reunion.
The film begins with a background discussion of the band's initial breakup, and the members can't hide their bitterness at the poor timing of it all. Turbonegro was, after all, just another punk band slogging it out for handfuls of people in dingy clubs for no money before managing to make the album of their career (Apocalypse Dudes, which you need to own). The album's greatness did not go unnoticed, and a drastic upswing in popularity was beginning. But before the band was able to start living the good life, everything was flushed down the toilet as lead singer Hank von Helvete's addiction to heroin estranged him from his bandmates and, eventually, his own mind, and the band dissolved in a flurry of resentment.
The ResErection tracks Hank's personal recovery and return to the band. When the story begins, he's in the remote Norwegian fishing village of Lofoten where he lives with his grandparents, hosts a radio show, and works in a whaling museum. He speaks plainly and candidly about his experiences with drugs and of the healing process he underwent in order to kick heroin and to get his mind functioning normally again.
We also hear the other band members discussing their lingering anger over the circumstances of the band's breakup, and of their mixed feelings towards Hank, who is both an old, trusted friend and the person responsible for the collapse of the rock 'n' roll dream which was so close. Hank expresses a desire to reform the band, but also fears returning to his old habits and disappointing his friends yet again.
Finally, we see the band members reunite for the first time in four years and begin tentative rehearsals. This leads to the band's reunion gig at the Quart festival in 2002, where we see the band put on a triumphant show for a rabid throng of adoring fans. If the footage of tens of thousands of fans chanting, "Oh, oh, oh, I've got erection!" doesn't warm your heart, well, you're a cold motherfucker. In fact, if you've got any heart at all, you'll be standing in front of your TV, chanting along, just like me.