Tribute

"Excellent"

Tribute Review


Tribute bands, in general, creep me out more than Faye Dunaway in Mommie Dearest. Even though I am a big fan of bands like Joy Division, The Smiths, The Beatles, and countless others -- the last place you would catch me at would be a tribute show to one of them. But the way to understand these misguided individuals and their strange obsession for a band such as Judas Priest lies in the very strange and troubling rockumentary Tribute -- a magical mystery ride through the big dreams of small town rockers and their devoted fan base.

For five years, fellow documentarians Rick Fox and Kris Curry - using their life savings, credit cards, and shaky digital video cameras - captured the trials and tribulations of six strangely unique tribute bands on the road to artistic achievement, mimicking such bands as Journey, Queen, and of course KISS.

Watching grown men in their forties stuff themselves into latex and leather, paint their faces with goofy KISS makeup, and strut around on a tiny stage in a redneck bar is just plain disturbing. What's even more disturbing are the psychological dangers of assuming the role of Gene Simmons in a KISS cover band, the backstabbing that occurs between two rival Monkees tribute bands, and a Journey cover band performing at a local strip club. And that's just the first thirty minutes of the film.

Candid interviews of the various cover band members draw both sympathy and ridicule. Jeff Richards - the Rob Halford of the Judas Priest cover band Bloodstone - comes off like a selfish ignoramus when faced with parental duties in contrast to his band mate Rich Sorenson's commitment to a dead-end job at a tire repair shop in order to live out his dreams. The bitter battle between Danny Lopez of Monkess cover band Head(!) and Danny Lopez of another Monkees cover band The Missing Links is downright hilarious.

The best part of the film is Mark Eldridge - dubbed "Superfan" of Queen and the most devoted fan of the cover band Sheer Heart Attack. Eldridge's inability to consume food on the day of a Sheer Heart Attack show, and his eerie, monthly pilgrimages to various Queen member's houses in Los Angeles are proof positive of how empty people's lives can be.

Curry and Fox do an amiable job in capturing the pre-show squabbles, the botched tryouts for new band members, and honest intentions of all parties involved - be it for fame or just the greenbacks. In the end, you'll just feel sorry for everyone.

Screened at the 45th Annual San Francisco International Film Festival.

Don't stop... applying facial paint.



Tribute

Facts and Figures

Run time: 90 mins

In Theaters: Saturday 11th April 2009

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

IMDB: 5.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: ,

Producer: ,

Starring: as Cilla McGowan, as Ford Sawyer, Christian Oliver as Steve Chensky, as Cathy Morrow, as Mrs. Hennessey

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