Part of our One Hit Wonders film series, featuring great new documentaries at special one-night-only screenings!
“Joy and redemption aren't exactly punk mantras, but A Band Called Death might just give your heart a thrashing.” – Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times
“A generous, spirited documentary … captures one of the strangest and most inspiring of all family stories of tragedy and triumph that this crazy country has produced.” – Andrew O’Hehir, Salon
“A moving testament to the enduring power of family ties and groundbreaking music.” – Justin Lowe, Hollywood Reporter
Before Bad Brains, the Sex Pistols or even the Ramones, there was a band called Death. Punk before punk existed, three teenage brothers in early '70s Detroit formed a band in their spare bedroom, began playing a few local gigs and even pressed a single in the hopes of getting signed. But this was the era of Motown and emerging disco. Record companies found Death’s music - and band name - too intimidating, and the group were never given a fair shot, disbanding before they even completed one album.
Equal parts electrifying rockumentary and epic family love story, A Band Called Death chronicles the incredible fairy-tale journey of what happened almost three decades later, when a dusty 1974 demo tape made its way out of the attic and found an audience several generations younger. Playing music impossibly ahead of its time, Death is now being credited as the first black punk band (hell...the first punk band!), and are finally receiving their long overdue recognition as true rock pioneers. (Dir. by Mark Covino & Jeff Howlett, 2012, USA, 98 mins., Not Rated, Drafthouse Films) Digital