Dir: Jonas Åkerlund, 2018, UK/Sweden/Norway, 118 mins, Cert: 18
Fri 19 April // 20:30
Tickets: £5 (full) / £4 (concession)
A funny, frightening and full-on shocker, director Jonas Åkerlund’s mindboggling biography of the Norwegian Black Metal scene details an obscure 1980s music culture with devastating deftness. Poseur head-banger Euronymous (Rory Culkin) forms the band Mayhem and opens an Oslo record store where other Satanic rockers hang out. When nihilistic lead singer Dead (Jack Kilmer) commits shotgun suicide, he signs up twitchy fan Varg (Emory Cohen) and tries to keep up as the new recruit sees burning down churches and committing murder as great publicity. Using horror movie aesthetics, Akerland, drummer for the Swedish metal band Bathory before turning music video maven, keeps the bleak realities of his incredible-but-true pop history fascinating and edgy even through the rough patches. Anchored by Culkin and Cohen’s terrific performances – the former a fine-tuned portrait of affected smugness, the latter just flat-out disturbing – this toxic trip through celebrity pressures at any risk is potently provocative.
To uphold the authenticity of LORDS OF CHAOS and the actual events that transpired, this film contains a sequence of flashing lights and strobing effects in a concert scene which might affect customers who are susceptible to photosensitive epilepsy