The El Duce Tapes: Arrow's Time Portal into the Outrageous Band's History

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The El Duce Tapes

In 1976, THE MENTORS were formed from the mind of Eldon "El Duce" Hoke. The band that your mother warned you about went on to make cult history during the punk rock era of the 80's and into the grunge movement of the 90's.

From 1990 to 1992, Ryan Sexton followed El Duce and The Mentors to various clubs and dive bars, armed with his camcorder, to document the band that was causing so much controversy at the time. The 1985 Congressional hearings, orchestrated by Tipper Gore's Parents Music Resource Center, had put the spotlight onto them, giving them more notoriety than they could have ever achieved on thier own.

The movie centers on the VHS tapes found in a storage unit twenty-five years later, spliced with footage of America in the late 80's and early 90's to reflect the mindset of the underground music circuit at the time. Interviews from the band GWAR that toured with The Mentors give even more insight into what the band was actually achieving besides just being known for "shock rock schlock." 

El Duce was a larger then life figure in the vein of GG Allen, and Ryan wanted to know: Was his disturbing persona for real, and what could an act built around cartoonish violent misogyny possibly gain from being branded a white superemicist, pro-rape, anti-society advocate (as he was portrayed on shows such as Jerry Spinger)? It also contains footage from 1997 from an interview for the documentary film Kurt and Courtney, in which El Duce claimed Courtney Love had offered him $50,000 to kill her husband, Kurt Cobain.

This film is an uncensored look into the dark side of the underground music scene, while at the same time giving viewers the opportunity to witness a man's own self destruction. The two years worth of footage contained on the tapes acts as a time capsule to a little-known part of the music scene that would otherwise be lost to the P.C. climate of today's cookie cutter music-making machine that is Hollywood.

As always, Arrow Video packs this release with SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS.

  • High Definition (1080p) Blu-ray presentation
  • Brand new audio commentary with The El Duce Tapes crew
  • The Ryan Sexton Tapes – 34-minute illustrated audio conversation between Ryan Sexton and producer Tim Kirk about the shooting of the original VHS footage
  • The Nilbog Tapes – Video of the band recording the original score for the film
  • More El Duce Tapes – A free-standing alternate assembly of unused material, sort of a sideways sequel
  • Tape 2: Hollywood Reservoir – A piece of raw tape providing a peek behind the scenes of the process of shooting the footage and a candid document of El Duce and Ryan’s rapport
  • El Duce Stories – A humorous cut-up of a few of El Duce’s famously long aimless stories into one completely incomprehensible and endless word salad
  • Return to Rape Rock Mountain – A brand new interview with Steve Broy, aka Dr. Heathen Scum of The Mentors
  • Reality Check presents the all-female El Duce tribute band The Womentors
  • Reversible sleeve featuring newly commissioned artwork by John Pearson and reverse art by Benjamin Marra
  • FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collectors’ booklet featuring new writing by Manish Agarwal

If you are fans of the series The Decline of Western Civilization and are looking to see more into the undergound music scene, this film is a MUST SEE -- not only for the history it contains, but for the real life footage of a man who eventually let his demons take over his life... and his death.

Grade: 
5.0 / 5.0