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'Studio 666' Review: Foo Fighters with gory and goofy fun

Foo Fighters - 'Studio 666'

If you’ve been waiting decades for Dave Grohl to finally fulfil his comedic potential with a full-length film, congratulations: Studio 666, the two-hour horror-comedy starring the Foo Fighters, is finally here. For the rest of you who might be confused that this even happened at all, don’t worry: Studio 666 is a breezy, occasionally chilling, incredibly goofy good time.

The film finds the Foo Fighters working on their tenth studio album when their new house/recording studio starts to feel a bit haunted. As the recording sessions go longer and longer, Grohl’s bandmates start to think that something strange has come over the lead singer. Wacky hijinks ensue, complete with lots of profanity and a surprising amount of blood. This is a movie that definitely earned its R rating.

Grohl actually has some on-screen bona fides when it comes to the occult: he previously played Lucifer himself in the equally-inane Tenacious D and the Pick of Destiny. Why Jack Black and Kyle Gass couldn’t make cameos here is anyone’s guess, but Grohl clearly took a few pointers from his comedy friends.

The idea that the Foo Fighters, six highly-skilled musicians but completely untrained actors, would star in a feature-length studio film sounds completely absurd on paper. But for fans who have seen dozens of the band’s highly entertaining and supremely wacky music videos, the DNA to make this film happen was already in the group.

Sure, it helps that they really only have to play themselves, but nobody looks terribly uncomfortable in front of the camera and everybody lets out a solid scream during the film’s runtime. Special shout-out to Rami Jaffee, who goes bigger and bolder than all of his bandmates combined. Whether it’s going full hippie by feeling out the vibes of a room or letting (almost) all of it hang out in a wild sex scene, Jaffee goes full boar and then some. He might be the newest Foo, but his gonzo performance is that of a seasoned comedy professional. Get that guy his own miniseries.

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The film is at its best when it simply lets Grohl and the boys cook on the comedy side. A few references to Pearl Jam, some ball-busting, and increasingly creative ways to conjure up penis-centred imagery flow like a Judd Apatow movie would, while the number of F-bombs dropped brings the film into Martin Scorsese territory. The best part about having six non-actors in the lead roles is that they look genuinely humoured when a good joke lands, and it serves them well.

Less successful is the horror side of the film. There is plenty of gore to be had, from dismembered racoons to oceans of blood to multiple beheadings, and the eerie soundtrack does well to set up the spooks. The actual scares are few and far between, and after a while, the filmmakers pretty much stop setting them up at all, but a couple of genuinely jump-worthy moments do poke out. But if you’re the kind of parent who doesn’t mind dick jokes and F-words galore, then you shouldn’t be put off by the level of horror either – it’s mild.

Perhaps most glaring is the complete lack of an ending. Spoiling the final 20 minutes of the film shouldn’t really be a problem because the entirety of that time could probably have been cut. The already aimless movie really grinds to a halt as it tries to wrap things up, and the final scene is so pointless and unsatisfying that it makes you wonder if anybody even wrote an ending at all. It probably means that this would have been better as a 30-minute special on the band’s YouTube page, but it doesn’t make you want to demand your money back either.

But this is still a feature film that knows exactly what it is. Is Studio 666 gut-bustlingly funny, pants-wettingly scary, or mind-bogglingly well made? No, but what movie-goer is coming into this movie expecting Citizen Kane? For a less-than two hour romp, Studio 666 brings the thrills, the chills, and the profanely goofy laughs in a perfect midnight flick, three-bong hit setting.

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