Live Freaky Die Freaky (2006)
Theo Kogan (Hadie), Billie Joe Armstrong (Charlie), Kelly Osbourne (Sharon), Davey Havok (Hay)
The Greenhouse Effect
“It’s the year 3069. The world has been destroyed by ozone depletion, rendering the planet a vast wasteland. The Earth’s vegetation has been completely destroyed and the oceans have been dried. The human race has devolved into a form of a nomad, no memories of Earth’s past. The only memory they have is that of the present; a present which includes only virus, famine, and death. Man is once again turned into a primitive creature; living in caves, eating insects and pigs. There was no explanation for the sun, the desert, or the rain. Food and shelter are plentiful. The tribe searched for answers in the wreckage of the planet and try to educate themselves. Like generations before him, a hunger for knowledge was never satisfied. Beyond that, what happens to a man who sleeps forever, never waking? Was there somehow a spirit that took care of them in the darkness of death? Then one day, by accident, an answer was found. In the Earth’s debris, the nomad found a book that may hold all the answers.” – Opening narration
I knew when I took this column that reviewing every doomsday movie would mean watching some truly awful shit. For every Mad Max there are twice as many Left Behinds and I knew that at some point I would scrape the bottom of the barrel and find something so repugnant and awful that it would break me. I never expected to find that movie so soon.
Live Freaky, Die Freaky opens on a desert meant to serve as a post-apocalyptic Los Angeles. As the mush-mouthed and bored-sounding narrator recounts confusingly (see “The Story” above for the complete nonsensical spiel as verbatim as I could discern) that the ozone layer is gone and the Earth is a dead, ocean-less ball of dirt that is still somehow capable of supporting life. The nomads of the wasteland cry out for answers but get none. Then one day a robed nomad stumbles upon a cooked pig that is probably supposed to look like a rotten sun-damaged corpse lying on the ground, and near it lies a book called “Healter Skelter” (A typo a phrase keeps the lawyers at bay) and despite being a savage that doesn’t know what the sun is, he manages to read this book.
The book is the story of Hadie, an acolyte of notorious cult leader “Charlie Hanson” (shoo, you litigious bastards) who is recounting her story as she’s about to be tried for multiple counts of murder. After receiving a sentencing by a trio of pig-men (Subtex– no, that’s just blatant. There’s no subtext to that at all.) who seem to indicate that her crime is not “brutal murder” but instead “nonconformity.” Hadie tells the pig-men about her time with Charlie in a long monologue that gave me a serious case of the douche chills, and nearly 10 minutes into this movie it finally actually starts.
We go back to Hadie as a young woman, taking acid in her bedroom and watching her crucifix turn into a swastika made of erect penises (Subte– well shit, I don’t even know what the hell that is) and in charges Charlie who says he’s the son of God and orders her to have sex with him. We’re treated to a lengthy scene of plasticine sex that really hopes that nobody realizes that Team America: World Police did this years prior. After that bit wears out its welcome we’re treated to the first honest joke in this movie and it’s a groaner. As I began to rumage through the cabinets for a bottle of alcohol or kerosene to drink, the first song came on and it calmed my nerves.
Charlie is voiced by Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day and though his acting contains all the talent and charisma of a 6th grade Christmas pageant, he is a decently capable singer. It helps that Charlie’s song, Mechanical Man, is fairly clever. It’s not hilarious, but it elicited a couple of chuckles and was decently catchy. There was a warning at the beginning of this movie that it was offensive so I probably just need to lighten up and enjoy the movie.
As if to snuff the pilot light of my hopes, the movie dives headlong back into wankery as we flash to Charlie and Hadie with some other acolytes in a diner. Charlie gives a speech on his philosophy and it goes on for so long and seems so earnest that I nearly sprained my rolling eye. But there’s hope because the scene ends and we go to a man and a woman in a car. The woman’s name is “Sharon Hate” and she goes on a diatribe about how she hates the environment and… wait, wait, wait. Is the Manson family’s most famous murder victim the villain of this movie!?! I suppose I should be happy that the movie had enough restraint not to name her “Sharon Taint.”
Sharon is played by Kelly Osbourne and her talent level can best be described as “I can read words aloud!” At the behest of her gay hairdresser friend Hay, Sharon begins singing a song about how much she hates nature. The song, Strangle a Tree, isn’t terribly funny but it’s kinda catchy and Osbourne’s singing is 5000% better than her acting (this is not a complement.)
Now Sharon and Hay encounter Hadie and the rest of Charlie’s acolytes harvesting food from a dumpster. Several cringe-inducing minutes pass, but they feel like years. At one point Kelly Osbourne pauses mid-sentence and then finishes her statement as if she only just noticed that the script continued on another line, the director felt that was a good enough reading to put into the final movie.
Sharon and Hay mercifully leave for now and the store owner comes out to yell at the acolytes and- wait, wait, wait. Here comes Lloyd Kaufman. Thank God! He’s always drunk and violent! But no, I’m destined to be disappointed because the puppet only looks like Lloyd Kaufman, he’s voiced by someone else. This movie couldn’t even score a real Lloyd Kaufman cameo.
Fraud Kaufman tells them to get off his land and a bunch of boring stuff happens, then Charlie tells them that they need to kill Sharon Hate and the grocer because they’re going to be encroaching on their territory. You know what that means, more Sharon!
What follows is a scene so drawn out and awful that just thinking about it sends a chill up my spine. Hay and Sharon are at her mansion doing cocaine with her friend Habagail. Habagail is played by Asia Argento; sadly even her questionable definition of acting comes across as trained and professional compared to Kelly Osbourne. Sharon and Hay take turns delivering long monologues about horrible things that are meant to be funny but just seem forced, and then a delivery boy shows up and gives a five minute rant about proper foreskin cleanliness. Mercifully our protagonists arrive to end this awfulness once and for all, but even Sharon and Hay’s disembodied heads won’t stop spouting bullshit.
You know how the rest goes: murder, arrest, trial, blah. The gist of the movie’s big finish is that the world didn’t recognize the wisdom of Charlie’s message (even though the movie takes advantage of almost every opportunity to make fun of him) and that’s why the post-apocalyptic world from the opening scene exists. I don’t hate this message in theory, the concept of a historical scumbag as a darkly comic anti-hero is nothing new (see: Burke and Hare) and I get the concept of a society being aghast at the death of a prominent movie star but numb to the deaths of millions of others every day as a commentary on how shallow we are, but the movie delivers this message in a backwards and patronizing way that elicits an extremely exaggerated jerk-off motion from me.
Live Freaky Die Freaky might get a pass if it was funny, but it’s not in a very painful way. Maybe the dialogue would be funnier if the actors had even basic competence or comedic timing, but they don’t and it just makes scenes long and awkward. The musical angle is also pretty worthless as there are only four songs (five if you count the opening credits); the first one is funny, the second one is catchy, and the other two are so unremarkable that I have not remarked on them until now.
The animation is decent for what it is, but it’s frequently lazy. I would say that easily half of this movie is just characters standing still and blinking while another character rambles incessantly off-screen.
I want you to understand that I did not approach this movie with the intent of mocking it. I first heard of this movie years ago on an episode of Attack of the Show and I have wanted very desperately to see it since then. I happened on a used copy and it was with dawning horror that I realized that what I hoped to be a dark and violent comedy was actually a tone-deaf pretentious wankfest tailor made for that guy you work with that has a hatchetman tattoo on his neck and won’t shut up about chemtrails. I wanted to like this movie. I still do, but it’s just abysmal and I recommend anyone reading this to stay far away.
If you won’t heed my warnings then you can buy a DVD of Live Freaky Die Freaky from Amazon.
NEXT TIME ON DOOMSDAY REELS
“I have nothing against Negroes, Ralph.”
“That’s white of you.”