Monday, April 14, 2014

L is for Last Days Here

USA, 2011
Running Time: 91 minutes
Cast: Bobby Liebling, Sean Pelletier
Director: Don Argott, Demian Fenton
Cinematography: Don Argott, Demian Fenton

Probably the saddest rock-doc of all time, Last Days Here tells the story of Bobby Liebling, the lead singer of a late ‘70s hard-rock band called Pentagram.  Never heard of them?  No problem.  Few have. 

Until Sean Pelletier shows up.

Pelletier is a music nerd, an obsessive collector of obscure vinyl and more obscure bands.  Pentagram’s music changed his life, and he takes it on himself to re-release all the band’s unreleased material and drag the band out of retirement for one last shot at the big time.

There are obstacles of course.  Liebling, when we first meet him, is a hopeless junkie living in his parents’ sub-basement.  He shoots smack, smokes large quantities of crack and is convinced he’s infested with parasites that he tries to gouge out of his flesh with his filthy nails. 

All too aware of how unreliable and difficult Liebling can be, most of the band’s members (and over 30 years there have been a lot…) are unwilling to commit to the project.  But Pelletier won’t give up.  He elicits promises of sobriety from Liebling and for a while, thanks to the love of a rabid fan called Hailley, it looks like Liebling may survive long enough to actually do it.

But when the relationship ends and Liebling is arrested for stalking her, Pelletier begins to wonder if resurrecting his idol is worth all the headaches.

This is a painful film to watch, but by the end, you’ll find yourself rooting for these people and their unlikely dream.  There are laughs, but the humour is pitch black and the laughter more a nervous reaction to horror than from anything funny.  I came out questioning the power music has over people and why these hideous old rockers all end up with gorgeous young girlfriends.  Clearly music has a power that can overwhelm reality.


  1. This sounds like an amazing film.... but, more importantly~ I literally just came from another blog (Suzanne von Rooyen) that was talking about your book Unstill Life, and now I'm definitely going to have to buy it! I love 'small world' stuff. :)

    Sorry I've been absent from your posts recently! It's been crazy at work... but I'm back now and hope to keep up for the rest of the challenge. :)

    Alex Hurst, fantasy author in Japan, participating in Blogging A-Z April Challenge.

  2. I have never heard of Pentagram, but the name smells heavy metal >:)

    Cold As Heaven

  3. And I thought I knew my movies. My head is bowed in shame. :)

  4. Hadn't heard of it, but sounds like another interesting one, definitely.

  5. I never heard of the band or the movies. Wow, what a story.

  6. I'm not sure it's music specifically. I think fame is attractive to many young girls. They love the stardom and the star's persona - they rarely know the real person, and if he was a gas station attendant, wouldn't give him the time of day. But sports players, actors, reality stars, etc. attract attention. Look at Warhol. Little, weird, gross, but even society women would be in his "movies" and do anything he wanted.