We Are Twisted Fucking Sister

(USA 2016)

I liked two videos in 1984, but I can’t say I was ever a fan of Twisted Sister. I wrote them off as a low-talent, gimmicky flash in the pan. I had no idea that the story of their path to fame—told by band members past and present, managers, bar owners, record executives, and fans—is so interesting.

Inspired by of all performers David Bowie (I wonder what he would have thought of that), they started out in 1972 as a glam rock covers band on the New York and New Jersey bar scene—everywhere except Manhattan. I can see why: they’re a group of suburban guys, and Manhattan in the Seventies was not what it is today. A series of twists, turns, and personnel changes, including the addition of Dee Snyder (not an original member), evolved into the Twisted Sister we all know. They filled bigger venues and, after branching out into Manhattan, even sold out the Palladium—without airplay or even a record. With all signs pointing to greater things, however, they couldn’t snag a lasting recording contract to save their lives. The industry saw them as a joke.

Highlighting the struggles and bad luck that plagued their early years despite their success in a local market, director Andrew Horn stops at their breakout album, Stay Hungry. Snyder himself seems to concede without saying it that the band sold out. His candor, along with that of the rest of the band members, makes We Are Twisted Fucking Sister not just entertaining but insightful. It’s a bittersweet story well worth the arguably gratuitous two-hours plus it takes to see the whole thing, fan or not.

(Music Box) B

http://www.musicboxfilms.com/we-are-twisted-f—ing-sister–movies-125.php

Twisted Sister: The Movie

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