Title: Monsterman

Also known as:
Monsterimies (Original title)
Lordi (Working title)
Lordi - Monsterman (Swedish title)

Year: 2014

Genre: Documentary / Music

Language: Finnish / English

Runtime: 90 min

Director: Antti Haase

Writer: Antti Haase

IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2712878/

In 2006 a metal band from Finland that dressed in monster costumes, known as "Lordi", won the finale of Eurovision Song Contest. The band grew large in Europe over a short period of time and they took their success for granted. Soon, people were over them and their records were largely ignored. This is a documentary that looks into that period of the band Lordi and the lead man.

Our thoughts:
"Lordi" was a band that I listened to in 2002 when they debuted with the album "Get Heavy". The band made a name for themselves by being dressed as monsters, a sort of mix between Kiss and GWAR. They were never a band that stood out as geniuses or groundbreaking, but they made fun and simple horror related songs, and that's something I've always enjoyed. I listened to them a lot for some time and they did a catchy follow-up with "The Monsterican Dream". Unfortunately after listening to two albums, their style and gimmick got less and less interesting, but I was still happy to know there was another band that kept the horror tradition in metal alive.

In 2006 I wasn't listening to Lordi a whole lot, but I was about to hear more about them then ever before when they won the huge European music contest - simply called Eurovision Song Contest. It was funny to see them win that year and I think everyone got into a sort of Lordi hysteria just for the nutty thought of them winning. This documentary, "Monsterman", focuses on what happened after the Lordi hype died down and things were not looking well for their future success.

I was curious to see a documentary about this band that I enjoyed 10-11 years ago, but it was a let down to see how whiney the documentary ended up being. Yes, I understand that being a huge success one night and then disappearing into obscurity again can be very hard, that's not the main issue. I have an issue with how the documentary was constructed in such an overdramatic way, where the first hour is just shots of the Lordi looking sad, saying how he doesn't understand what happened. It doesn't help that the face of the band members are hidden through the entire documentary. We get it, you wear masks and that's a big thing with the band, but it would take a second at most to Google images of them all unmasked. Hell, I had seen them unmasked before I stopped listening and that was 10 years ago. Does it really matter much? It only makes the band seem to think they are more interesting and famous than they actually are.

These things shouldn't make the documentary any worse, but it really got annoying to only see how shitty things were and all I could think was that if they could make themselves somewhat known before Eurovision, they should be able to muster up some excitement to keep going. There were other things going on, such as the death of band members and some struggles looking for new members, but that seemed to be a relatively small portion of the time that was spent moaning about how bad things are now. Maybe - just maybe - if you are a metal band you shouldn't rely on success made from mainstream family reality TV/contest shows to begin with?

What I liked seeing in "Monsterman" was obviously how the idea of Lordi started, what kind of person the lead man was to start a band like that. There is always intriguing things going on in almost any documentary, but they managed to annoy me more with the constant pity in this one. Towards the end of the documentary they finally get some motivation back while starting the making of a new album. Perhaps the first hour was made whiney and depressing to make the making of this album all the more exciting? I don't know. It doesn't matter, because the effect on me as a viewer was still that this band took their success for granted and then spent years whining about it. Whether that's what happened or not, I don't know, but that's what the documentary showed. This should have been released as a bonus disc with the album they were making, rather than have its standalone release.

Do you like Lordi? You should probably watch this, but you might find them to be a somber bunch of musicians. The documentary doesn't do any favor to me as far as wanting to get back into the band goes, but hopefully they found what they were seeking with the "To Beast or Not to Beast" album.

P.S. There are no ratings as this is a documentary that doesn't need the ratings.

Positive things:
- It shows what happens when a band relies on the success of a lucky incident.
- Fans of Lordi will probably love it, despite this being quite sad.

Negative things:
- It showed the band in a pretty bad light.
- They seemed to make the documentary way too overdramatic, making it almost silly.

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