Live Freaky! Die Freaky! Premiere

John Roecker's stop-motion animation film

LIVE FREAKY! DIE FREAKY! had its world premiere on January 17, 2006 at the Steve Allen Theater in Hollywood. The standing room only crowd was in for the time of their lives with both the film premiere and the after party, which included live performances. LIVE FREAKY! DIE FREAKY! is an outrageous stop-motion animation musical-comedy retelling of the Manson family crimes directed by John Roecker and voiced by a legion of alternative rock icons, including Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day and Rancid/Operation Ivys Tim Armstrong.

The film is the first from Tim Armstrong's production company, Hellcat Pictures. LIVE FREAKY! DIE FREAKY! gleefully pushes the boundaries of good taste as it tells the story of a young man who discovers a copy of Helter Skelter (the definitive book on the Manson killings) in the year 3069 and decides to interpret it as a biblical tome, with Charles Manson as the Messiah. The film flashes back to 1969 whereupon Hadie (Theo Kogan) meets Charlie after a bad LSD trip and is immediately drawn into his family. From thereon, the story presents a hilariously debauched portrayal of Manson and his followers though the trials and tribulations of teaching the world better living through music, murder, and mayhem. It is safe to say that never before has so much sex, violence, and ribald tongue-in-cheek humor appeared in a stop-motion animated production. This is probably the most charmingly tasteless piece of filmmaking since Pink Flamingos.

In addition to Billie Joe Armstrong (as the voice of the Charles Manson-inspired lead character), Tim Armstrong and the actress Asia Argento, the film features an all-star alternative rock cast including Lunachick's Theo Kogan, AFI's Davey Havoc, X's John Doe, The GoGo's Jane Wiedlin, and other members of Green Day, Good Charlotte, Rancid and Blink 182. The soundtrack includes original songs performed by Billie Joe Armstrong and Jane Wiedlin. Tim Armstrong arranged the score and the songs were written by Roddy Bottum (Faith No More/Imperial Teen). Wellspring premiered the film theatrically as a midnight engagement in major markets around the country on January 27 and 28, 2006. This is where this animation film should find a long-lasting life as it perfectly suited for those special midnight showings and should find a following for years to come. This type of film needs to be viewed within the scope that it is presented and, in doing so, one can see the humor and style of a filmmaker who deserves to be noticed.

The company also followed these screenings with a January 31, 2006 release on DVD and UMD, as well as a special DVD/CD soundtrack package featuring the songs, score, and dialogue from the motion picture. This is the gem of the entire package as the songs contained on the DVD are worthy of becoming timeless sounds to be heard again and again. They stand alone from the film and they also add a nice contrast when heard within the film.

Adding to the successful evening were the featured performances of John Doe, Rancid, and Ammunition Affair. John opened this portion of the night with three songs before being joined by Rancid on stage for a couple of more songs. Both John and Rancid presented an entire set of unplugged music and it was nothing short of magical. Rancid went through a fourteen song set that was so pleasing that it felt like the performance was part of one fluid whole. They could have played for hours without anyone finding fault. What a joy it was to hear their music unplugged, which is only the second time they have performed it in such a manner, as it added an entire new dimension to its richness. Rancid recently played at Tony Hawk's wedding. The bride and groom were part of the crowd tonight. Ammunition Affair ended the evening with a highly powered and electric performance. Everyone went home a winner.  Photo provided by Wellspring.

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