Lords Of Chaos centres around Norwegian Black Metal ’90s band Mayhem, the brainchild of guitarist Euronymous (Rory Culkin, above, and brother of Macauley) and he’s playing a young man who goes from his late teens onwards, even though the actor was almost 30 at the time of filming, but he certainly looks like he can play that age.
First up, one thing I didn’t realise, until halfway through, is that this is actually based on a true story. I stupidly looked it up at that point, and came across some information about them which I really did NOT want to know until the film depicted it for me. SO, do NOT try and get ahead of yourself when you start to watch this and don’t want to know any outcome.
When I saw this was an 18-certificate, I always wonder what’s made a filmmaker go the extra mile to attract this seemingly-rare achievement, these days. In the case of Lords Of Chaos, the new leader singer, Dead, has a ‘performance piece’ where he draws a huge blade down the insides of his arms, and splatters the crowd with his blood. It’s brief, but incredibly gross, and you do see the after effects, so it shows that it’s not to be encouraged.
There are more of these, later, and I winced every time. However, that’s not half as gross as the scene where Euronymous goes to the toilet and doesn’t wash his hands afterwards!!! Seriously, though, what I’ve described isn’t even half the situation as events get crazily out of hand!
Along the way, Euronymous opens his own metal music store, the band changes members over time, and Euronymous rather upsets a fan, Kristian (Emory Cohen), in a fast food restaurant, when he goes to congratulate them on a great gig, leading to our main character delivering a rather rude put-down back to him. But then what do you expect from a teenager who declares elsewhere, “We don’t want any groupies. When people hear our music, we want them to commit suicide!”
Naturally, things get out of hand, so if there’s one thing the movie does, it makes you think events will go one way, but then you realise they could go any way whatsoever over the course of its running time. Overall, even though the music wasn’t for me, and the film goes on a bit too long, it’s great entertainment and also exhibits scenes from a modern classic.
As an aside, Kerrang’s Jason Arnopp also plays himself in one scene. I’d never heard of the guy before, but it was one of those scenes where I thought “I bet that’s the real guy!” and it was, even though he’ll be a fair bit older now than he was then, but that’s how time works.
If you’re interested in another great recent film from director and co-screenwriter Jonas Åkerlund, check out Polar, starring Mads Mikkelsen.
The extras are as follows, and I’ll go into these in more detail soon:
- New interview with writer-director Jonas Åkerlund
- New interviews with actors Sam Coleman, Jason Arnopp and Arion Csihar
- On-stage introduction to the film by Thurston Moore
- Image galleries
- Original trailer & teasers
- FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Metal Hammer’s Jonathan Selzer
The menu features music from the film mixed in with clips, there are subtitles in English and the bog-standard 12 chapters.
Lords Of Chaos is out now on Blu-ray Special Edition. Interesting that there’s no DVD release for this, so maybe I’ll have to rename the site Blurayfever? 😉
Running time: 118 minutes
Distributor: Arrow Films
Released: July 22nd 2019
Sound: DTS 5.1 HD Master Audio
Disc Format: BD50
Director: Jonas Åkerlund
Screenplay: Dennis Magnusson, Jonas Åkerlund
Book: “Lords of Chaos”: Michael Moynihan, Didrik Søderlind
Euronymous: Rory Culkin
Kristian ‘Varg’ Vikernes: Emory Cohen
Pelle ‘Dead’ Ohlin: Jack Kilmer
Ann-Marit: Sky Ferreira
Bård Guldvik ‘Faust’ Eithun: Valter Skarsgård
Jan Axel ‘Hellhammer’ Blomberg: Anthony De La Torre
Jørn ‘Necrobutcher’ Stubberud: Jonathan Barnwell
Jon ‘Metalion’ Kristiansen: Sam Coleman
Varg’s Driver: Wilson Gonzalez
Stian ‘Occultus’ Johannsen: Lucian Charles Collier
Gylve ‘Fenriz’ Nagell: Andrew Lavelle
Kjetil ‘Manheim’: James Edwyn
Finn Tender: Gustaf Hammarsten
Magne Andreassen: Jon Øigarden
Attila Csihar: Arion Csihar
Himself: Jason Arnopp
Hammed: Levente Törköly
Photographer: Patrick Mullowney
Pytten: Tom van Heesch
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.