Films: Bob and the Monster

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Bob and the Monster

Bob and the Monster

USA, 2011, 87 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Biographical, Documentary, Medical/Health, Music, Social Issues
Programs: Documentary Films, Reel Social Club
Language: English

DIRECTOR: Keirda Bahruth
Producer: Rick Ballard, Keirda Bahruth, Austin Wilkin
Editor: Joshua Altman
Screenwriter: Keirda Bahruth
Cinematographer: Keirda Bahruth, Rick Bahruth
Principal Cast: 

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the West Coast was swept by a wave of postpunk and grunge bands that, for the most part, crashed as quickly as it swelled. Drug abuse precluded fame for many a talented group of musicians—among them Thelonious Monster. Director Keirda Bahruth spent six years tracing the rise, fall, and near-miraculous return of frontman Bob Forrest—from arrogant young singer-songwriter poised for megastardom to heroin-addled wreck who underwent no fewer than 22 stints in rehab to compassionate, humble addiction counselor.

Built primarily on candid interviews with not only Forrest but a number of his peers—including Anthony Kiedis and Courtney Love—Bob and the Monster gains contextual depth from rare archival footage and a soundtrack comprised of its real-life antihero’s own soul-searching compositions. One needn’t recognize Forrest’s ragged voice over the electrifying strains of 1986’s “Try” or his haggard but kind face from VH1’s Celebrity Rehab to appreciate this now wrenching, now touching documentary about facing one’s demons once and for all.
—RUTH TOBIAS

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