Traci Michaelz in the film "Road Dogs"
Slamdance Film Festival
Dir: Shane Aquino
Documentaries about bands on the road can be overwhelmingly disgusting given their ultra lavish lifestyles but this documentary is completely disgusting for different reasons. That isn’t to say it’s bad—but watching a man screw his genitals together and face-painted “freaks” do entirely too much coke makes for a disgusting display, indeed. Don’t get me wrong a little blow on the road is a good thing, right? But Traci Michaelz, ill-fated drummer/frontman of Hollywood band Peppermint Creeps, does everything too much. You can see it in his partying, you can feel it from his drumming—this can’t end well. And it doesn’t, but on the way director Shane Aquino shows what “to do”/ “not to do” on tour with Kettle Cadaver, the Creeps and HTTH as the three LA bands slog it out on nationwide adventures. Aquino neatly lays out ten rules of the road and arranges the documentary around those rules as they arise through the story of death metal, hardcore metal and pop-metal touring the US. Though the film has a rough start, it picks up steam a little over 15-20 minutes in and shoots off in wildly exciting directions. Oftentimes shocking footage and equally unfortunate revelations arise and Aquino reveals them via thousands of hours of embedded tape from the sometimes petty, but always entertaining, road life of dirty rock ‘n rollers. This is the best documentary I’ve ever seen about road trips from genuine bands. Try to see it if you’ve ever thought the lifestyle of a real touring musician might be your destiny.