Kurt Cobain doc Soaked in Bleach shoots a little wide

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      Buzzo from the Melvins has called Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck “90 percent bullshit”, and now Soaked in Bleach arrives with its own jive. Courtney Love has been busy issuing cease-and-desist orders to any theatre that dares show the film, which—in contrast to HBO’s officially-sanctioned bio—returns to the nagging question of who really pulled the trigger on Kurt. Not that Ms. Love’s efforts are stopping the Rio from holding an encore screening of the film on Sunday (June 28).

      Love’s oddly toothless actions do little to improve her case. There are seven pages of comments about Soaked in Bleach on its IMDb page, all of them positive except one, most of them asking why Cobain’s widow hasn’t just gone ahead and sued the guy—private investigator Tom Grant— who’s spent the last 21 years steadfastly accusing her of foul play. Meanwhile, the AV Club and Hollywood Reporter are among the “respectable” outlets who concede that Grant’s evidence, as presented in Benjamin Statler’s “docudrama”, isn’t “easily dismissed”.

      Still, if you’re already acquainted with Grant’s premise, Soaked in Bleach adds very little. The former LA County Sheriff’s Detective was hired by Love to find her missing husband in the last week of his life. Grant’s experience with Love “raised so many red flags” that he decided to record their phone calls, and what we hear in Soaked in Bleach isn’t pretty.

      Then again, neither are the film’s shallow re-enactments of Grant’s little odyssey, staged by Statler with a self-defeating bias that almost sinks the whole project (Daniel Roebuck plays Grant, Sarah Scott hams it up as Mrs. Cobain). Love’s words are damning enough, especially when you also hear Cobain’s attorney Rosemary Carroll floating her grave suspicions to Grant—at least until she realizes she’s being taped.

      Indeed, it’s the talking heads that do most of the convincing here, from Grant, to famed coroner Cyril Wecht, to former Seattle police chief Norm Stamper, who readily declares that the investigation was botched and should be reopened. That’s where Statler might have scored the most points. Cobain’s death was handled appallingly; the body and evidence destroyed with undue haste; the media blind in its reporting of misinformation that persists to this day. Add to that a hinky suicide note, forensics that don’t add up, and the implausibilty of Cobain managing to blow his own head off after shooting three times the lethal dose of smack.

      Ah, smack. A Village Voice review of Soaked in Bleach makes the not unreasonable point that junkies lie. And they lie and lie again. Which could throw an entirely different complexion on all of Love’s twisting. It doesn’t mean she had her husband killed. If Soaked in Bleach hadn’t overplayed its hand, it might have fared better in a climate that’s so hostile to anything with the whiff of so-called conspiracy theory.

      It’s sad because those same skeptics will kneejerk their way past the larger point here. At the very least it appears that the Seattle Police Department closed ranks around a very poorly executed investigation. And for reasons we still can’t fathom, Courtney Love was content to let it happen. And that’s after allowing for the implausibility of the practice suicide note…

      Soaked in Bleach screens at the Rio Theatre on Sunday (June 28)

      Comments

      5 Comments

      john hoving

      Jun 27, 2015 at 7:39am

      Here is yet another hack writer who knows little about the Kurt Cobain case and tries to be witty and smart in reviewing a film whose only purpose really is to outline the facts behind the death of Kurt Cobain and to help the movement to reopen a botched police investigation.

      First using the word “jive “ in the very first sentence of the review gives the reader a very good indication of where this terrible writer is going with his opinions. Many should just stop reading right there, I should have because then I would not have wasted all this time writing a response!

      Exactly what is jive Mr. Mack? I challenge you to point out the ‘jive” in Soaked in Bleach. I will counter that there is an awful lot more”jive “in Montage of Heck than there is in Soaked in Bleach. Jive may be putting it mildly, outright bullshit as “Buzz” sated it would be actually more appropriate.

      Which brings me to my next question. Mr. Mack refers to Mr. Osbourne as Buzzo? Is this some term of endearment for Mr. Osbourne, is he a personal friend of Mr Mack, or is it an attempt at being cute? In all likelihood the latter.

      Then the writer mentions reviews from other “respectable” publications, The Hollywood Reporter and AV Club that conclude the evidence presented in the film is not easily dismissed. Are we supposed to surmise that the writers publication is not respectable? A bit confusing here!

      I then wondered exactly what the point was of adding an entire paragraph on the reviews on the IMDB web site page? Do you do this in all your reviews, probably not!

      Then he goes from discussing some factual information presented in the movie taken from the actual Tom Grant recordings with Ms. Love and states the content of these calls are not “pretty’ then leaps to this idiotic and callous statement:

      “film’s shallow re-enactments of Grant’s little odyssey, staged by Statler with a self-defeating bias that almost sinks the whole project “

      The term “Little odyssey”, is yet another example of the writer being cute and coy and totally dismissing the situation and circumstances Mr. Grant went through. Interestingly enough, these “ shallow enactments” as Mr Mack calls them are one of the more interesting things in the film that allow the viewer to visually experience exactly what Mr. Grant went through 21 years ago. This must be hard for Mr. Mack to understand, because here we have Mr.

      Adrian Mack

      Jun 27, 2015 at 11:29am

      John, I think the jive is coming from Courtney. I believe it's a suspicious death. I also think the reenactments are dishonest and don't necessarily help.

      I miss Kurt :(

      Jun 27, 2015 at 5:29pm

      On one hand I feel like he WAS depressed & possibly suicidal and on the other hand I don't trust Courtney Love at all. I wouldn't mind for this case to be re-opened so we can have a definitive answer .

      rest in peace, Kurt Cobain

      Well...

      Jun 28, 2015 at 9:35pm

      At least his suffering is over!

      I've read...

      Jun 29, 2015 at 2:21pm

      that this documentary is 90% bullshit. Which isn't surprising. Whenever people get involved, bullshit isn't far behind.