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‘We Are Twisted Fucking Sister’ – The Twisted Sister documentary

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DVD documentary by :
Twisted Sister
Version:
DVD
Price:
£14.99

Reviewed by:
Rating:
5
On April 3, 2016
Last modified:April 6, 2016

Summary:

'We Are Twisted Fucking Sister' is a testament to perseverance, resilience, self-belief and the true spirit of Heavy Fucking Metal.

Official DVD Cover

PlanetMosh had the undeniable pleasure of reviewing We Are Twisted Fucking Sister – a captivating documentary DVD spanning the early, at times undisclosed career of Twisted Sister. From the club days surrounded by prog and disco, right up to the release of the seminal ‘Stay Hungry’ LP, this is the story of a steadfast resolve in the face of adversity.

From the beginning there is no messing about as the film starts with a public service announcement used by the band in the ‘80s. “Good evening ladies and gentlemen. Before we begin we’d just like to remind you that the act that you are about to see is not for the faint of heart. Twisted Sister has been accused of using foul, indecent and profane language during the course of their show. If you do not, I repeat, if you do not wish to subject yourself and or loved ones to such abuse, then please vacate the premises now. Thank you very much.

Spawned in the Long Island clubs, Jay Jay French leads the stories on the band’s beginnings. They were a pub band with bigger ideas than just earning a weekly wage. They loved the glam/glitter rock scene that had birthed across the pond with the likes of Ziggy Stardust and felt an affinity with the style. Playing in dirty, sweat-drenched clubs, nobody knew what to expect from the Twisted Sister crew. This is very much apparent in the opening scene as the band bursts into their performance. They were different, ahead of their time, they were Twisted Fucking Sister. The film takes the audience on a journey through highs and lows, disappointments, heartbreak and cold, hard reality checks.

Dee has a message for the fans

For a heavy metal band to be conceived in the disco era, there is no way for us to even begin to understand the challenges that Twisted Sister faced. At the time, disco was king, yet there arguably wasn’t a better time for these rabble rousers to exist – “the beauty of that era was that there was nothing to do except from go to the movies or go to a live band.” The documentary paints a vivid picture of the good times and the bad times experienced by the band in a very real format using old footage and TV appearances to narrate the story. It is full of honest and hard hitting home truths.

The band most definitely had their trials and tribulations, like all bands in their formative years. Chronicling the firing of original members due to alcohol problems and their replacement with the much younger Snider alongside clips of the frontman singing Bowie is a treat. At this time, the band was very much under Jay Jay French’s control, making new recruit Dee Snider feel like he was always being put on the bench.  Snider describes the process of how he came to write songs for Twisted Sister, and how he felt as though he constantly had to prove himself to French. Two cameo appearances by Lemmy Kilmister in the documentary give an insight into the power of his influence in launching the careers of bands. Twisted Sister have a lot to be thankful to old Lem for. He saw what they could do, when so many others did not.

We Are Twisted Fucking Sister‘ is filled with interviews from former members and associates of the band which really adds the real life feel to the documentary. It’s not always about the rise of a rock star; it’s about revolving door musicians, paying the bills, making mistakes again and again, taking risks, the internal power struggles between various members and solidifying a fanbase. Speaking of power struggles; the introduction of Dee Snider to the ranks, and his full creative vision for the band blossoming through the documentary is a treat that fans, old and new, will enjoy.

This film brings with it a very real message – music and its associated industry today is not what it used to be. As mentioned before, kids of the day had two choices: movie or gig. This is how Twisted Sister managed to build their empire – they played shows, amassed fans and their loyalty and dedication made the fat cats in the big labels pay attention. In a pre-internet age, the story of the band having to hide in a house for two months after a tour/record deal fell through, just to save face, seems almost unbelievable. But then again, this is part of the romanticism of the story; bands like Twisted Sister were the stars and all people knew was what was written in a paper, pressed on wax or what they saw on stage as they chanted “Disco Sucks.”

The vision becomes reality

After so many hurdles, the record deals came and the five twisted musicians had their break into the mainstream but that is a whole other documentary. The club days were done and dusted as the band stepped into uncharted territory.

We Are Twisted Fucking Sister is a testament to perseverance, resilience, self-belief and the true spirit of Heavy Fucking Metal.

 

'We Are Twisted Fucking Sister' is a testament to perseverance, resilience, self-belief and the true spirit of Heavy Fucking Metal.
Miley Stevens
A triple threat, being a photographer, reviewer and interviewer, Miley is PlanetMosh's resident thrash princess - enjoying all things fast and heavy. Fan of the boys with long hair.
Steve D
Dublin based editor, photographer and reviewer for PlanetMosh
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