Studio 666 is decently fun if you’re willing to go ahead with its B-movie vibe.
Published on March 4, 2022
Rating 3 /5
The Foo Fighters star in this meta-horror movie that playfully roasts their careers while also playfully dabbling in blood-and-guts horror. They’re not exactly the strongest of actors, considering that Dave Grohl’s ease in front of the camera really makes the other band members struggle to keep up with him. Thankfully, not a whole lot of strong acting is required for this B-movie which makes the smart choice to let the band play themselves.
The premise is that the band needs to come up with an album soon but hasn’t yet found the inspiration. A record producer played by Jeff Garlin is growing increasingly frustrated with their inability to come up with something new. Growing desperate, the producer decides to hook the band up with a prime recording location.
That location happens to be the mansion where murder once occurred. There’s also a certain aura that the band can sense, providing the perfect opportunity to record something original and wicked. Or at least that’s what Dave Grohl believes. He tries to tap into the nature of the house but finds himself only reprising stuff he’s played before. In a moment of desperation, he plays a melody from a Lionel Richie song. And something does come to him! It’s the spirit of Lionel Richie telling him not to steal his song.
Things are looking grim for Dave’s career. Trying to find something more, he takes a trip down to the basement and is shocked at what he discovers. There’s a mixtape down there that seems to have the perfect song. There’s also a gutted raccoon but Dave doesn’t seem to mind that much. After all, there’s a killer song to be played that could save the career of the Foo Fighters. Emphasis is on killers.
The more Dave obsesses over the song, the more demonic he becomes. Sure, the band is happy to see their leader have some fire in his belly again with some originality. But at what cost? Dave starts growing more unhinged, favoring raw meat and growing fangs. Oh, and he kills people now. A lot of people, in fact. And he eats them.
The picture is treated with the B-movie winking of horror trying to be both meta and satirical of the band. It takes some small shots at the band in terms of playfully finding ways to make them both quirky and victims of vicious gore. There’s an active bit of winking at the camera that helps make the silliness a little more inviting than misfiring. That’s at least what I hope after watching so many of the Foo Fighters falter in their roles, where they’re struggling to hold back laughter in scenes that do not require them.
The comedy is also supported by a strong casting of other comedic actors. Jeff Garlin gives off a great performance of flustering and rage. He’s also a lot of fun to watch for his expressions when he and Dave Grohl engage in combat, which mostly involves them kicking each other in the balls over and over. Will Forte has a small role as a delivery driver who is really hoping Grohl will listen to his mixtape. And then there’s Whitney Cummings as the perky next door neighbor who knows more about the supernatural forces at play than she initially reveals.
The best part of the film is by far the violence. Director B. J. McDonnell doesn’t skimp on the blood and guts, making the kills as gruesome and over-the-top as they can possibly be. Heads get crushed, heads get decapitated, and one head is cut in half with a drum cymbal. Not exactly something you see in every horror movie. I also really loved how a chainsaw was incorporated into a sex scene, leading to a ridiculously graphic conclusion.
Studio 666 is decently fun if you’re willing to go ahead with its B-movie vibe. The performances range from comical to terrible but always with a dose of winking knowing at the camera. The gore is great and is perhaps the #1 reason to watch. But I just can’t shake the problems of the picture’s mixed messaging by the final frame which doesn’t really say a whole lot on the sinister nature of showbiz and the demonic. Oh well. At least Dave Grohl looks good as a demon.
Mark has been a professional film critic for over five years and a film lover all his life.