Chris Holmes, the legendary guitarist on the first four studio releases from 1980’s shock-rockers W.A.S.P. (whom I bet more than one of you horror hounds out there were major fans of), and he of the vodka-drenched pool-set interview in Penelope Spheeris’ documentary The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years gets the solo spotlight in the latest Blu-ray release from Cleopatra (along with MVD Entertainment); Mean Man: The Story of Chris Holmes!
Immediately we learn Chris is alive and well (a miracle in and of itself), married, living in Southern France, and touring with his latest band Mean Man (for which he performs vocal and guitar duty).
As we follow the band on tour we get to see a great slice of “life on the road”… but of course stories are soon told of Holmes’ tumultuous days in W.A.S.P., and his near constant battles with frontman Blackie Lawless (who both screwed him over constantly, and got him on the path to sobriety when Holmes re-joined W.A.S.P. in the late ’90s for a time… a path he’s been on for twenty years!). This is the meat n’ potatoes of the tale for sure, and those that tuned in to this to hear those war stories you will not be disappointed.
However, the film has plenty more to offer including tales of Chris’ childhood (and a religious revelation that may come as a surprise), early bands, and plenty of D.I.Y. rock n’ roll inspiration.
The real refreshing thing is that Chris neither feels sorry for any choice he’s made, nor does he apologize for them… he simply lives his life, on his terms with zero belly-achin’ bullshit these types of docs often devolve into.
As for bonus material we get a lengthy series of deleted interview segments that add even more outrageous stories to the pot, as well as a slideshow gallery, and the film’s trailer.
Not quite a “feel good” story, but a story that will ultimately give you a satisfying sense of rock n’ roll redemption; Mean Man: The Story of Chris Holmes is a doc no fan of hard rock should miss!