Foo Fighters’ ‘Studio 666′ is ridiculous, stupid fun—review
The first thing you need to know about Foo Fighter's new movie Studio 666 is that it is gory. Really gory. Preposterously, hilariously gory. People, and notably their heads, are dispatched in all manner of inventive, absurd ways: with hammers, with garden shears, with cymbals, with car tires, with barbeque grills. One poor unfortunate soul is fried to death by a dodgy electrical cable. A raccoon is disemboweled. Not one but two people get simultaneously chainsawed in half… lengthwise.
The background to his bloodshed is a deliciously simple premise, born in the mind of Dave Grohl and inspired by their haunted experiences at the movie’s very setting during the making of their real-life 2021 album Medicine At Midnight. Foo Fighters, lacking a creative spark, decamp into a long-unoccupied home of faded glories to try to wrestle with the writers' block that’s holding back the creation of their new album. But the house, nestled away in Encino, California, has an unspoken history – and a dark, bloody one at that. The music may not come easily, but soon enough, all hell — quite literally — breaks loose.
The Foos have never been ones to take themselves too seriously, as a glance at their music video back catalog will attest. Grohl says the desire with Studio 666 was to make the “ultimate gore Spinal Tap.” In that bid, they nail it. From minute one, Studio 666 has its tongue nestled firmly in its cheek, delivering ham and schlock by the platter-load. It’s easy to feel like Grohl wrote Studio 666 for no one but his and his bandmates’ own amusement. The fact that they get to share it with anyone, well, that’s simply a bonus. In-jokes are aplenty, and no band member is saved from a merciless rib-poking and needling. It's tour-bus banter brought to the silver screen. Grohl even turns some of the best quips on himself, mocking his own bid for the perfect drum setup in one of the movie’s most memorably funny highlights.
Of course, a feature-length horror-comedy starring predominantly men of little to no acting experience isn’t exactly going to trouble the Academy. It’ll come as no surprise that a band well versed in playing three-hour live shows might produce a movie that overstays its welcome by a good 30 minutes, and there are only so many jokes about dicks, keyboardist Rami Jaffee and keyboardist Rami Jaffee’s dick that any script ever requires. But Studio 666 is knowingly daft and leans into its own inherent silliness to just the right level. Its fleeting homages to movies including The Shining and The Exorcist will tickle horror fans, while there are scene-stealing cameos from Lionel Richie and Slayer’s Kerry King, of all combos. To take it for anything more than it was ever intended would be to miss the real spirit in which Studio 666 was created.
Grohl has been quoted as saying that when he was first pitched the idea of a Foo Fighters horror movie, his first thought was, “That’s the stupidest fucking idea I’ve ever heard in my life.” Its execution isn’t far off it, either. And it’s exactly what makes Studio 666 a riotous slice of blood-soaked fun.