Outsider Music Documentaries

by daniel_luke | created - 22 Apr 2014 | updated - 09 May 2014 | Public
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1. You Think You Really Know Me: The Gary Wilson Story (2005)

74 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

A documentary about musical genius Gary Wilson. Hailing from a small town in New York State, he revolutionized music forever.

Director: Michael Wolk | Stars: Gary Wilson, Christina Bates, Butch Bottino, Terrence Burke

Votes: 35

2. The Devil and Daniel Johnston (2005)

PG-13 | 110 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

77 Metascore

Daniel Johnston, manic-depressive genius singer/songwriter/artist is revealed in this portrait of madness, creativity and love.

Director: Jeff Feuerzeig | Stars: Daniel Johnston, Mabel Johnston, Bill Johnston, Laurie Allen

Votes: 8,455 | Gross: $0.33M

3. Jandek on Corwood (2003)

Not Rated | 88 min | Documentary

54 Metascore

"The longest-running, weirdest, loneliest enigma in popular music is a guy from Texas who calls himself Jandek." Jandek on Corwood is the 89-minute documentary that explores this man, his world and his music.

Director: Chad Freidrichs | Stars: Byron Coley, Calvin Johnson, Barry Hansen, John Foster

Votes: 269

4. I Know You Well (2015)

65 min | Documentary, Music | Completed

A documentary about Jandek one of the most mysterious American musicians with a large international cult following. The film provides rare access to the elusive performer and an intimate examination of Jandek's creative process.

Director: Ashkan Soltani-Stone

5. Tuning the Pulse (2013)

25 min | Documentary, Music | Completed

Tuning The Pulse offers a rare, behind the scenes look into the creative process of notoriously reclusive cult musician, Jandek and his free improvisatory music.

Director: Ashkan Soltani-Stone

6. Off the Charts: The Song-Poem Story (2003 TV Movie)

R | 58 min | Documentary

Like a warped fun-house mirror, the song-poem industry has run parallel to the mainstream music business for close to a century; it's estimated that over 200,000 song-poems have been ... See full summary »

Director: Jamie Meltzer | Stars: Tom Ardolino, Sonny Cash, Del Casher, Jo Comberiate

Votes: 150

7. Derailroaded (2005)

Not Rated | 86 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

57 Metascore

A documentary on the life and music of manic-depressive, paranoid-schizophrenic cult music icon Wild Man Fischer.

Director: Josh Rubin | Stars: Wild Man Fischer, Harold Bronson, Solomon Burke, Ruth Buzzi

Votes: 191

8. Haack: The King of Techno (2004)

Not Rated | 70 min | Documentary, Music

A look into the underground world of Bruce Haack, a genius whose past work continues to garner recognition with time. The homespun musician couldn't have done it without the support of his ... See full summary »

Director: Philip Anagnos | Stars: Bruce Haack, Esther Nelson, Ted Pandel, Chris Kachulis

Votes: 82

9. You're Gonna Miss Me (2005)

91 min | Documentary, Music

64 Metascore

Documentary about rock pioneer Roky Erickson, detailing his rise as a psychedelic hero, his lengthy institutionalization, his descent into poverty and filth, and his brother's struggle with their religious mother to improve Roky's care.

Director: Keven McAlester | Stars: Byron Coley, 13th Floor Elevators, Evelyn Erickson, Roky Erickson

Votes: 936 | Gross: $0.00M

12. Wesley Willis's Joyrides (2008)

Not Rated | 77 min | Documentary

A look at the life and work of controversial rock musician and cult hero, Wesley Willis.

Director: Chris Bagley | Stars: Jello Biafra, Tabitha Soren, Howard Stern, Wesley Willis

Votes: 88

13. The Wild World of Hasil Adkins (1993)

Unrated | 29 min | Documentary, Short

Short subject documentary by Julien Nitzberg about the legendary "psychobilly" musician and infamous wild man Hasil Adkins. Filming takes place in Adkins' own yard, his shack, and at ... See full summary »

Director: Julien Nitzberg | Stars: Hasil Adkins, Art Fein, Billy Miller

Votes: 25

14. Big City Dick: Richard Peterson's First Movie (2004)

129 min | Documentary

This is a captivating journey into the world of a savant street musician and his lifelong struggle to become a successful recording artist, and to be loved. He is a street trumpeter and ... See full summary »

Directors: Kenny Harder, Scott Milam, Todd Pottinger | Stars: Peter Barnes, Jeff Bridges, Pat Cashman, Gary Crow

Votes: 41

15. Everything's Coming My Way (2005)

48 min | Documentary, Music

Everything's Coming My Way is the portrait of Gordon Thomas, an 87-year-old New York singer still hoping for his big break. Gordon is a former big-band trombonist, a born storyteller, and ... See full summary »

Directors: Stacey DeWolfe, Malcolm Fraser | Stars: Irwin Chusid, Gonzales, Citizen Kafka, Mocky

16. Different Drummer (1989–1991)
Episode: Dancing Outlaw (1991)

Not Rated | 29 min | Documentary

This documentary short, produced for West Virginia public TV's "Different Drummer" series, introduces us to Jesco White, a hard-living, tap-dancing Boone County resident whose repeated ... See full summary »

Director: Jacob Young | Stars: Wattie Green, Dorsey White, Jerry White, Jesco White

Votes: 490

17. Dancing Outlaw II: Jesco Goes to Hollywood (1999)

28 min | Documentary, Short

Jesco's trip to Los Angeles to appear in an episode of the Roseanne Barr show as an Elvis impersonating clog dancer is chronicled.

Director: Jacob Young | Stars: Jesco White, Tom Arnold, Roseanne Barr, John Goodman

Votes: 158

18. The Punk Syndrome (2012)

Not Rated | 85 min | Documentary, Comedy, Drama

A Finnish punk-rock band formed by four mentally disabled guys.

Directors: Jukka Kärkkäinen, Jani-Petteri Passi | Stars: Pertti Kurikka, Kari Aalto, Sami Helle, Toni Välitalo

Votes: 1,415

19. I Am Legend (1994 Video)

Documentary, Biography

A biography of rock musician and pop-culture icon Johnny Legend. Included are clips from his concerts, film and television appearances, and interviews with co-workers and colleagues.

Director: Johnny Legend | Stars: Johnny Legend, John Zacherle, Timothy Carey, Wildman Tony Conn

Votes: 53

20. Half Japanese: The Band That Would Be King (1993)

90 min | Documentary

From their underground days recording songs in their bedroom to their rise as one of rock music's most alternative bands, this documentary chronicles Jad and David Fair's formation of Half Japanese.

Director: Jeff Feuerzeig | Stars: Byron Coley, David Fair, Jad Fair, David Greenberger

Votes: 234

21. Multiple SIDosis (1970)

10 min | Short, Music

Short film utilizing quick cuts and multiple angles of a one-man-band musical performance by Sid Lavarents (who served as both film-maker and musician). Added to the National Film Registry,... See full summary »

Director: Sid Laverents | Stars: Sid Laverents, Adelaide Laverents

Votes: 291

22. Let Me Be Your Band (2003)

76 min | Music

See what wows Bowie, tunes in Beck and inspires the Cramps. It's a heart-pumping plunge off a curvy West Virginian highway that leads to the infamous One-Man-Rockabilly-Wild-Man, Hasil ... See full summary »

Director: Derek Emerson | Stars: Bob Log III, Lonesome Organist, Hasil Adkins, 6995

Votes: 12

23. Buscando a Reynols (2004)

90 min | Documentary, Musical

Documentary about the Reynols music group, which the most notorious is that one of its members has Down Syndrome. Another peculiarity is that of having a discography published in the most dissimilar corners of the planet.

Director: Nestor Frenkel

Votes: 68

24. Act Your Age: The Kids of Widney High Story (2010)


Documentary chronicles Kids' rise to underground cult fame over a ten year period, and incorporates the Kids' recent West Coast tour.

Directors: Jesse Alba, Mathew Klickstein | Stars: Spero Anthony, Tony Bollas, Ty Carlisle, Matty Carvajal

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