7.5/10
3,201
10 user 52 critic

A Band Called Death (2012)

Trailer
2:12 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

A documentary on the 1970s punk trio Death, and their new-found popularity decades after they disbanded.

Directors:

Mark Christopher Covino (as Mark Covino), Jeff Howlett
3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Documentary | Biography | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A feature-length documentary chronicling early 80's punk rock band the Minutemen, from their beginnings in San Pedro, California, to their demise after the death of singer D. Boon in 1985.

Director: Tim Irwin
Stars: Milo Aukerman, Joe Baiza, Kevin Barrett
Documentary | Biography | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A documentary on the influential musician Scott Walker.

Director: Stephen Kijak
Stars: Damon Albarn, Dot Allison, Marc Almond
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

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
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Documentary follows Bobby Liebling, lead singer of seminal hard rock/heavy metal band Pentagram, as he battles decades of hard drug addiction and personal demons to try and get his life back.

Directors: Don Argott, Demian Fenton
Stars: Bobby Liebling, Sean Pelletier, Phil Anselmo
Documentary | Biography | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

The story of the punk rock band The Ramones.

Directors: Jim Fields, Michael Gramaglia
Stars: Rick Rubin, Tommy Ramone, Dee Dee Ramone
Dig! (2004)
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A documentary on the once-promising American rock bands The Brian Jonestown Massacre and The Dandy Warhols, and the friendship/rivalry between their respective founders, Anton Newcombe and Courtney Taylor.

Director: Ondi Timoner
Stars: Anton Newcombe, Courtney Taylor-Taylor, Joel Gion
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Ginger Baker looks back on his musical career with Cream and Blind Faith; his introduction to Fela Kuti; his self-destructive patterns and losses of fortune; and his current life inside a fortified South African compound.

Director: Jay Bulger
Stars: Ginger Baker, Femi Kuti, Eric Clapton
Documentary | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A portrait, mostly chronological, of composer, cellist, and vocalist Arthur Russell (1951-1992). His parents, friends and colleagues such as Allen Ginsberg and Philip Glass, his long-time ... See full summary »

Director: Matt Wolf
Stars: Bob Blank, Ernie Brooks, Allen Ginsberg
Documentary | Biography | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A film about the career of the notorious punk rock band, the Sex Pistols.

Director: Julien Temple
Stars: Paul Cook, Steve Jones, John Lydon
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

British documentary about the late Norwegian artist St Thomas, in which the distinction between life, art, reality and imagination become increasingly unclear.

Director: Richard Knights
Stars: Thomas Hansen, Espen Mellingen, Terje Hansen
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

loudQUIETloud is the story of this unforseen plot twist. A deeply compelling portrait of four band members and their difficult, tense, and ultimately triumphant return.

Directors: Steven Cantor, Matthew Galkin
Stars: Frank Black, Kim Deal, David Lovering
Documentary | Biography | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

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
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dannis Hackney Dannis Hackney ... Himself, drums, Death
Bobby Hackney Bobby Hackney ... Himself, bass and vocals, Death (as Bobby Hackney Sr.)
David Hackney ... Himself, guitar, Death (archive footage)
Robbie Duncan Robbie Duncan ... Himself / Death-Cuitar
Kathleen Kathleen ... Herself, old friend of Death
Earl V. Hackney Jr. Earl V. Hackney Jr. ... Himself, not a member of Death (as Earl Hackney Jr.)
Victor Veve Victor Veve ... Himself / Lambsbread-Organ, Keyboards
Majora Florida Hackney Majora Florida Hackney ... Herself, mother of the Hackney brothers
Victor Twiggs Victor Twiggs ... Himself / Lamdsbread-Percussion
The Beatles ... Themselves (archive footage)
The Who ... Themselves (archive footage)
Don Davis Don Davis ... Himself - chief executive officer, Groovesville Productions
Brian Spears Brian Spears ... Himself, director of publishing 1972-1978, Groovesville Productions
Steve Williams Steve Williams ... Himself / Rough Francis
Steve Comegno Steve Comegno ... Himself / Rough Francis
Edit

Storyline

Before Bad Brains, the Sex Pistols or even the Ramones, there was a band called Death. Punk before punk existed, three teenage brothers in the early '70s formed a band in their spare bedroom, began playing a few local gigs and even pressed a single in the hoped of getting signed. But this was the era of Motown and emerging disco. Record companies found Death's music - and band name - too intimidating, and the group were never given a fair shot, disbanding before they even completed one album. Equal parts electrifying rockumentary and epic family love story, A Band Called Death chronicles the incredible fairy-tale journey of what happened almost three decades later, when a dusty 1974 demo tape made it way out of the attic and found an audience several generations younger. Playing music impossible ahead of its time, Death is now being credited as the first black punk band (hell...the first punk band!), and are finally receiving their long overdue recognition as true rock pioneers. Written by Drafthouse Films

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 June 2013 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A banda neve: Halál See more »

Edit

Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$34,839, 30 June 2013, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$125,856, 15 September 2013
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Soundtracks

$800
Written and Performed by Sam Retzer
Courtesy of Echo Park Music and Sound
Tim Matt and Sam, LLC (ASCAP)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
"If you give them the title to our band, then you might as well give them everything else..."
29 May 2013 | by plasmic_steveSee all my reviews

Write this one up as fiction and no one would buy it. Three black brothers in Detroit back in the early seventies. Their parents come into a chunk of money and buy their music-loving kids the classic bass/guitar/drums rock configuration. David, the band's guitarist and de facto leader, decides that if he can play chords like Pete Townsend and solo like Jimi Hendrix, he'll be capable of making an all-powerful sound. And as with so much of what David proclaimed, he was right.

This movie feels like a pure rock and roll myth, and like all myths, it has its tragic act. The band called Death independently records an amazing album, but they never get the major push they were hoping for. Their extreme (at the time) name is a constant stumbling block. After a long string of rejections, Death hears word that Clive Davis might sign them - but only if they're willing to change their name. Brothers Bobby and Dannis are willing to make the change in a heartbeat, but David - an uncompromising visionary on every level - dismisses the idea without even a moment's consideration, seemingly dooming the band to permanent obscurity.

Eventually the other Hackney brothers move on without David, evolving their sound into a reggae act. In 2000, David ominously delivers their earlier recordings to his brother, telling him to keep them safe because "the world's going to come looking for the Death master tapes someday." He wasn't wrong on that one, either, or this movie wouldn't exist.

As a documentary, "A Band Called Death" is extremely well made. The Hackney brothers provide lively interviews, as do other family members and people connected with the band. Black and white photos from their well-documented studio sessions fill in the visual pieces that home video would handle in a more modern story. The film is paced well, and even though by its very existence you'll realize that the band and its music were ultimately vindicated, there are many nice surprises along the way.  If you're into music (especially hard rock, punk, hardcore, or thrash) and immersive documentaries like "The King of Kong" and "Capturing the Friedmans", you'll need to check this one out as soon as you have the chance.


33 of 34 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 10 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed