HYSTERICAL: Hysteria – The Def Leppard Story, awful biopic, comedy gold

Firstly, kudos to Ben Ward of Orange Goblin for posting this on Facebook today and reminding us that This is Spinal Tap doesn’t have a monopoly on eliciting belly laughs at the expense of rock and metal’s superstars.
You may like Def Leppard, and even those who don’t may still appreciate “Rocks Off” from On Through the Night as a good-times rock/metal track from when they still had some dirt in their sound…
“Rocks Off”

(See!? That’s OK)

…And yeah, probably most of you use the Sheffield vets for sick burn target practice and low humor and that’s cool, too. But all of you can forget that this is about Def Leppard, the story of a totally nauseously polished Mutt Lange record, and just sit back and enjoy the majesty of soap actors playing working class heavy metal heroes embracing the ideal of superstardom—artistic zenith or not, ponder their chances with the fairer sex, are sick on each other, get chided by their mothers for being too thin post-tour….

This isn’t some cheap shot at what was an acceptable triumph-over-adversity story, what with drummer Rick Allen losing his arm in a 1984 car accident and the perennial squabbles to shout down egos and cope with the late Steve Clark’s drink problems. No, that’s all five dudes’ sacrosanct personal history, etc…

But the filmmakers, ha! For shame. VH1, too, they deserve a warm round of applause for originally airing a rock bio to trump their cheese and plum-treacle Behind the Music puke-fests. Who would have thought such mawkish sentimentality, ham-acting and ridiculous editing (opening scene: Rick Allen’s car crash) and script would have failed to rouse and rally the critics in the same fashion that the straight-ahead Ramones biopic End of the Century did? Well, duh. But c’mon, this should be a cult classic. It is, excuse the pun, car-crash filmmaking at its best/worst.

It’s all up on YouTube so just click through for each chapter. We’d post it all but the lawsuits from unfortunates stuck mid-cringe is too great.
Here are some of the more choice seens including tasteful Corvette-trashing opener and some great inter-band banter, post-review drama, and comedy accents.

Part One
Part Five
Part Nine