Written by: Michael Den Boer on April 21st, 2008
Approximate running time: 108 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.37:1 Full Frame (Black & White)
Director/Writer: Kevin Doherty
Cinematographers: Brett Howe, Kevin Doherty
Cast: Adam Smoluk,Jenny Pudavick, Raimey Gallant, Clayton Champagne, Jason Malloy, Orlando Carreira, Mike Silver, David Evans, Spencer Maybee, Mike Cunnigham, Zenon Hudyma, Kierin Kocoure, Kelly Wolfman, Aislynn O’neill, Alan Mackenzie, Adriana O’Neil, Will Woytowich, William O’Donnell, Priscilla Yakielashek, Walt Nilsson
Soundtrack: “We Live to Rock” “Primetime Hero” performed by Thor/ “Gates of Oppression” “The Last Force” performed by Goat Horn/ “Still the One” “Nothing to Lose” performed by Brighton Rock/ “Supernova” performed by Trained Bears/ “Vices,” “On the Road to Rock” “Rockin’ Daze” performed by Kick Axe/ “Sands of Time” “Tribulation” performed by Betrayer/ “Vacation” “Bad Girl” performed by GERONIMO!/ “I Don’t Care” performed by Crashstreet/ “Hard on Love” “Bad Boys of Rock” performed by Lawsuit/ “Heavy Metal Love” performed live in Buffalo by Helix/ “Cut Loose” “Stop Me” “Ooh Baby” “Free as the Wind” performed by Anvil/ “Terror in the Night” “Betrayed,” “UndeRAGE” performed by Labyrinth
Black Bridge’s plot revolves around a group of head banging friends are implicated in the death of a twelve year old boy whose body is found in one of their rooms. This group of friends’ is very passionate about the music they listen to and a few of them take the lifestyle a bit too far with their dabbling in the occult. There is a sub plot about a school teacher whose 12 year old daughter was traumatized after being raped.
Black Bridge presents provocative subject matter in an intelligent and never condescending way. At the core of the film is how music is often made an escape goat when tragedy befalls youth. Filming Black Bridge in Black & White adds to the realism and grittiness of the subject matter. The direction and pacing are both very effective. One of Black Bridges strongest assets is its colorful array of oddball characters. The acting ranges from average to very good with most of the leads giving solid performances.
It is amazing just how much was accomplished with a limited budget. What is even more impressive is how this film still got completed even after a major setback where the cameraman was mugged and thirteen days of footage was stolen. Music plays a prominent part in Black Bridge. The score for the film features many prominent heavy metal acts from the 1980’s and some more contemporary acts. Since the beginning of the cinema youth films about youth culture like American Graffiti and Dazed and Confused have helped define a generation. Black Bridge is the 1980’s metal head’s film that defines its generation.
Black Bridge’s take on the 1980’s and the heavy metal music scene brought back a lot of memories from my youth. Some of the themes in the film are reminiscent of the case that was brought against Judas Priests when two of their fans killed themselves because the music told them too. Heavy Metal has always gotten a bad rape and its association with the occult is sometimes overstated. Many bands of this era may have played the occult card visually and to sell records even though they were not true believers of the black arts.
Ultimately Black Bridge gives an honest and realistic portrayal of heavy metal fans during the 1980’s.
For More information about this film go here.