A Band Called Death
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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 hopes 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… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"An especially pointed variation on one of music's most oft-told tales: A band formed ahead of its time sits in muffled obscurity while others reap the harvest of what it first planted."
‑ Geoff Pevere, Globe and Mail
"Their story can feel almost too ready-made for the telling, but it's well worth a listen."
‑ Nicolas Rapold, New York Times
"Death lives!"
‑ Jonathan Kiefer, SF Weekly
"An exceptional look at artistic integrity, musical innovation, and the power of family ties."
‑ Brian Orndorf, Blu-ray.com
"A band call Death comes back to live in this hilarious and poignant peon to hard rock with a soft heart."
‑ Ron Wilkinson, Monsters and Critics
"Fortunately, Bobby and Dannis, the surviving brothers, prove genial company."
‑ Peter Keough, Boston Globe
"... a must-watch for fans of punk music, vinyl record wonks, or even those interested ... a visionary entertainment dream."
‑ Kate Erbland, MSN Movies
"A slice of music history forgotten for too long, and, thanks to A Band Called Death, forgotten no longer."
‑ Simon Miraudo, Quickflix
"A rock 'n' roll fairy tale, well-told."
‑ Mike Scott, Times-Picayune
"Directors Mark Christopher Covino and Jeff Howlett tell this part of A Band Called Death without much artifice, relying on the natural charm and sunny dispositions of the surviving Hackney brothers to draw us in."
‑ Jay Stone, Canada.com
"If the brothers seem a little drunk on their own myth, they're also genuinely humbled by the band's rediscovery and warmed by the fact that their kids have carried on the family tradition."
‑ J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader
"[A] generous, spirited documentary [that captures] one of the strangest and most inspiring of all family stories of tragedy and triumph that this crazy country has produced."
‑ Andrew O'Hehir, Salon.com
"It could have dug a little deeper, pursued more candid moments to capture on film. But it compensates by recanting the emotionally meaningful story of the Hackney family."
‑ John Serba, MLive.com
"It's a bittersweet story of the fringes of fame and of three brothers who belatedly deserve to share the spotlight."
‑ Todd Jorgenson, Cinemalogue.com
"It's a soul-stirring tribute to a man whose vision was too bold and revolutionary for his lifetime, or the convention-bound ways of the music industry, but was ultimately too powerful to be denied."
‑ Nathan Rabin, The Dissolve
More reviews for A Band Called Death on Rotten Tomatoes