Motley Crue biopic a tale of sex and excess

Motley Crue band members (from far left) Vince Neil, Mick Mars and Nikki Sixx playing at the 2014 iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas.
Motley Crue band members (from far left) Vince Neil, Mick Mars and Nikki Sixx playing at the 2014 iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas.PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK • An upcoming film called The Dirt is not afraid to dish the dirt on rockers Motley Crue.

Based on the band's best-selling 2001 autobiography, it charts the rise of four Californian youngsters who channel the punk rage of the 1970s into the big-haired rock genre that defined the 1980s.

Like the hugely successful 2018 Queen movie Bohemian Rhapsody, it is a rags-to-riches tale of flamboyant show business glory and the perils of a rock 'n' roll lifestyle.

"I think that's what's exciting about the Queen movie - a band who wrote their own music. They were their own personalities and they lived their life the way they lived their life," Motley Crue founder and bassist Nikki Sixx said. "It's the same for Motley Crue."

The film, which will be screened on Netflix on March 22, begins with a neglected young Sixx (played by actor Douglas Booth) being taken into care after cutting his arm and blaming it on his drunkard mother.

It sets up a theme of self-abuse that runs through a story where liquor flows like water and the musicians cannot resist the vices that come with fame, reported Reuters.

A standout scene is when Motley Crue tour with rocker Ozzy Osbourne and see how out of control he is in giving in to his addictions.

Viewers may draw comparisons to the 1984 heavy metal mockumentary This Is Spinal Tap, but Sixx said he hoped The Dirt had some of the emotional heft of Boogie Nights (1997) or Goodfellas (1990).

"Everyone thinks Motley Crue glamorised drugs and sex. Well, that's not true," said Mr Allen Kovac, the band's manager and one of the film's producers.

"What we wanted to do is to deglamorise it, show what can happen to people, their families, their friends. I think accomplishing that... took courage by the band."

Meanwhile, Sixx, 60, has downplayed any speculation that Motley Crue are making a comeback. He teamed up with bandmembers Vince Neil, Tommy Lee and Mick Mars last year for the first time since their 2015 break-up to record four new songs for The Dirt.

The new tunes include a cover of Madonna's Like A Virgin (1984).

"Yeah, I miss the guys, and I miss playing with them and playing that music, but everyone's fairly busy with his own thing," Sixx recently told Classic Rock magazine.

Still, he misses the adrenaline rush from going on tour.

"Sometimes, I look at my friends, like the guys in Aerosmith and Metallica, and I'm like, 'Did we retire too soon?" he told Rolling Stone in another interview.

"Maybe we'll just get together and jam in Mars' front room."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 04, 2019, with the headline 'Motley Crue biopic a tale of sex and excess'. Print Edition | Subscribe