|Alien Ant Farm: BUStedLabel: Universal
There are three distinctive parts to the Alien Ant Farm DVD: the Music Videos, a 2002 concert from Germany and a “documentary” about the band. The video portion is absolutely excellent and worth three stars alone. A half star is earned for each of the other pieces.
The live performance from Germany in early 2002 is a decent one, and the material performed covers the first album almost exclusively. That album is a good one, but their execution at this particular performance is a bit flat. Drummer Mike Cosgrove shines during the concert and is the true star of the band despite all of the antics of lead singer, Dreyton Mitchell. I would love to have seen a show after their second album or a current one with the new guitarist (Joe Hill) and bassist (Alex Barreto from hardcore bands Chain of Strength and Inside Out). Terrence Corso left in 2004 and is now playing guitar in Powerman 5000 while original bassist Tye Zamora played on the current release, Up in the Attic, but reportedly is now pursuing a college education.
The documentary is, well, completely whacked out. Essentially, it is a video (camcorder) diary of the bands antics over the past several years. There is a ton of video of lead singer Dreyton Mitchell (usually drunk or stoned) running around naked and thrusting his member at everyone and anyone. He just loves to simulate humping usually on sleeping bandmates and crew on the bus like a chimpanzee with an uncontrollable libido. Can you say “id,” boys and girls? It looks like a fraternity party gone awry with plenty of nudity (not enough women, by the way), drunken stupidity and bong use. If it had a real narrative structure behind it the documentary could have much more value. It would have been informative to get more detail about the rehab that Mitchell had to go through after the tragic bus accident in Madrid that almost left him paralyzed and killed the driver. I would have loved to have had some explanation as to why Corso and Zamora left the band. By the way, Mitchell and company throw around enough slurs to offend almost everybody, with homosexual slurs the favorite. You don’t sense there is anything menacing behind it; they are just goofs, period. I just don’t know if it is all that entertaining to watch. The material of the producers and engineers working with them is the real meat of the piece.
The videos are excellent. “Movies” and “Smooth Criminal” are hysterical. The parody to which they subject Michael Jackson in “Criminal” is well executed. There is a masked little kid moonwalking and nailing Jackon’s dance moves, the “Billy Jean” sidewalk and even a Bubbles the chimp look-alike. Interestingly enough, the videos for the last album only feature Mitchell and Cosgrove. The full lineup may not have been set when they were filmed.Ant fans will love this and for those who like the genre will also be amused. The documentary is not for the easily offended.
~R. David Smola