Studio 666 was not made for movie critics. It was also not made for regular people who walk into a movie theater looking for something to watch.
However, Studio 666 was made for people who love the original Evil Dead movie, or any number of low-budget horror movies that put more money into blood to splatter around and entrails to twist around a room than anything else.
As someone who grew up loving The Evil Dead, this movie was made for people like me.
Studio 666 is a horror comedy whose laughs come at the expense of people getting decapitated or having their guts ripped out and used as lawn decorations. It is also a movie for Foo Fighters fans who want to see their favorite band having all the fun in the world, even if they are not all the best actors.
The movie opens with a band in an old mansion – or at least what is left of them. A girl is running for her life while one of her bandmates is trying to kill her. Everyone else is dead and he finally catches and kills her before hanging himself.
This took place in 1993.
We then see the Foo Fighters – playing over-the-top versions of themselves – in the present day, meeting with their record executive (Jeff Garlin). He is mad because they don’t have their new album yet, so Dave Grohl mentioned finding a reclusive place to record (like Black Sabbath did back in the day). The exec knows the perfect place and sends the Foo Fighters to an old mansion to record their album.
Same mansion – same results.
Studio 666 is a gore-fest that pays tribute to movies that came before – most specifically The Evil Dead. When Dave Grohl discovers an old book that looks just like the Necronomicon from The Evil Dead, he ends up possessed by the same demon that possessed the lead singer back in 1993, and he now has one goal. Create the perfect song that will open a portal that will allow demons into this world. All he has to do is lead his band into doing their parts of the song – before killing them one by one.
None of the Foo Fighters are great actors, but give credit to director B.J. McDonnell for bringing out the best of them. It is clear that McDonnell is also a huge fan of old-school video nasties and he is able to balance the gore and horror with small moments with the band that allow them to have some fun and show what a great connection they have to each other.
Outside of Grohl, who does all the heavy lifting, Taylor Hawkins and Pat Smear deserve praise as well. Hawkins is a shining light in the movie, clearly the member with the biggest heart and that shines through. Smear provides a lot of humor as he deadpans his way through the movie, mostly with a bag of chips in his hands.
However, while the acting isn’t the best, the gore and practical effects are spot-on and the reason that any old-school horror fan should love everything about the movie. This is like an old-school B-Movie that you would pick up in a video store, but brought to the big screen. The creativity and love that went into the movie cannot be overlooked. Also, big credit to the Foo Fighters for not making this a movie about their music, as popular Foo Fighters songs are not part of the soundtrack.
There are also so many Easter eggs to behold in the movie, from Slayer’s founder getting a minor role and horror mastermind John Carpenter now only providing a song for the movie, but appearing in it as well in a cameo role.
The humor is hit-and-miss (I still say Pearl Jam High Five), but that can be forgiven, as cheesy humor is part of its charm. What makes Studio 666 an easy recommendation for horror movie fans is the spirit and love that went into making the movie. This was an ambitious movie, but with the Foo Fighters solidly on board and McDonnell delivering a fun directing performance, this is a throw-back horror movie that deserved its theatrical run.