Ah, the 80’s. I remember slapping on the vinyl for the new Def Leppard album, “Pyromania”. And what an album it was. “Photograph”, “Rock of Ages”, the list of singles go on. Def Leppard seemed to be poised for superstardom. Then tragedy struck. Their drummer lost his arm in a car accident. But they still rocked on. “Hysteria” was their most popular album, but a bit too sugary for me. Now we have a movie that charts the rocky road to stardom and beyond, Hysteria: The Def Leppard Story is a heavy m…tal bio pic that meets with semi-successful results.
Hysteriahas all the band movie cliches. We have the forming of the band, the first hit single, lives change, drugs take over. But what makes this story distinct is not just the music (80’s hair metal has a certain kitschy charm), but the fact the drummer lost one of his arms. The movie starts with this tragic event, thus setting up the rise and fall narrative. The low budget of this movie is quite noticeable at times (a North American left steering wheel for British driving scenes ¦ c’mon), but the story is told with conviction, cliches and all. The music performances are well done, but this is a minor “band” movie. The metal saves it from becoming a retread altogether.
The Dolby Digital 2.0 sounds clean, which is important for a movie about music. The audio transfer seems a bit cramped, with its front heaviness. But this is a fine audio mix, for what it is. You can hear the music loud and clear, and that’s the most important thing.
The video transfer is another story. In this full frame 1.33:1 transfer, the colors come off looking a little dull and muddy. I suppose if the story material is like a TV movie, then I guess the look should be too. The TV movie quality of the transfer is a bit annoying, but you get used to it. The picture isn’t defined enough to have too much edge enhancement.
None that I could see.
Not a great movie. But a curious way to spend 90 minutes. The video and audio aren’t that great, so you might want to compensate by slapping on your copy of “Pyromania”. After watching this movie, I’m embarrassed to admit that I did. 80’s metal still rules!