News: Based on the True Story of Mayhem, ‘Lords of Chaos’ is Black Metal’s Latest Controversy
Written by Black Metal Bitch
I can’t say I know too many people in the underground metal community who don’t know the bloody, grisly details surrounding Norwegian Black Metal band Mayhem. We’ve all heard the tales, we know the players and we know the music; it’s been with some of us for decades, but now a film.
I first came across Micheal Moynihan’s book, “Lords of Chaos” around the time I was eighteen years old and I’ll be honest, the story of church burning, murder and metal was one that intrigued me to no end; I read the book a dozen times, I watched every video, ate up every interview and read countless news articles all in an attempt to feel as close to the story as I could until I knew everything there was to know about it.
About a year ago I heard rumors of a film adaptation with ex-Bathory drummer Jonas Akerlund in the director’s chair, but for awhile it seemed like nothing more than whispers and fairy tales but as of today it looks like the film is underway with Hollywood actors, a film crew on the streets of Oslo and one major cameo in legendary thrash metal band Metallica’s brand new video (you can watch the video here: https://youtu.be/tUVr2xnGIEo). While I wasn’t a huge fan of the new Metallica tune, I have to be honest Rory Culkin looks the part as the somber, brooding Euronymous and even watching Dead gyrate and gestate all over the stage, cutting his arms to shreds with knives and beer bottles had a serious ring of authenticity. Before the video starts a quick backstage shot has Dead breathing into a paper bag, a nod to the rumors the suicidal singer kept dead animals in bags and huffed the scent of death before shows.
Shots from Metallica’s newest music video “ManUNkind” featuring the cast of “Lords of Chaos”
From the stories I’ve heard, the cast is set to include Rory Culkin as well as Caleb Landry Jones in the leading roles. Other Hollywood actors such as Sky Ferreira, Emory Cohen and Valter Skarsgard have joined on to the project as well with Cohen set to play the role of Varg since Twilight star Jackson Rathbone was forced to pass up the role due to scheduling issues.
The big question is how does the underground community feel about Hollywood packing up and heading to Norway? Long time Mayhem bassist Necrobutcher (Jorn Stubberud) could not be more displeased and was quoted from Rolling Stone saying “This book Lords of Chaos is fucking crap and that some stupid Swedes are gonna make a movie out of it is not OK” and vows to “do anything I can do to stop Lords of Chaos from being made” while Darkthrone drummer Fenriz (Gylve Nagell) insists his part be played by Reese Witherspoon and claims the film is “the worst idea since un-sliced bread.”
(Above: Dead and Euronymous? Caleb Landry Jones and Rory Culkin. Below: director Jonas Akerlund and Jackson Rathbone looking very similar to Varg Vikernes despite turning down the role. )
The rumblings of the metal community are the typical scoffs or general disgust and perhaps rightfully so. This is a story that belongs to us – fans that know the bands and love the music. We’ve been cast out of society for years, branded as “creepy weirdos in black t-shirts” and we’ve grown accustomed to that. We embrace it and suddenly that same society comes uninvited to poke and prod, to shine the spotlight on us and share our story with those same people who point fingers and throw stones and all in the name of entertainment. This isn’t a hobby or a two hour movie for us, this is our lives and our lifestyle and to see Hollywood casting actors and outsiders into roles so close to us…well, all I can say is it better be done right. I’ll give it a chance, I’m happy that Jonas Akerlund is filming it, the cast, as “Hollywood” as it is, looks like it could work. Who knows? With an authentic soundtrack, a script based on the facts, this could be a solid movie and if it fails chances are, like everything else in this materialistic, pop culture world, it will be forgotten and dismissed and we can all go back to business as usual.