Director – Rob Gabriele
Starring – Bill Manspeaker (Cool as Hell 2, Space Ghost Coast to Coast), Lloyd Kaufman (#Shakespeare’s Shitstorm, The Toxic Avenger), and Damien Manspeaker
Release Date – 2016
Rating – 3/5
Green Jello, or Green Jelly, is a band that saw huge success with their music video for Three Little Pigs. I’m not much on punk but I remember listening to this one when I was younger. Hell, I have it on my Amazon Music playlist right now. It’s a catchy fucking song. However, my knowledge of GJ stops there. When Vinegar Syndrome’s partner label announced the release of Green Jello Suxx Live on blu I was hesitant to grab it.
On one hand, I love a good documentary but on the other I don’t care enough about GJ to spend money on a doc about them. My mind changed when I saw that it had Lloyd Kaufman in it. I went ahead and snagged a copy and after watching Smile and Heavy Trip I figured now was just as good a time as any to check it out.
**Spoiler Alert** The documentary follows Bill Manspeaker as he tours through Ontario, Canada. Bill is the founder and front man for Green Jello who has amassed over 600 band members in his band that way he has somewhere to stay and members of the band regardless of what town he plays in. We follow Bill as he prepares for shows, watch him perform, and all the work behind the scenes as he moves from town to town. **Spoiler Alert**
I’m a sucker for documentaries regardless if I have an interest in the top or not. I was already on the fence about spending $25 for a doc about a band I’ve only heard one song from before but seeing Lloyd was in it I decided I’d give it a shot. I’m glad I pulled the trigger on it because I really enjoyed it. It doesn’t make me want to dig deeper into the band or anything but it was a fun doc that really showed the viewer what it was like being in a rather innovative band.
The interviews in this one are very insightful but very one sided. The interviews consist of current and former band members along with Manspeaker himself. It’s cool seeing how many people were impacted by this band and how many proclaim it to be their favorite punk band. However, it’s mostly all rainbows and unicorn farts. None of the interviews are from people with something negative to say about him. I remember some time back, not too long ago, that there was an issue with GJ and a promoter and the thread spiraled out of hand with people talking about how much of an asshole and dickhead Manspeaker can be when performing. It would have been very interesting to hear from people that don’t have the same opinion of Manspeaker as most of the people in the doc. In fact, some of my favorite documentaries usually takes the time to show both sides of the coin so to speak. Green Jello Suxx Live is fan made and that shows.
The topics discussed in this one mostly follows around on the “current” tour GJ was on when this was filmed and how Manspeaker has found a way to provide himself with a place to stay and band members for each town he visits. This is a genius way to tour and ensure that you always have fresh musicians with no internal drama. This was very interesting and makes up a bulk of the film but I wish more time was spent on discussing the earlier years of Green Jello. It was only mentioned briefly and that was the most fascinating of the entire film.
Finally, this one is put together very nicely. Each segment and scene flows smoothly together even though a lot of the footage is a bit hectic considering it follows a high energy punk act. Overall, Green Jello Suxx Live is a fun documentary about a legendary theatrical punk band that many don’t know. I would highly recommend checking this one out regardless if you are a fan of them or not. It’s a well made doc.