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Andrew Horn
Twisted Sister
Writing Credits:
Andrew Horn

They were the Grand Funk of Glam and the NY Dolls of Metal. Some considered Twisted Sister a joke, others called them the greatest bar band in the world.

Rated NR

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
English DTS-HD MA 2.0
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 134 min.
Price: $34.95
Release Date: 2/23/16

• Audio Commentary with Director Andrew Horn
• 9 Collections of Deleted Scenes
• Trailer


Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.

Twisted Sister: We Are Twisted F***ing Sister! [Blu-Ray] (2015)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (March 10, 2016)

One sign you’re old: when you can remember a world in which a goofy metal band seemed dangerous. We revisit those days via We Are Twisted F***ing Sister!, a documentary about 80s rockers Twisted Sister.

The program follows a standard framework, as it mixes archival materials with new interviews. We hear from band members Dee Snider, Jay Jay French, Ken Neill, Eddie Ojeda, Mark Mendoza, and AJ Pero, musicians Mark Hitt and Randy Jackson, co-manager Joe Gerber, former booking agent Mike Roviello, club owners Bobby Jordan and George Parente, costume designer Suzette Snider, manager Mark Puma, journalist Garry Bushell, Secret Records founder Martin Hooker, former Atlantic Records CEO Jason Flom, former Atlantic-Europe VP Phil Carson, and fans Peter Hackett, Mike Corcione, Dave Gillespie, Michael Wiese, Donna Boccuzzi, DJ Fingers, Lauri Naglieri, and Sally Avellino.

The program starts in 1972 to recap the band’s formation, influences and the rock scene in New York at the time. From there it looks at the band’s early days and evolution over the years as well as their attainment of mainstream success.

To my surprise, Twisted essentially skips the band’s glory years. The film is nearly finished when their breakthrough hit Stay Hungry enters the discussion, and we never even hear “We’re Not Gonna Take It”, their most famous song. I get the rationale for that choice, as director Andrew Horn clearly felt the story about the band’s rise was more interesting than their time on top.

Still, it seems somewhat unsatisfying to me, as I’d like to know about what happened to the band when they finally reached the top of the mountain. The majority of Twisted details the band’s struggles to get a recording contract and reach “the big time”, so it feels anti-climactic that the viewer isn’t allowed to enjoy their success. How did they react? What happened after that? We don’t know.

This becomes especially frustrating given the film’s length. Twisted runs 134 minutes, which is pretty extended for a documentary of this sort – especially because there just doesn’t seem to be that much meat on these particular bones. We get little about the bandmembers’ lives outside of TS, and we learn little about creative processes.

Instead, we get an endless parade of concert anecdotes and thoughts about their long path to a record contract. Some of this seems interesting, but not for two hours plus. After a while, the stories start to become monotonous and all blend together – the basic band story just doesn’t have the inherent drama it needs to keep us involved.

During the disc’s audio commentary, Horn states that he didn’t come to this project as a TS fan, and that surprised me. Twisted boasts all the signs of a project created by and for fans of the band, mainly due to it indulgence. The film’s endless series of anecdotes seem likely to entertain those who love TS, but they appear less likely to enchant non-fans.

I never cared for TS as a kid, but I maintain no dislike of them, and I hoped to find an involving band narrative here. Unfortunately, the end result seems too long and too slow. Cut down to 90 minutes or so, Twisted could’ve been an energetic history, but as it stands, the movie doesn’t know when to quit.

The Blu-ray Grades: Picture B/ Audio C/ Bonus B

We Are Twisted F***ing Sister! appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. With its mix of new interviews and archival footage, Twisted looked fine for this sort of program.

As always, I viewed the old material and the new shots with different expectations. The archival stuff jumped all over the place. It could look pretty okay at times, but we also got some messy, clips. I didn’t have any real problems with those, however, as I figured they were about as good as we could get. In any case, the flaws of the old bits didn’t interfere with my enjoyment of the program. They blended just fine and didn’t cause distractions.

Overall, the new footage offered nice visuals. Sharpness was quite good, as virtually no softness impacted on the new footage. Those elements appeared concise and accurate. Colors were reasonably natural, and no notable defects affected the new footage. Blacks and shadows followed suit, as they seemed perfectly positive. Overall, the visuals were solid given the program’s parameters.

As for the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, it seemed lackluster. The soundfield tended toward “broad mono”, as the track often focused on the front center channel with general expansion elsewhere.

This meant an odd effect where music would pop up in the front middle and surround speakers. Occasional stereo material appeared, mainly via a handful of effects, but music usually stayed with “broad mono”. The lack of stereo music seemed inevitable because most of the songs came from primitive videotapes, but I’d have preferred “real mono”, as the soundscape seemed awkward.

Audio quality came with inevitable issues related to the source material. Dialogue was clear and concise, but music suffered from the restrictions of the recordings. That meant the songs were thin and rough most of the time. While I couldn’t fault the reproduction, I still thought the track deserved a “C”.

The Blu-ray comes with a mix of extras, and we open with an audio commentary from director Andrew Horn. He offers a running, semi-screen-specific look at the project’s origins, research and interview sessions, locations, music, and various anecdotes.

Horn provides an enthusiastic, informative chat. As hinted earlier, it’s not the most screen-specific track I’ve heard, as Horn prefers a more free-flowing format. He packs the discussion with lots of good thoughts, though, and makes this a nice overview of both the band and the filmmaking processes.

Nine compilations of deleted scenes appear. These come under “Philosophy & Attitude” (13:12), “Stage Craziness” (15:16), “The Clubs” (33:09), “The Fans” (14:46), “Music & The Music Business” (15:04), “Personal Stories” (19:20), “The UK” (10:09), “Afterward” (14:58) and “Summing Up” (10:10). Across these, we hear from the same participants found in the main documentary and adds journalist Dante Bonutto, former UK fan club president Gill Massey and fans Pete Gottuso, Vin Healey and Danny Stanton.

In true “deleted scene” fashion, these clips help expand on topics found in the main film. We get a nice array of details and stories, with an emphasis on the latter. Given that I think the movie runs too long, I can’t claim it should’ve included any of these, but I’m happy to see the added clips.

The disc opens with ads for Revenge of the Mekons, Flamenco Flamenco, Anton Corbijn: Inside Out and Bettie Page Reveals All. We also find a trailer for Twisted.

With We Are Twisted F***ing Sister, we get a sporadically interesting band biography. Unfortunately, the movie runs far too long and gets tedious well before it actually concludes. The Blu-ray comes with generally good picture and some useful supplements but audio seems erratic. Twisted Sister fans will like this program but it seems unlikely to do much for others.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 1
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