Movie Review: L7: PRETEND WE’RE DEAD



Grab your backstage pass and take a visceral immersion into the 1990s with one of the seminal grunge punk bands, L7. Assembling a dynamic combination of never-before-seen home video footage, relevant interviews and raucous performances, L7: Pretend We’re Dead is a real time journey witnessing the rise, fall, and ultimate redemption of these fierce feminist pioneers of American Rock and Roll.

Director: Sarah Price
Stars: L7, Donita Sparks, Dee Plakas, Suzi Gardner, Jennifer French

Rating: 10 / 10 Stars

Rating: 10 out of 10.

REVIEW – Pretend We’re Dead plays out like a love letter to the fans who stuck with this band from year one. This is basically the culmination of 100 plus hours of vintage home movies. Told from the perspective of the band, this film chronicles the early days of the band. We learn that this band was formed by Suzi Gardner and Donita Sparks in 1985. Soon after this dawn, Jennifer Finch came aboard on bass and Roy Koutsky on drums. This documentary focuses heavily on their 1985 to 2001 years. While watching this documentary, I had the feeling that critics and most music fans did not really know how to classify this sound. I can remember seeing L7 opening for Sonic Youth in Mobile, Alabama in the late 80’s. This was clearly a band who were hungry and pissed off. They wanted to not take over the scene, they wanted to destroy the people who have taken it over. The performance footage on this documentary is well worth the price of admission. It is raw, loud and at times just intense. The one feeling that I could not get over while watching this film was nostalgia. To hear the music played on this film, made it feel fresh and want to go grab the albums and spin them immediately.

This is much like what I thought we would have got from Kittie. (Though, they have promised for 5 years it is eventually coming) This is a passion project. To hear their colleagues speak of them is infectious and shows what impact they had on the music industry. This documentary never overstays its welcome or tries to smoke screen some parts for juicer parts. This is basically a band study of a band who were so far above their peers and ahead of the wave. Bricks are Heavy will always be that one album most people will cite as the album that got them into this band. I will say, before Geffen put their marketing machine in them, their earlier works are dirty, gritty and right in your face. This documentary is the best music doc of 2017 by far. This is insightful, respectful of the band and most of all obnoxiously intoxicating to the viewer. If you are not a fan, you will be one by the credits. If you are a fan, this is such a thank you present.

L7: PRETEND WE’RE DEAD | Official Trailer:

Watch on Apple TV