There are few stories so luridly fascinating as the suicide, murders, and church burnings supposedly carried out by Satanic Norwegian black metal musicians in the early 1990s, and now VICE is turning it into a film. Based on the book Lords Of Chaos: The Bloody Rise of the Satanic Metal Underground by Michael Moynihan and Didrik Søderlind, Lords of Chaos is set to become a VICE film from Spun director Jonas Akerlund starring Rory Culkin.
Pic is the terrifying story based on real events about a dream-turned-nightmare for a group of teenagers who spiral out of control.
The pic follows 17-year-old Euronymous, who is determined to escape his traditional upbringing in 1980s Oslo. He becomes fixated on creating true “Norwegian Black Metal” music with his band Mayhem, and creates a phenomenon by using shocking stunts to put the band’s name on the map. But as the lines between publicity and reality start to blur, acts of arson, violence and a vicious murder shock the nation.
Co-written with Dennis Magnusson, the film will be produced by Jack Arbuthnott, Kai-Lu Hsiung, Ko Mori, Fredrik Zander and Malte Forsell, and executive produced by Shane Smith, Eddy Moretti, Danny Gabai and Vince Landay for Vice, and Carlo Dusi for Scott Free London. [Variety]
I think I first read about the Norwegian Black Metal story in guitar magazines in the mid 1990s, but there are so many insane elements of the story that it might be hard to fit them all in a single movie. Euronymous was in a band called Mayhem with a guy named “Dead.” A few of the most famous anecdotes about Dead are that he would supposedly bury his clothes in the hopes that they would start to rot, then dig them back up and wear them onstage. He also was said to have kept a dead crow he found in a plastic bag, that he would open up and inhale to get the scent of death. (I have a coffee can full of farts before I use to pump myself up to do comedy).
Dead later killed himself via shotgun. Euronymous discovered the body and, so the story goes, collected skull and brain fragments to send to his friends. He also took pictures of the body to use as an album cover, along with the suicide note as liner notes. Fellow musician Morgan ‘Evil’ Steinmeyer Håkansson once said in an interview:
Morgan continued, “So I wrote a letter [to Mayhem] and then I got the reply back from the guitar player [Euronymous] — ‘Well he just shot himself and here’s a piece of his skull.’ It was a shotgun, you know? So [he also sent me] two pieces of the lead and a piece of the wet brain. I’ve still got it. I keep it well protected.”
Euronymous was in turn stabbed to death by another Norwegian metal guy, Varg Vikernes (pictured, in 1998). Who, as you might imagine, was also quite colorful.
Lords of Chaos, however, is far less interested in Euronymous than in the man who killed him, Varg Vikemes [sic] from the one-man group Burzum. Vikemes [sic], a church burner who dubbed himself “Count Grishnackh” after an evil ore in Lord of the Rings, is now serving a 21-year sentence – Norway’s toughest penalty – in a maximum security prison for brutally stabbing Euronymous to death on 10 August 1993. After his arrest just seven days later, the Count justified himself by claiming that Euronymous was a communist “queer” who had cheated him out of Burzum royalties. He also claimed that Euronymous was plotting to kill him. After being ostracized from the black metal community, Vikemes announced that he was now no longer a black metal Satanist, but rather a Nazi Odinist because the Jews had “killed my father Odin.” [SOURCE]
I’d never heard that “Jews killed Odin” story before. Maybe they could get Mel Gibson to direct instead? Lol, jk, jk. Jonas Akerlund actually seems like a great choice. He’s usually described as a music video director, and while I would argue music video directing’s application to narrative film is pretty limited, he did direct Spun, easily the second best movie about meth of 2002 behind Salton Sea. His last film was the poorly-received Small Apartments, from 2013. But at the very least, he’s Scandinavian and has experience depicting the crazy and obsessive. I’d bet he’s going to shoot this like Oliver Stone-style sensationalist porn, which will be perfect for VICE.