Pentagram rocked. The pioneers of doom metal lead an underground music movement in the 70s, before finally releasing a full-length album in the 80s. Throughout this time the only constant band member was vocalist Bobby Liebling; but decades of drug use and fighting personal demons left Bobby without the tools to successfully chase his dreams. Fast-forward a few decades the 2000s and Bobby still has the same dreams, but the demons remain. Can he turn things around and do something with his talent? Or have the drugs beaten him for good?
Bobby Liebling is washed out. He’s in his 50s, yet he is still living in his parent’s basement. When we meet Bobby it’s hard not to assume that he’s not long for this world. His skin is an unnatural grey, there is no meat on his bones and the decades of drug use are obvious in his speech and behavior. It’s hard to imagine that this man was once the lead vocalist for a band described as, “street Black Sabbath” by producer Murray Krugman. Bobby’s occupation seems to be taking hard drugs and picking the skin on his arms to shreds. He’s not exactly the most enduring fellow – his lack off success appears to be chiefly his own doing.
While watching Last Days Here, I hardly felt any sympathy for Bobby at all. He wasn’t the victim of bad luck or unfortunate timing, he wasn’t swindled out of something great. Bobby was a drug addict, plain and simple. The story of Bobby isn’t actually that interesting at all. The real story can be found in the dedication of friend and manager Sean “Pellet” Pelletier, and the support of friends and family. They are the responsible for keeping both Bobby and his dreams, alive. Without them, who knows how long Bobby would have survived.
Sean Pelletier had a dream. He dreamed that Bobby would perform again, and that the music of Pentagram would be heard and loved by many. Pelletier had an uphill battle to get anywhere with this music and the drug-addicted, aging rocker who created it. It’s a real testament to Pelletier and Bobby’s parents that they were able to both help Bobby improve his health and personal life, and keep the music alive. Following Pelletier’s quest and hoping like hell that Bobby would come through and deliver the goods, was a frustrating, but ultimately uplifting viewing experience. This film is undoubtedly Pelletier’s. There is a distinct lack of concert/performance footage here – we are pretty much forced to take the word of Pelletier and other fans that Bobby has talent. The emotional kick in the film doesn’t come when we finally hear the rocker sing; it comes when we see Pelletier’s reaction.
By Sam McCosh
Director: Don Argott, Demian Fenton
Producer: Sheena M. Joyce
Runtime: 91 minutes
Release date: Out now on DVD via Antidote Films.