More Punk Than Just A Death of a Rockstar

Röckët Stähr’s Death of a Rockstar recalls everything that we love from 70s and 80s era Rock n Roll!

Death of a RockstarAvailable to view on Roku and Tubi
DVD, Bluray and Soundtrack can be purchased through the official eBay store.

Röckët Stähr’s Death of a Rockstar has redefined what a concept album can look like as an animated movie experience. There’s honestly not enough material in this specific subgenre for fans to enjoy (the other is Pink Floyd’s The Wall and Metalocalypse: The Doomstar Requiem), and I love them all! The throwback animation style may not be for everyone, and I find parts of it very nostalgic. It felt like watching a Fleischer Studios cartoon with classic rock and roll music added on top.

Here, we’re presented with a story about the fate of a four-armed frontman (Stähr) as his show comes to a finale. After this band delivers a rousing performance to a packed house, someone in the crowd fires a gun, and the title card is displayed–he’s presumably killed. As this dying musician vibes back to his rise, what’s shown shows his success didn’t come easy. Also, there are even some moments which remind me of Nelvana’s Rock n’ Rule, as this star sings his heart away. One detail I love is the lyrics rendering in real time like a karaoke video! Usually, this option is rarely offered until a work gets offered as a sing-along to an anniversary celebration.

What we hear are songs recounting his life. The flashbacks include his creation, which is almost straight out of Frankenstein. He’s created by a mad scientist, Creigh A. Tor whose goal is to spur a movement to free the world from C. Czar’s oppressive regime. Röcky’s birth is no different from any other creation myth, and he’s lucky to not live an existence in excess. In regard to what he learns and expresses via song deserves attention.

And it’s amazing that 24 songs can cover it all. Anyone wanting a complete track listing to Death of a Rockstar can find it on Spotify. I feel that if I’m to offer my favourite tracks, it’ll spoil the viewing experience. A few of them tell how Röcky views life and what he has to say sounds like something David Bowie, ELO, and Elton John would offer in song during a live concert.

Death of a Rockstar | FilmInk

After watching Death of a Rockstar, I want to know more about this rocker and what he’s produced in our reality. Röckët Stähr’s Facebook page and the bonus material in the home video release reveals he’s very much an advocate for freedom of speech. He also explains why he went for a more traditional ending than his original idea, which is darker. Additionally, those who pick up this physical product will find test footage and production sketches to show how deep he went into fleshing out the design of the characters. The pencil drawings suggest he spent a lot of time with pre-production before committing everything to the digital realm and animate in Toon Boom Harmony.

This self-taught musician and independent filmmaker spent thirteen years creating this movie and his DIY approach is what makes this work look really unique. I’m excited this New York based musician has another animated project in the works and it’s going to be more of a horror film than a musical. His passion for 80s horror will no doubt be a huge factor and personally, I can’t wait for this release.

While the social commentary he injects in this current work is nothing new for the punk genre, the joy I have lays with how Billy Idol this cartoon hero is. If that’s not enough for us to sing Rebel Yell, then I don’t know what will.

4½ Stars out of 5

Death of a Rockstar Trailer

Author: Ed Sum

I'm a freelance videographer and entertainment journalist (Absolute Underground Magazine, Two Hungry Blokes, and Otaku no Culture) with a wide range of interests. From archaeology to popular culture to paranormal studies, there's no stone unturned. Digging for the past and embracing "The Future" is my mantra.

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