We Sold Our Souls for Rock 'n' Roll

Director Penelope Spheeris (Wayne's World, The Decline of Western Civilization) hits the road with Ozzfest, the touring heavy-metal festival organized by Black Sabbath vocalist Ozzy Osbourne and his wife, Sharon. Spheeris's documentary chronicles the inaugural extravaganza in 1999, which covered 30 cities and featured 15 acts (including Primus, Rob Zombie, Fear Factory, Slayer, and Sabbath, the forefathers of the genre, who closed the show). Her take is both wry and affectionate, and her backstage footage proves that there's no need for Spinal Tap when you've got the real thing: Ozzy, age 50, reads his lyrics off two huge TelePrompTers and hobbles offstage between numbers to suck down herbal power shakes and take hits from an oxygen tank, while Sabbath's drummer, Bill Ward, discusses the scars he's collected from the band's various attempts to set him on fire. Far more depressing are the legion of drunken fans, who seem as clueless to the music's self-parody as the religious protesters shadowing the tour. At least the eighth graders who encounter the masked members of Slipknot on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial seem to get it. 88 min.

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