Prior to its DVD/Blu-ray release, Twisted Sister’s new documentary film by Andrew Horn scored a semi-exclusive theatrical release in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. Though band members weren’t present in the flesh at the Windy City’s historic Music Box Theatre on the eve of “We Are Twisted F***ing Sister!” (Music Box Films) hitting stores and digital formats, they were definitely there in spirit throughout the two-plus hour trip across the influential heavy metal/glam rock act’s first decade together, mainly set in New York and England.
As far as metal during the days of MTV are concerned, few had higher hair, landed bigger hits, ruffled as many feathers or had a more fascinating story than the one told in “We Are Twisted F***ing Sister!”
No, it didn’t reach as far into the timeline as the smash single “We’re Not Gonna Take It,” nor it blatantly address the censorship battle (outside of its bleeped out title) that found the fellas squaring off against Tipper Gore and the Parents Music Resource Center. But what the rock doc lacked in career-spanning completeness it more than made up for in surprises as Dee Snider, Jay Jay French, Eddie Ojeda, Mark “The Animal” Mendoza and the late A.J. Pero (amongst many other fleeting members) tenaciously paved their way to stardom one club at a time with stories so outlandish they’re impossible to fabricate.
“We Are Twisted F***ing Sister!” combines rarely seen archival footage with interviews past and present between the cross-dressing/disco despising dudes, their behind the scenes cohorts and most feverish fans. Even those with little interest in Twisted Sister are sure to be drawn to this colorful cast of characters, while longtime appreciators are likely to gain additional insight into everyone’s brash musical philosophies, outrageous visual displays, genius guerilla marketing and irreverent sense of humor.
Though the film leaves practically everything after signing with Atlantic Records unanswered, it also keeps the door wide open for a sequel, much like era-splitting documentaries from the Eagles or AC/DC. Granted, Twisted Sister never reached that level of mainstream acclaim, but as far as metal during the days of MTV are concerned, few had higher hair, landed bigger hits, ruffled as many feathers or had a more fascinating story than the one told in “We Are Twisted F***ing Sister!”