For their last ever studio album, ‘Repentless‘, thrash metal legends Slayer released three unusual music videos that might be better described as short films. Written and directed by BJ McDonnell, those videos supported the songs ‘You Against You’, ‘Repentless’ and ‘Pride in Prejudice’, coming together to tell the grisly story of Wyatt, a former neo-nazi dedicated to eliminating his former gang, and seeking revenge for the brutal murder of his pregnant girlfriend.
“The Repentless Killogy” brings all three short films together and expands on them. It features many actors familiar to fans of horror and fantasy, like Jason Trost (“Beats of Rage,” “Hatchet III”) as Wyatt, Danny Trejo (“Machete,” “From Dusk Til Dawn”), Richard Speight (“Band of Brothers,” “Supernatural”), Derek Mears (“Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”), Jessica Pimentel (“Orange Is The New Black”), Tyler Mane (“X-Men,” “Halloween II”), Bill Moseley (“The Devil’s Rejects,” “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2”), Caroline Williams (“The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2,” “Sharknado 4”), and Sean Whalen (“Twister,” “The People Under The Stairs”). It’s a very violent film with ample bloodshed and death, that can stand toe to toe with modern horror films, or Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez at their goriest. Based on that description, can you think of a better soundtrack than the music of Slayer? Take your time.
There’s not much in this world that’s more metal than watching Slayer perform ‘Repentless’ in the middle of a prison riot. The film’s narrative isn’t always very clear, but it’s fun to watch, and at 40 minutes long, it’s not just a throwaway concept. By the 18 minute mark, we’re done with the three music videos, and the film is now free to focus on itself as it follows Wyatt on a gruesome rampage that’ll lead him to the Forum for Slayer’s concert, where the story’s climax takes place during the band’s finale encore, ‘Angel of Death’ (what else could it be).
I’ll admit I was skeptical of the concept at first, but it works out great. The film is good, with lots of great actors from genre films, and the music of Slayer fits perfectly. It turned out to be a great way to do something different with both the music videos and the live concert release.
Part two of “The Repentless Killogy” features Slayer’s entire live set performed at the Los Angeles Forum on August 5, 2017, and was directed by Wayne Isham who has directed videos for artists including Metallica, Foo Fighters, Michael Jackson, Kelly Clarkson, and Britney Spears. It looks and sounds amazing, with very dynamic camera work. The stage also looks great, with lots of pyrotechnics and cool lighting, which helps the presentation. My only issue with the video is that since the band members are fairly static on stage, after a while it feels like it’s the same footage shown over and over unfortunately.
A lot of Slayer’s appeal comes from the sheer power of their live show, and this is is a challenge to reproduce on a TV screen. My advice would definitely be to crank this up as loud as you can, to recreate that live experience. Maybe invite a few friends over, have a few beers and even create a little mosh pit. But mind the furniture! Slayer may be retiring soon, but they’re going out on their own terms for sure with a release that while not perfect, documents very well their farewell tour.
Slayer: The Repentless Killogy is available digitally and on Blu-ray, and the soundtrack from that concert was released as both two-disc vinyl and two CD packages.