Film in Review: “Bob And The Monster” at SILVERDOCS Documentary Festival

Featured / Film & Animation / June 23, 2011

With Bob And The Monster, writer/director Keirda Bahruth examines the life of Bob Forrest, famed frontman of the influential late 80’s/early 90’s alt rock group Thelonious Monster.

Nowadays, Bob is a highly successful drug counselor, known for his compassionate, unorthodox method, and can be seen regularly on Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew.

However, in the late 80’s and early 90’s, Bob was one of the most notorious and helpless heroin addicts in the music scene. Bahruth’s film explores Bob’s heartbreaking past and how he made a complete 360 and turned his life around.

Combined with stellar archival footage, extensive interviews with Bob’s close friends including Courtney Love, Keith Morris (of Circle Jerks/Black Flag fame), and the Red Hot Chili Pepper’s Anthony Kiedis, John Frusciante, and Flea, Bahruth aptly details the lowest points of Bob’s past.

Most effective in this film, is the creative and surrealist approach Bahruth tackles some of Bob’s most disturbing and harrowing anecdotes. In a few scenes in which Bob is describing his worst moments as a heroin addict, Bahruth uses traditional stop-motion claymation as a visual aid to Bob’s testimonies.

In one particular scene in which Bob describes his “rock bottom” moment in which he knowingly injects heroin from a HIV-infected needle (he says at the time he thought if he ‘washed it out with soap enough times it would be clean enough to use’), the claymation visual reenactment vibrantly and surrealistically captures the harrowing experience in such a way that evokes a much greater emotional response than just seeing Bob tell the story.

The pacing of Bahruth’s film is played just right as it slowly, but effectively focuses on how Bob got his life back together, and became a successful drug counselor who has saved so many people’s lives (including that of Anthony Kiedis and John Frusciante, who reveal some dark secrets of their addictions and how they credit Bob).

Bob And The Monster is a vibrant and visceral story of one man’s struggle with addiction and his triumphant will to overcome it, and a touching tale of how he works endlessly and selflessly to save lives from addiction.


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Matt Cohen
Matt Cohen
Matt is currently obsessed with Rap Snacks, post-hardcore, pizza parties, and Carl Sagan's Cosmos.




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June 23, 2011

Film in Review: “Bob And The Monster” at SILVERDOCS Documentary Festival