MIND OF THE DEMON: The Larry Linkogle Story
Freestyle Motocross is one extreme sport that I know absolutely nothing about. Is it extreme? I think I would think it is classified in that genre. I mean, the X Games showcased it before, as well as Snowboarding, Skateboarding, and BMX Riding so I am calling it extreme. Hell, the dudes are riding these tiny motorized bicycles (because they sure as hell are not real motorcycles because they don’t make that roar or weight nearly as much) on a dirt track or hill flying up and down all over the place. Hell, it looks pretty fun and I can imagine it gives those doing a major rush and thrill.
Now that one has been given my brief, almost useless amount of information on the sport of Motocross I am going to talk about a documentary I just viewed about what seems to be one of Freestyle Motocross’ ultimate bad boys, Larry Linkogle. If one has never heard of Larry Linkogle, do not be alarmed. I had no idea who the dude was either, but I had heard of the gear and Motocross “group” he and some other like-minded individuals started, Metal Mulisha. Hell, I thought Metal Mulisha was a group for metalheads that listened to awesome music like Slayer, Exodus, Immortal, or Motorhead. I was so very wrong. Metal Mulisha was gear and apparel for Freestyle Motocross and they were the bad boys of the sport. They were the guys rebelling against the conformity of the sport of Motocross and taking it from racing around a track for speed and instead doing some badass tricks and wild shenanigans—all the while giving the mainstream section of Motocross a big fucking middle finger!
As the early history of Metal Mulisha and the beginning of extreme trick riding in Freestyle Motocross was told, through the use of tons of edited homemade video footage and professional clips accompanied by a solid hardcore punk soundtrack, I felt that this story was going to be a fun one to learn about. I also knew that, as with many young and successful sports “athletes”, a swift rise to fame and fortune can sometimes turn for the worst and this really was the case for Larry Linkogle and his camp. Some of the clips from interviews recorded he is calling riders with frost-tipped hairdos “faggots” and losers. The guy denounces the rednecks with mullets he claims make up a majority of Motocross riders (at the time of the statement and probably around the ‘90s) yet some of his hateful rhetoric and statements lead one to believe that at the time of the statements he was not much more open-minded or tolerant. Linkogle also seemed to focus more on having fun and partying then on practicing and riding his bike.
As the sport became larger and more mainstream (extreme Motocross, Free riding (riding all over natural terrain such as mountains and desert terrain), Linkogle again seemed to want to take the sport and turn it even more extreme and set it apart from the now glamorized that it became. It reminded me of when the sub-genre of Black Metal turned mainstream and everyone was throwing on corpse-paint and making some of the most atrocious “evil” noise they could think of recorded in ultra low-fi quality.
MIND OF THE DEMON does a nice job of mixing interviews and testimonials from fellow industry riders, friends, and family with a fun soundtrack and edited together nicely. None of the interviews are too lengthy to bore a viewer and the longer interviews are paired with cool footage. The documentary slowly shows the how one star in Motocross turns to alcohol, drug abuse, and dangerous habits and behavior to fuel his dangerous addictions. If anything, MIND OF THE DEMON makes a statement about the danger of doing drugs. Don’t do them unless you really want to see your life totally fucked up.
Larry Linkogle turned to crimes to feed their addiction. Guns came into play. The documentary, which I might mention is partially narrated by the great Lemmy Kilmister, frontman of the legendary metal band Motorhead, starts to turn towards an even darker side to this whole story. I honestly did not know if the outcome of this story was going to have a happy ending or not. It was like watching a really good fictitious film—except this story really happened.
The film, directed by Adam Barker, with testimonials and stories shared by Christian Fletcher, Trigger Gumm, Riki Rachtman, Jeremy McGrath, Travis Pastrana, and Duane Peters rolls along at a pretty good speed. I sometimes found some documentaries to drag on and bore me because there is a lack of edits, decent music, or riveting stories being told. The key to a good documentary is a variety of shots, footage, and music. Don’t do the same thing too long or for too many times. Keep things spicy and moving along, baby!
Suicidal Tendencies, Motorhead, Circle Jerks, Black Flag and Boy Sets Fire were just some of the punk and metal bands featured on the film’s soundtrack. I really thought the killer soundtrack added to my satisfaction and enjoyment of the film. The track used to start off the film and the title credits was “After the Eulogy” by Boy Sets Fire, my all-time favorite song by them. At this point, I could not hate the film because it already had gotten some high marks just for starting off the movie with BSF!
I am reviewing a screener of this film, so I can’t say anything on the special features of the retail dvd, but here is what is offered on the disc:
-Short Horror film starring Larry Linkogle, “A Slaughter House, an Old Man and a Bloodthirsty Robot”
-Behind the Scenes: Making of the Score w/ Mike Clark (Suicidal Tendencies), Greg Hetson (Bad Relgion), Jason Hill (Louis XIV) and Mark Leone
-Riding Highlights and Slams of Larry Linkogle
In the end, I learned a great deal about the history of a sport I knew “jack” about. I also had a positive message driven into me, one that never gets old, and never will until every last human being on the planet stops abusing drugs and alcohol. When drug and alcohol addiction overtakes one life, it is a scary and deadly thing have happen to one and the story Larry Linkogle and his friends/peers share with viewers is one worth listening to. The film, from Shoreline Entertainment and distributed through Breaking Glass Pictures, was voted “Best International Documentary” at the Bel Air Film Festival and “Best Documentary” at Slamdance and deservedly so. Hunt down this movie.