(MVD, 86 mins.)
BY RANDY HARWARD
“I have been de-rail-road-ed! De-rail-roadED” sing-shouts
Larry “Wild Man” Fischer, in Derailroaded:
Inside the Mind of Larry “Wild Man” Fischer (MVD), a 2005 film about the
outsider music pioneer’s troubled life. The point of his rant-song is that he
feels he’s been screwed over by family, friends, the music industry-pretty much
everyone. This is a common belief among manic-depressive, paranoid
schizophrenics, and Fischer is one.
His primal, arrhythmic and amelodic performances are
unaffected expressions of his innermost demons, which is why Fischer is called
“brilliant” as often as “crazy.” It’s also why Frank Zappa financed and
recorded Fischer’s landmark Rhino album An
Evening With Wild Man Fischer, which made Fischer a legend.
Filmmakers The Ubin Twinz befriended Fischer and spent
three years interviewing him (sporadically, as Fischer tends to vanish) to tell
his compelling, haunting story. Their large, ranting subject eats the screen in
his interviews, giving a harrowing glimpse into his addled mind. The Twinz
supplement this footage with archival photos and home videos as well as
interviews with Fischer’s brother David, Gail Zappa, Devo’s Mark Mothersbaugh,
“Weird Al” Yankovic, Dr. Demento and Solomon Burke. The resultant reverent,
affectionate portrait ultimately causes one to contemplate what, really,
constitutes brilliance and insanity because although Fischer is completely
bonkers, he manages a pure artistic expression few “sane” artists can muster.