Official MIFF site
Fitzroy Shorts
Film Buff's Forecast
Richard Watts
Melbourne Film Blog
ABC 774 Melbourne
The Age


Ex-Drummer (2007)

Director: Koen Mortier
Starring: Dries Van Hegen, Tristan Versteven, Bernadette Damman, Barbara Callewaert, Sebastien Dewaele
Soundtrack: Arno, Filip Kowlier, Flip Kowlier, Millionaire

Tagline: Punk-rock, giant horse-cocks and bloodletting

A bunch of losers looking for their shot at fame arrive at the apartment of famous author Dries (Dries Van Hegen) one day and he decides to go along with them to slum it and so he can get material for his new book.

To his surprise he actually finds out they can play their instruments and he ends up hanging around with them all the time and getting involved in their lives. At the same time he sees himself as above them and relishes the opportunity to put them down at any opportunity.

The ending is shocking, but even though I expected something bad to happen I didn't think it would happen in that exact way. After all the band went through to play their one and only gig it does leave you feeling a bit cheated.

Although I couldn't really feel that sympathetic towards the main character, I did warm to the other members of the band slightly even with all their faults. The lead singer Koen De Geyter is a tightly-wound psycho who can go off at any time and has a disturbing interest in the mother of the guitarist with the stiff arm (Verbeek). Their other guitarist is deaf and goes off the rails early. How they make it to their gig is a miracle in itself.

There was a warning about 'scenes that may disturb' some viewers, but apart from a couple of bashings and the anal rape by 'Big Dick' and his 50cm penis it was nothing you can't see in Hostel or similar these days. The latter movie also does not have the humour that was present here so you can at least get some cynical laughter out of it. There were some nice surrealistic scenes like Koen De Geyter walking around on the roof of his apartment and Dries and Bick Dick talking to each other on the inside of a giant vagina

The best thing about the movie was the atmosphere as you felt really grotty watching it, like you were sitting in the filth with the people on screen and breathing in Dries cigarette smoke. The gig footage was wild also and it reminded me of some of the gigs I have been to.

I haven't heard of any of the bands on the soundtrack, but it would be interesting to see if they get wider exposure from this movie as it is sure to become a widely watched movie amongst punk rock fans.

Rating: 8/10

Official Site
IMDB Entry

Back to main page

This site is not affilated with the Melbourne International Film Festival or any other media entity.