A quick glance at Jonas Åkerlund’s music video credits and one might be surprised that the guy who directed “Telephone” for Lady Gaga would make a murder thriller about angsty teenagers in a black metal band. But in the latest narrative feature from the Norwegian filmmaker, “Lords of Chaos,” which just released its first official trailer, Åkerlund stays true to his metal roots. Cutting a striking figure with his signature long black hair and leather jacket, Åkerlund’s latest film is a love letter to his youth — death metal style.
The official synopsis reads: “A teenager’s quest to launch Norwegian Black Metal in Oslo in the 1980s results in a very violent outcome. Lords of Chaos tells the true story of True Norwegian Black Metal and its most notorious practitioners — a group of young men with a flair for publicity, church-burning and murder: MAYHEM.”
“Life was easy back then. It was all about having fun, drinking beer, and playing hard and loud music,” begins the trailer, before cutting to a rapid flickering of images of haunting churches and burning crosses. While the conflict at the movie’s heart remains vague on details, one member of the band goes rogue, taking the term “death metal” a little too literally. Justifying his murderous ways, he says: “I thought you were true Norwegian black metal.”
“Lords of Chaos” stars Rory Culkin (“Columbus”), Emory Cohen (“The OA”), Sky Ferreira (“Baby Driver”), Jack Kilmer (“Summer ’03”), and Valter Skarsgård. The screenplay was written by Åkerlund and Dennis Magnusson, based on the book by Michael Moynihan and Didrik Søderlind.
The movie is a co-production between VICE, 20th Century Fox, Scott Free Productions and Insurgent Media. It opens in theaters February 8.
Check out the trailer for “Lords of Chaos” (including Culkin giving full Gene Simmons face) below.