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Fischer, Wild Man - Derailroaded: Inside The Mind Of Larry Wild Man Fischer

4.3 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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(Mar 22, 2011)
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Editorial Reviews

In this shocking and sensitive exploratory journey through the thunderstorms of the mind of paranoid-schizophrenic Larry "Wild Man" Fischer, we follow his discordant encounters in the music business. Institutionalized at 16 after attacking his mother with a knife, Fischer wandered the mean streets of L.A. singing his unique brand of songs for 10› a pop to passersby. He was discovered by Frank Zappa, with whom he cut his first record album, including the enduring dada rock classic 'Merry Go Round'. A precursor to punk, Fischer became an underground club and concert favorite, earning him the title of "godfather of outsider music." In his 40 year career, he has performed constantly, was the first artist ever recorded on Rhino Records, was on Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, had a top hit on the UK Pop Charts, was the subject of his own comic book, became a mainstay on the Doctor Demento Show , and even sang a duet with the late Rosemary Clooney.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Wild Man Fischer, Frank Zappa, Weird Al Yankovic, Solomon Burke
  • Directors: Josh Rubin
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Ubin Twinz Productions
  • DVD Release Date: March 22, 2011
  • Run Time: 86 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00481KM5K
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #232,251 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

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Top Customer Reviews

By `Rebel' Rod Ames

"Derailroded - Inside the Mind of Larry "Wildman" Fischer" is an incredible documentary taking the viewer on an extremely candid excursion into the mind of a manic-depressive-paranoid-schizophrenic, and his 15 minutes plus nearly 20 years of fame.

Discovered by Frank Zappa in 1965, performing his "Outsider" brand of music, Larry Fischer"An Evening with Larry "Wildman" Fischer". After seeing this documentary, I immediately started surfing the web in search of something from that record to listen too. What I found only helped to confirm Mr. Fischer's notoriously enjoyable brand of music. was lured into the studio to record the Zappa produced

According to Mr. Fischer, simply put, he was promised that Mr. Zappa was going to make him a rock star. However, the record only sold about 12,000 copies. Hardly rock star numbers.

Mr. Zappa maintained through out the years that he only told him they would make a record and that he would be happy if it sold a moderate amount, which it did.

Fischer is bitterly angry at the entire ordeal and actually shuts down at the mere mention of Mr. Zappas's name. Mr. Zappa is long gone, so everything is open to speculation. Had it not been for an incident where Fischer, in one of his unpredictable moments, apparently threw a bottle, narrowly missing Zappa's toddler, Moon Unit. If not for this incident, Fischer may have gone much further, but no one will ever know.

Barnes & Barnes (Robert Haimer and Bill Mumy) of "Fish Heads" fame later noticed "Wildman's" unique brand of song and spent the next 21 years trying to help someone who was completely unwilling, or perhaps a more objective way to put it, unable to help himself with his mental instabilities.
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Can't add anything of substance to Rod Ames's excellent review, so I'll just say I finally ordered "Derailroaded" (a portmanteau of "derailed" and "railroaded," both of which are pretty accurate when applied to WMF) on the day I heard that he'd passed away. It's an excellent look at the Life of Larry, including snapshots and home movies of his childhood (never thought I'd see those), outtakes from the cover shoot for AEWWMF (most of which are too gruesome), interviews with Gail Zappa about Larry (surprising, considering she is supposedly the one refusing to reissue AEWWMF), interviews with his aunt Josephine who took LSD and hung around with Timothy Leary (who knew?), interviews with his brother David who figures so prominently in his oeuvre, and of course the interviews with Weird Al, Mark Mothersbaugh, Dr. Demento, Harold Bronson & Richard Foos (the founders of Rhino Records), and Robert Haimer and Billy Mumy (aka Barnes and Barnes).

All-in-all, an excellent portrait of a troubled soul, balancing both the praise for his creativity with the hard facts of his mental illness. The final shot of the film, saying he lost his "pep" in 2004 when the assisted living home started medicating him to control his bipolar manic depression, pretty much matches his obituary in 2011. Nothing happened in the last seven years of his life -- which is both good for Larry and sad for the rest of us.
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I've been waiting for this a long time. Saw the film on Sundance and loved it. Have tried to track it down ever since. Finally, here it is on DVD. As a Zappa fan, it's a must have, but it is also an incredible look into the insanity of pop culture. Great interviews with Weird Al, Dr Demento, Mothersbaugh, etc, and truly unforgettable -- and wierd -- music. A great doc. Trust me, get Derailroaded.
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