The Life and Hard Times of Guy Terrifico Michael Mabbott

Undoubtedly ambitious, Guy Terrifico strives to be the country version of This is Spinal Tap but it isn’t sharp enough to sustain interest. Matt Murphy of Halifax’s Super Friendz digs into the title role with great relish and, born showman that he is, does an admirable job. An underrated songwriter, Murphy delivers new folk and country songs beautifully, marking a unique return to his Black Pool roots. It’s also fun to spot Haligonian musicians like Ian McGettigan (Thrush Hermit, Camouflage Nights), Dave Marsh (Joel Plaskett Emergency, Super Friendz) and Dale Murray (the Guthries, Cuff the Duke) as Terrifico’s band-mates. The indie rockers share screen time with roots legends like Kris Kristofferson, Levon Helm and Merle Haggard, each enjoyably playing themselves as former friends of Terrifico. Michael Mabbott’s concept is interesting, tracing the life of a fictional country rock star through archival footage and new interviews with family and friends. But as satire, the script’s jokes mostly fall flat, relying on tiresome physical humour and obvious character types. Far from charismatic, Terrifico is more of a typical idiot savant stumbling into money, fame and the respect of his peers in spite of himself. In its nods to Robert Altman and Bruce McDonald, Mabbott’s story reaches its fiery arc with bullets flying and an inconclusive on-stage death. The conspiracy surrounding Terrifico’s alleged murder and the suspicious behaviour of his closest associates is a contrived attempt to make a mystery out of a molehill. A DVD extra entitled "The Truth About Guy Terrifico” dispels the myth with greater comic effect than most scenes in this ambitious but half-realised mockumentary. Plus: Deleted scenes, extra performances (Alliance Atlantis)