"Los Últimos Frikis", a new documentary on the iconic Cuban heavy metal band ZEUS, will launch on First Look Media's streaming service, Topic, on September 16. It will also be available via Vimeo On-Demand starting September 2.
Directed by Nicholas Brennan and produced by John Logan Pierson, "Los Últimos Frikis" was filmed on location in Cuba over a 10-year period. It tells the story of ZEUS, a heavy metal band from Havana. After fighting for two decades for the right to play their once-forbidden music, ZEUS embarks on a journey across the island for their first national tour. While on tour, the band confronts their own fragile place in the country's shifting culture as a new generation turns to newer, sexier sounds. Returning home to Havana on the cusp of their 30th anniversary, the band comes to terms with how they've dedicated their lives, as the film becomes a reflection on time, art and life's purpose.
"Los Últimos Frikis" was executive produced by Alex Gibney, W. Wilder Knight, Joey Carey, Andrew Beck and founding SLAYER drummer Dave Lombardo, who also made his debut as a film composer on the project. Jennifer Liang, Topic's VP of acquisitions, negotiated the deal with Knight on the film's behalf.
Says Brennan: "'Los Últimos Frikis' is the culmination of a cross-border collaboration between Cuban and American filmmakers, musicians and artists who have worked together over the past decade to share this unheard story from Cuba with the world. It's an important example for our current times of how collaboration and friendship can overcome our political differences. Partnering with Dave Lombardo on this film has been one of the pinnacles of my creative career. Dave has brought a deeply personal and creative weight to his music in this film, informed both by his Cuban roots as well our shared time together in Havana over the past few years. With the film's original score, Dave pours his heart into the music, blending Cuban rhythms, a deeply emotional sensitivity, and his metal instincts to echo the powerful, impactful story of ZEUS as it unfolds on screen.”
"I have always wanted to score a film," Lombardo said of the project. "It's been a goal of mine for many years now. When Nick told me his vision for this documentary, I was immediately intrigued by the story because it could have been mine. When he asked me to score the film, I didn't hesitate to accept. It couldn't have been a more perfect match for my debut at a new form of musical expression. I have been on a path of making music solely for myself and various bands for 37 years. This is for the people of my birthplace. This is for my blood and for healing."
"Now that our team has become dedicated ZEUS fans, we can't wait to introduce our audience to their fascinating story," said Ryan Chanatry, general manager of Topic. "The band epitomizes the boundary-pushing, unconventional and highly entertaining spirit that Topic viewers revel in. We know that Nicholas's brilliant storytelling and, of course, the music will empower a new legion of Frikis to rock out and speak out as fearlessly as ZEUS does for what they believe, especially as Cubans make their voices heard."
"Los Últimos Frikis" premiered at the "DOC NYC" festival in November 2019.
Photo: Dean Karr