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Betty Blowtorch and Her Amazing True-Life Adventures (DVD Review)

19 Mar, 2006 By: Angelique Flores


Prebook 4/4/06; Street 4/25/06
Cinema Libre
$24.95 DVD
Not rated.

Betty Blowtorch made The Donnas look like the Spice Girls. This documentary tells the Hollywood rock band's history with raw performance and studio footage as well as interviews with the band, label execs, friends, family and journalists.

There's frontwoman Bianca, an ex-junkie who found sobriety with the help of her bass. With Blare (lead guitar), Shannon (guitars and vocals) and Judy (drums), Bianca formed the rock 'n' roll powerhouse Betty Blowtorch in the 1990s.

They were foul-mouthed girls with a sexual appetite to rival Mötley Cr?e and tour shenanigans that made other bands bow down. These goddesses had the image to attract groupies and the musical chops to back it up. Their fearless rock was sometimes sweet, sometimes angry, but always loud and catchy. It was a timeless sound reminiscent of The Runaways and Guns N' Roses (Duff McKagan of GNR/Velvet Revolver produced their early EP).

And they had fire — literally. Scantily clad girls roamed the stage with blowtorches and fireworks — not always approved by the rock clubs.

Betty Blowtorch seemed unstoppable, but the band didn't get much radio play because of their gender and their vulgar lyrics. Bianca sings a chillingly honest song, “Get Off,” about being raped for years by her father. Still, the fans loved them.

In 2001, Judy and Sharon left the band in the middle of a tour, taking the van and the gear with them. Bianca and Blare continued on until Bianca's untimely death in a car crash.

The footage captures the spirit of the music, and the interviews expose the heart and passion of the musicians.

Selling Points: No rock doc is complete without ballsy music, sexy girls, drugs and a tragic death. Betty Blowtorch had it all and more.

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