Instant cult classic with ‘He Never Died’

The poster for He Never Died, a dark indie film with a bold agenda starring  punk rock hero Henry Rollins.

photo via under Creative Commons license

The poster for ‘He Never Died,’ a dark indie film with a bold agenda starring punk rock hero Henry Rollins.

It seems to be a natural tendency of Henry Rollins to do things on the more outrageous side of life. Be it leading the first hardcore punk rock band of the 80’s, getting the life beat out of him by Al Pacino in Heat, or traveling almost compulsively to red flag zones all over the globe, Rollins has always seemed to enjoy the more insane paths of life.

Over the years, he’s attracted a huge following for his music, literature and spoken word. There is a strange sort of connection among all Rollins fans due to the nature of this man’s ability to create such inspirational and literally life-changing material. Many people were affected by his work as the undeniably genius front man of Black Flag and have followed him since then to discover his talent in writing and spoken word.

Having already made several minor appearances in indie flicks and having hosted his own show on IFC for over a year, Rollins has now for the first time ever taken on the role of a lead character in a film, and it is a perfect fit.

The story is essentially that of a man who can never die, and due to this has become angry and bitter towards the human race, having watched them make the same mistakes over and over for centuries on end. He retreats and resorts to spending most of his time sleeping, playing bingo with senior citizens, and eating at the same diner every day. He talks to very few people and when he does it’s short, quick and arrogant.

For the first few minutes of the film, his character Jack seems inseparable from the public persona of the punk rock icon. Later, however, we find out that Jack is actually a cannibal with a daughter he never knew he had.

The plot of the film is very intricate and pretty unique. It’s difficult to categorize this film into any genre. There’s a fair bit of action and intensity, the dialogue is very witty, and there are a few brilliant moments of dark comedy. Altogether, the film can really only be described as very, very weird.

This film is really intense and really angry, much like the other various works of Rollins. It possesses that distinctive quality longtime followers of Rollins have come to expect and ultimately treasure. Although the main character is immortal and blood-thirsty, Rollins manages to make him seem convincingly normal. This shows very good acting on Rollins’ part, adjusting successfully to a form of expression he’s not as well acquainted with as others his age might be. He makes a very dysfunctional role work tremendously well.

The film might seem really out there for anyone unfamiliar with Rollins and his reputation for being enraged and on edge. For those who admire Rollins, however, this film is a huge treat. Seeing one of the most influential people of my life rip out and consume a person’s trachea was a pretty fun experience, and having been a huge fan of his music and literature for some time now,  I believed that maybe in another life, he’d done it before.

Rating: 8/10