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Originally released in 2003 Betty Blowtorch And Her Amazing True Life Adventures is a movie about the ups and downs of the band Betty Blowtorch. Anthony Scarpa spent two years filming the band and got some great footage. We get to see video shoots and record deals go south and Vanilla Ice doing a bong hit, but at it’s heart this is the story of the life of Bianca Butthole (née Bianca Halstead).

The movie opens with one of many Betty Boop clips that are unfortunately peppered throughout the movie. I understand what director Anthony Scarpa was doing, but I would have preferred they were kept out entirely. After that we see the band filming a video and this scene sets up the whole movie by showing you what Betty Blowtorch is all about right away. Off camera the video directors calls for “play back” and Bianca responds “No thank you. Sound” indicating they are not completely comfortable with the set up. They want to rock not pretend. A little bit into the shoot Bianca is on the receiving end of too much glitter confetti and has to take a moment to stop lip syncing. The filming continues until she can shake the glitter confetti attack. I love this scene because it highlights the ridiculousness and artifice of the music industry and the fact that Betty Blowtorch doesn’t quite fit in.

We then get to see the creation and disbanding of Butt Trumpet, the pre-Betty Blowtorch band. There are some great interviews with Thom Bone whose goal was to start “the last punk rock band.” His altruistic ideas and desire to sell $8 not $20 band shirts causes a rift within the band and leads to his leaving, or getting thrown out depending on who is being interviewed. The movie then shows us how Betty Blowtorch came to be in the post Butt Trumpet fall out. We get interviews with Duff McKagan, and get to see Rob Van Winkle, AKA Vanilla Ice, do a bong hit (did I already mention that?). And when the ending that I knew had to come does in fact come I was actually taken by surprise.

Betty Blowtorch And Her Amazing True Life Adventures has a few problems. The main problem being, for me, the length of the film and the editing choices. The Vanilla Ice segment could have been shortened (he does a bong hit btw) and there is a road story involving flinging pies and poo between vans that I would have liked to have seen put in the end credits instead of in the middle of the movie. Also there is a point where the band members have a falling out and we are given vague answers as to what started it; normal band tension on the road, managers mishandling communications. Scarpa could have delved a little more into this and gotten the band to open up so we could really know what was going on.

While Scarpa does find a narrative he needed to tighten this up a little more and tell a more concise story. I believe he could have cut some from this film and still honored Bianca’s memory. Though it is slow at times and could have been presented in a more compelling manner Betty Blowtorch And Her Amazing True Life Adventures is a great find and is for anyone who is a fan of rock music and loves an underdog (or wants to see Vanilla Ice do a bong hit-oh, and also rap about how big his manhood is).

This film is not rated, but is definitely for the “R” crowd.

Betty Blowtorch And Her Amazing True Life Adventures: directed by Anthony Scarpa; director of photography, Anthony Scarpa; edited by Anthony Scarpa; produced by Scott Milano, Jade Robledo, Anthony Scarpa, Kelly Spencer; With: Betty Blowtorch, Bianca Butthole, Blare N. Bitch, Sharon Needles, Judy Molish

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