Sunday, March 3, 2019


Lords of Chaos (movie)

Based on: Lords of Chaos (book) written by Michael Moynihan & Didrik Soderlind
Director: Music video director and former Bathory drummer Jonas Akerlund.
Rory Culkin as Euronymous,
Jack Kilmer as Per Yngve "Dead" Ohlin (Dead)
Anthony De La Torre as Hellhammer
Jonathan Barnwell as Necrobutcher
Lucian Charles Collier as Occultus (former Mayhem vocalist)
James Edwin as Manheim (former Mayhem drummer)

Emory Cohen as Varg Vikernes (Burzum)
Wilson Gonzalez Ochsenknecht as Blackthorn (Thorns)
Sam Coleman as Metalion (Slayer fanzine)
Andrew Lavelle as Fenriz (Darkthrone)
Valter Skarsgard as Faust (Emperor)
Arion Csihar as Attila Csihar (Atilla's son)
Sky Ferreira as Ann-Marit

The movie was a revival for my darkest love, Mayhem and remembering by getting shivers of Euronymous and Dead who are pioneers of black metal scene and creators of 2nd wave of Norwegian Black Metal was strong. However they are more than that, Mayhem is more than that but it is a movie focusing on some sort of points only in the end.

Rory's performance was amazing but I expected more deathly temperament from Jack Kilmer who acts my idol Dead. That cold Swedish appearance with melancholic mindset weren't visible in the movie. On the other hand concert and death scenes are really stunning. And what they have succeeded so far, how they did cross the borders of normality with their daily lives thinking differently were played very well. Flashback scenes of Euronymous about Dead were what I really delved into personally as I was a youth sleeping with Live In Leipzig tape in my ears every night!

I think film took attention a lot for the church burnings and skipped Mayhem's amazing tour including Izmir(Turkey) and its foremost music. And there should have been some interesting and intellectual women characters at the movie.

Here you have some selected questions to the Rory Culkin who portrayed Euronymous, director Jonas Akerlund and final shot with Erik Danielsson (Watain).

Black metal knowledge...

Rory Culkin: I didn't know much about it, honestly. I knew about the church burnings and stuff 'cause it made its way all around the world on the news. … Honestly, I wasn't a big metalhead, you know, as far as screaming and shit like that. I'm more into like Deep Purple and Jefferson Airplane and things like that, so it took a bit of, uh, adjusting.

Deep into darkness, Learning Euronymous...

Rory Culkin:I met with Jonas Åkerlund many times to discuss these guys. I watched all the documentaries, read all the books and all of that. But what was most revealing to me is these guys took a lot of photos of each other, and so I just have hundreds of photos of Euronymous. And I separate them into two groups. There's ones where he's posing, he knows the camera's on him, and he's making evil faces, he's trying to be scary, and then there's the photos where he's in the background or just candids. He doesn't know he's getting his picture taken, and he's like giggling and laughing and he's just like a kid. So I'm trying to just piece him together through photographs.

Playing Mayhem...

Rory Culkin:We had this Hungarian black-metal band [Bornholm], they were there whenever we needed them. We did, you know, six days a week, but the one day off we had would be in the music studio learning. There's a lot of bloody fingers by the end, a lot of scabs all over the hands. Healed up now though, all good.

Inner circle...

Rory Culkin:Attila [Csihar, Mayhem's current vocalist] came to set for the church-burning scenes and I hung out with Attila and met his family. Hanging out with Attila, I got to really see how he's such a good guy in person and then you see him perform and he's terrifying and ... that's real theater. I was worried that they would look at us actors and think, "Look at these softies," but when he was on set I got a sense that he really respected what we were doing. He saw the performance element and, as scary as these dudes are, they do respect good theater because that's what they produce.

Hungary, Norway in the movie...

Rory Culkin:You know, we shot most of it in Budapest, Hungary, and then we did maybe a couple of days in Norway, like two or three days for exteriors and for the churches and things like that. We burned churches down in Budapest because it would be probably too offensive to go back to Norway, build churches and then burn 'em down. In Budapest they were shooting Blade Runner 2049. They just wrapped and, I guess they used the set from Blade Runner to build the churches, so we were burning down the set of Blade Runner in the movie.

Contrast In Norway...

Rory Culkin:The big takeaway from Norway for me was just how pleasant everything is. The people, the landscape and even the language is upbeat. This is a very positive place, so it just sort of enhanced the contrast between these kids and where they grew up. They really had no excuse to do this stuff and they had everything going. I hope [the film] doesn't come across like we're glorifying them, you know.

The challenging scene...

Rory Culkin:I guess the scene that I wasn't totally sure about was the final scene where, you know, Varg comes to my apartment and confronts Euronymous. I just didn't know how that was going to play out. When we first started shooting it, Emory came busting into the apartment. Emory just had this like intensity to him and was just staring through me. And, I was like, oh shit, I better pick up the pace here because Emory's taken off. And then as soon as he pulls out a blade, I think the scene started to get going and we really had a lot of momentum, I ended that night with bruises all over my body.

I didn't tell him, but, yeah, Emory really beat the shit out of me that day. [Laughs]

The reason of the movie...

Jonas Akerlund:I wanted to make a movie that humanises
these characters because all the documentaries and books that have come out depict monsters and demons. And the truth is that they were young boys. But they were very driven. They started bands, they recorded, they started their own
labels, they started record stores, they burned down churches and killed people: it’s a lot of work. They were very young, driven children,
basically, and I wanted to humanise them and portray young boys who really didn’t have anything to blame. They were not beaten up, they didn’t come from poor families, there was
no real excuse for what they did


Jonas Akerlund: I’ve always been drawn to movies where I get a chance to look into a world that I kind of know about, but that I never really get to see what’s happening behind the doors. I’ve also always been drawn to movies and books that are based on true stories with strong characters – and that was a main appeal for me when it came to Lords of Chaos. I think a lot of people expect me to do a film about music that is very dark, but my focus has been very much on the characters and their relationships – the emotional part of what actually happened, which I feel is very important.

Support from Mayhem members...

Jonas Akerlund: We do have Mayhem’s music in the film. I read a lot online [saying] that we don’t, but we have the support of Mayhem and the music is in there. They also understand that this story exists in so many different formats already and that a movie is important to tell this story to the next generation.

Varg Vikernes...

Jonas Akerlund: No, he’s the only one we haven’t been in contact with. We don’t have any of his music in the film so we didn’t need his permission. I mean, he’s very proud of what he did. He brags about it – and he keeps telling this story over and over again, ever since it happened like 25 years ago. But he’s changed his story through the years, so it’s hard for me to say exactly what happened; obviously, a lot of his character is based on what he has told. But the other Mayhem members have read the script and they’ve been supportive with the music and all that, like I said. We’ve even been in contact with Euronymous’s parents and Pelle’s family. I’ve been trying to treat it with respect as much as I can, especially because people have lost family members. It’s a very sad story in many ways.

Few scenes for Mayhem's music performance... 

It’s a fine balance … maybe I should have included one or two more songs. We actually shot a couple more in the rehearsal studio but I wanted to make sure, because it’s kind of painful to listen to black metal music if you’re not used to it or don’t love it. The music was an important part of what the kids did over these years. At the same time, I didn’t want it to take over too much so I tried to find a way to show how they become better and better at their instruments, become better and better song writers. But as all these other things are slowly taking over their lives, it becomes less and less about the music.

American actors...

Jonas Akerlund: I decided to do it with English-speaking actors mainly for two reasons: I wanted to make a movie for a big audience – I don’t want to make a Norwegian movie; and I wanted to make sure that I got the best actors. Being limited to Norwegian-speaking actors would have been really hard for me.

Lords of Chaos, Church Burnings...

Jonas Akerlund: I went deeper with this film than any of my other movies. I approached my other films like I did my music videos or commercials, like jobs. But 'Lords Of Chaos' I wrote myself, and it's a close, personal story. I know these people. All my best friends are still in the metal scene. Per was a friend. We were all shocked when he committed suicide. When the news of the church burnings came out, in 1993, I was already living in Los Angeles, but we all knew who was behind them. It took the police a lot longer to find out. I've been trying to get this movie made for a very long time — I've been pitching it around Hollywood for years.

Horror story or drama?

Jonas Akerlund: It's a very dark story but I find it hard to have a story about music and young kids without adding humor. So it's really funny but it's definitely not a comedy. It has some horror elements — I tried to make the murder scenes as authentic and as close to real life as I could, reading the police reports for details — but it's definitely not a horror movie. The tone of the movie is all over the place, but when you see it, it comes together. In the end, I think of it more of a relationship drama. It's really about the story, almost a love story, between these characters.

Challenging scene...

Jonas Akerlund: I thought it was not only incredible to see how Rory was shaken by the film but also, I don’t know if you noticed, but it was incredibly cool to see how the other guys kind of like surrounded him and took care of him right away – like the real black circle. They were there for him in a heartbeat.

Long waiting for the movie...

Jonas Akerlund: Back when it happened, before there were any books and documentaries, I was already thinking about this as a substantial movie. I remember I was in Los Angeles shooting something – it must have been 1994 – and I saw the church burnings on CNN. Weirdly enough, everybody who was in this world knew who it was way before the police caught up to them. And in like ’96, ’97, I started to think that this is a potential story, so you can see how many years this has been brewing in my head. And then of course when all these other great documentaries and great books came out, I read them and I saw them and I was first in line to take it all in. But I’m happy that I didn’t make it 10 years ago. I think that this story needed a little space – and I feel like now is actually the perfect time for this movie to come out.

My dear Dead...

Jonas Akerlund: I decided early on that I wanted it to be as real as possible and I wanted to make sure that we didn’t censor ourselves. If we’re playing metal, then it should be metal; it should be in your face, it should look real and raw. If we have an emotional beat between Euronymous and [his lover] Ann-Marit, it needs to be as emotional as I, as a filmmaker, can make it; if he has a nightmare it should be as graphic here as it is in reality. I approached the same thing with the murder scenes in the film. I read a lot from the police reports and I learned how these murders happened. I wanted to make it as real and in your face as I could.

About the movie...

Erik Danielsson: I've seen the film, and it's not a gateway into black metal knowledge at all. It's a movie about juveniles that do a lot of really extreme things, and I don't think that people are gonna walk away from that movie thinking that they know a lot about black metal. I don't think that they're gonna feel educated on the history of [the pioneering Norwegian black metal band] MAYHEM and what went down. I think they're gonna walk away thinking that they've seen a pretty intense fucking movie. So, no, I'm not worried in the slightest. I mean, that damage, as far as I'm concerned, with black metal getting too much attention from mainstream media, that happened 15 years ago already. So, to me, that's a lost battle, if you wanna call it that. I'm not too concerned myself. Black metal will always live on in the spirit of those that keep on performing it with dignity and with reverence, and I'm proud to call myself one of them."

Soundtracks of Lords Of Chaos:


Suicidal Winds
Celtic Frost
A Grey Sun, The Dark & The Spirits of the Depths
Funeral Fog
Pagan Fears
Freezing Moon
Pure Fucking Armageddon
Slapen, Vals
Jon Faukstad
Fast as a Shark
Stand Up and Shout
Born for Burning
Elizabeth Bathory
The Ancient Route
Ripped from the Cross
La Det Swinge
Seventh Day of Doom
Outbreak of Evil
Damned Grave
Mattias Eklund
Serpent Eve
The Return of Darkness and Evil
Submit to Death
Satanic Lust
Lose Yourself I Can Think For Both of Us
Tomas Hulenvik
Sigur Rós
Sigur Rós
Veröld ný og óð
Sigur Rós
Nocturnal Blasphamies
Jon Thor Birgisson
Sigur Rós
Exhume to Consume
Sigur Rós
Eivør Pálsdóttir
Sigur Rós
Sigur Rós
Do Unto Others
Holy Terror
Sigur Rós
All Alright
Sigur Rós
Alpha Omega
Holy Terror
Ég Anda
Sigur Rós
De tre piker
Claymore Mine Stalking (Re-Recorded Version)
Tangerine Dream
The Host of Seraphim
Dead Can Dance

More Info:


Rolling Stone Magazine By Laura Kern / 31.01.2018
Revolver Magazine, texts by Christopher R. Weingarten / 05.02.2019 / 15.01.2019
Metal Hammer by Jonathan Selzer


Thanks to my friend morkmayhem for feeding me with everything about Mayhem.

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