Lemmy (film)

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Lemmy (movie poster).jpg
Directed byGreg Olliver
Wes Orshoski
Produced byGreg Olliver
Wes Orshoski
Damage Case Films & Distribution/Three Count Films/Secret Weapon Films
Distributed byE1 Entertainment
Release date
  • 15 March 2010 (2010-03-15) (SXSW)
Running time
116 minutes
CountryUnited States

Lemmy (subtitled "49% motherf**ker. 51% son of a bitch") is a 2010 rockumentary film profile of the English rock musician Ian "Lemmy" Kilmister, founder, bassist, and lead vocalist of the British heavy metal band Motörhead.


Lemmy was directed and produced by Greg Olliver and Wes Orshoski[1] and features interviews with friends, peers, and admirers such as Slash and Duff McKagan of Guns N' Roses and Velvet Revolver, Ozzy Osbourne, James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Robert Trujillo, and Kirk Hammett of Metallica, David Ellefson of Megadeth, and Scott Ian of Anthrax.[2] It also features Dave Vanian and Captain Sensible of the Damned, Peter Hook of Joy Division and New Order, Marky Ramone of the Ramones, and Nik Turner and Dave Brock of Lemmy's former band Hawkwind. The filmmakers were able to capture many candid moments as colleagues such as Dave Grohl and Billy Bob Thornton converse with Lemmy in bars and recording studios.

The film reveals that Lemmy spends much of his life either on tour with Motörhead or hanging out at the Rainbow Bar and Grill, with well-known musicians such as Nikki Sixx joking that they bump into Lemmy every time they go to the Rainbow. He lives alone in a small rent-controlled apartment in Hollywood which he refuses to give up due to its close proximity to the Rainbow. He reveals that he has never married and is quite close to his son Paul, a guitarist who occasionally joins Lemmy on stage.


The film includes footage shot in the United States, Germany, England, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Russia, Wales, Scotland and Denmark. Footage consists of a combination of 16 mm film and HD video, shot over three years.[2][3]


Lemmy premiered in March 2010 at the South by Southwest film festival in Austin, Texas. After the world premiere, Wired magazine wrote "'Lemmy' mines pure gold," and Marc Savlov of The Austin Chronicle wrote: "What's in a name? Lemmy, Greg Olliver and Wes Orshoski's portrait of Motorhead founder Lemmy Kilmister is one of the most thorough and entertaining rock and roll documentaries since Ondi Timoner's 'Dig!' Like its subject, it's by turns, philosophical, brash, and thoroughly kickass." It was then screened at film festivals in Canada, Australia, Mexico, South Korea, Greece, Chile, Brazil, Spain, France, and elsewhere. The film was released theatrically in the U.K. in December 2010, and in the U.S. in January and February 2011. It was released on DVD, Blu-ray and digital download in the U.S. in March 2011. The U.S. version of the film is considered the "definitive," as the Blu-ray version includes more than 4 hours of extras, and the double-DVD release features more than three hours of bonus features, including more than 30 minutes of Kilmister jamming with Metallica. "Lemmy" was first screened in Britain at the London Film Festival on 23 October 2010. Entertainment One released the DVD on 24 January 2011 in the U.K.[2][4]


The film currently holds an 82% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. NME's Hamish MacBain gave Lemmy a positive review (8 out of 10) noting that "[h]earing him roar the words to ‘Rock It’ alone is reason enough to watch this movie".[5] The review by The Hollywood Reporter found the film's content "entertaining enough, to convey the subject's appeal to audiences beyond the metal crowd."[6] A review at CinemaFunk explains that the film is "relatively straight forward and does not have aesthetic choices beyond shooting the damn thing, portraying it, and moving on. There is no better way to explain Lemmy's own ideologies."[7] Reviewing the film for Twitchfilm.net, Brandon Tenold said that while it wasn't an all-time classic like Woodstock or Gimme Shelter it was still "an affectionate and fun snapshot of one of rock n' roll's most distinctive and enduring figures."[8]



  1. ^ Lemmy: The Movie Official Website
  2. ^ a b c "'Lemmy' Movie: New Trailer Released". Blabbermouth. 23 November 2010. Archived from the original on 29 January 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2011.
  3. ^ "Rock Giants Pay Tribute To Lemmy In Documentary". Billboard. c. 2009. Retrieved 1 January 2011.
  4. ^ Newton, Steve (16 October 2010). "Documentary on Motörhead frontman Lemmy Kilmister due on DVD in January". Georgia Straight. Retrieved 1 January 2011.
  5. ^ MacBain, Hamish (10 December 2010). "Movie Review: Lemmy". NME. Retrieved 1 January 2011.
  6. ^ DeFore, John (19 March 2010). "Lemmy - Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 1 January 2011.
  7. ^ Weiss, Aaron (30 January 2011). "Lemmy Movie Review". Retrieved 10 February 2011.
  8. ^ Tenold, Brandon (1 February 2011). "Lemmy Review". Archived from the original on 9 September 2011. Retrieved 28 August 2011.
  9. ^ Bundesverband Musikindustrie: Gold-/Platin-Datenbank

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