Kurt Cobain-Montage Of Heck

Kurt Cobain- Montage Of HeckMontage Of Heck DVD Cover

Rated 15

Running Time 2hr 12mins

Biographical Documentary

H.D 5.1



On DVD April 27 2015

Come As You Are

Kurt Cobain, lead singer, guitarist, and songwriter of Grunge legends Nirvana remains a musical icon years after his death. Now 21 years on, Montage Of Heck is a movie that takes you on a deeply personal, highly insightful chronicle into the late musician’s life.

Montage Of Heck was Written & Directed by Brett Morgen, his recent body of work exposes unseen archived home movies, artwork & photography of the Grunge star. Morgen also includes Kurt’s personal notebook journals and recordings of a cassette titled ‘Montage Of Heck’ the Director discovered during his research into the film.

Here, most of Kurt’s immediate family are interviewed in this biopic. The film contains interviews from former Bandmate Kris Novoselic, Cobain’s Mother, Father, Ex-Girlfriend & his Wife Courtney. & While his Daughter, Frances Bean, who features in the film as a baby, now a beautiful 22-year-old, stayed behind the camera and is credited as an Executive Producer.

Montage Of Heck is kept intimate with few people in Kurt’s life. It’s a closely knit, narrowed down affair where only members of the family and band appear, just one in fact, Krist Novoselic. So alas, and for whatever reason, Dave Grohl is absent.

That aside, If one wants to probe into his life & see him in his early years, then this is jam packed with explicit offerings, making Cobain’s notebook drawings and paintings come to life. It’s all done with cleverly animated sequences that blend commentary lifted from Kurt’s recorded messages.

Negative Creep

The Nirvana star was 9 years old at the time of his parents divorce, and according to the film interviews, triggered the already hyperactive and ultra sensitive child to become unruly. Kurt, raging at rejectment, lived between two families & Grandparents where he took his pain and seeming abandonment out on his step-siblings due to his Fathers next marriage.

Moving on to discovering marijuana to escape his troubles, & even then considering suicide in his youth, the film draws you into a sense of melancholy and sets alarm bells ringing to which we can already back track from the final chapter.

Parts of the film mix up insightful brilliance with tragedy, especially when narrated notes from Cobain’s tape recordings expose how he tried to have sex with a ‘Retarded’ girl and then attempted suicide on railroad tracks, after which, fortunately for him that very time, lay down on the wrong set and lived to recount the tale onto a recordable cassette.

As this animated sequence in documentary plays out -it’s almost like looking at a lost or banned chapter of Holden Caulfield in J.D Salinger’s The Catcher In The Rye. Except this time for the fascinated consumer, it’s unnervingly real.

Lounge Act

M.O.H documents that Buzz Osbourne of The Melvins, musician & friend also from Washington, nearby to the logging town of Kurt’s native Aberdeen, made him a compilation tape. The ‘flash of inspiration’ moment occurred to Cobain he could now express himself through making music. From then on he set his goals to write & play the best while leaving openly clear messages in his lyrics to the state of his troubled mind.

Cobain moved out from his families household’s and shared a flat with his then-girlfriend Tracy Marander, who financially supported Cobain during his formative years leaving the house going out to work. She would come home to find Kurt had whiled away his time recording, playing guitar, writing, painting pictures, and very little else.

Suggesting he find work, he eventually did as a handyman/ janitor, before signing to Nirvana’s first record label Sub Pop Records. At this point early on the sensitive singer already felt the harsh criticism of media reviews and was very careful how he presented himself, says Bass player Kris Novoselic.

We learn in M.O.H that Cobain, a sufferer of stomach pains first started using heroin whilst living with his girlfriend unbeknownst to her. This self-medication was to continue right through the years leading up to his eventual suicide in April 1994, where Cobain’s body was discovered by an electrician at his home in Lake Washington Boulevard.

Well, Whatever Nevermind…

Nirvana’s Nevermind album was the first major record release having signed with the David Geffen Company & it shot to the Top of the Billboard chart. It became a massive unexpected success.

When his mother first saw the record Cobain had made she was shocked, not because of it, but for the effect it would have on him. she said, “You better buckle up ’cause you’re not ready for this.”

Being famous all of a sudden- coming from obscurity to being the world’s number one band may have been a case of too much too soon. After his success, he became reclusive and wanted to stay in his apartment and shoot heroin who Courtney Love claims, was his aim, she says in M.O.H ‘to get to $3 million and then be a junkie.’

About A Girl

Montage Of Heck provides the viewer with a glimpse into Kurt & Courtney Love’s relationship with home movie footage being shot at close quarters. Sometimes it’s anyone’s guess why Hole guitarist Eric Erlandson had filmed much of the footage of Cobain and Love at home. Erlandson had previously dated Love & it gets weirder that he’s actually filming while she’s flashing her knickers piggy backing Cobain or asking the question, Do you like my large breasts? in the bathroom. It’s all child’s play and makes you feel as though you’ve just rummaged around in someone’s personal possessions and seen something you shouldn’t have. Good or bad?

It’s not hard to think of Kurt & Courtney as being compared to Ono and Lennon as famous couples go out on public display here, or the pairing of strung out Sid & Nancy is perhaps more closer to home, as their private lives are opened up to even more public scrutiny than the afore mentioned ever were.

Both in a junkie lifestyle, Courtney was accused using heroin all the way through pregnancy. But for Cobain, the arrival of his daughter brought in a new responsibility- you can see how much he loves his daughter, Frances Bean. He’s seen as a doting father, holding her, he says she is the best drug in the world.

Montage Of Heck opens up the home life of parenting with Kurt/Courtney’s young baby Frances Bean. There’s candid film of her birthday with family & Nirvana band members present. We see the newfangled fatherhood & how took affected the fragile frontman who took his own life 22 years ago. He reportedly didn’t ever want his new daughter to go through the same experiences as he. He is quoted in one interview as saying.

“If anything is going to stop me from pursuing this rock ‘n’ roll thing, it’s going to be her because I don’t want her to be screwed up because of it,”

I Hate Myself & Want To Die.

His Mother speaking in the Biopic says of her son that he, ‘Got worse & worse, losing weight, getting sores and nodding out’. It’s an easy case to investigate when you can clearly see how much the lyrics reflected the state of his mind.

The song- I Hate Myself & Want To Die is an obvious testament to Cobain’s darkness jotted down & made into musical form. Much like fellow Grunge pioneer & Alice in Chains Vocalist Layne Staley, who’s similar lyrical content often dealt with his own personal troubles, such as drug use and depression & died ten years following. Interesting or perhaps bizarre, he also died on April 5th.

Kurt was ultra sensitive says Courtney & she claims he somehow knew she was thinking about cheating on him. He couldn’t cope with the betrayal and rejection.

The song “where did you sleep last night” filmed and recorded for Nirvana’s TV appearance for the unplugged session plays out near the end, and again this could be a clue to Kurt’s broken mind.

It’s lyrics asking the question “My girl, my girl, don’t lie to me Tell me where did you sleep last night” -“I’m going where the cold wind blows”, before the verse recites the death of her husband. Originally an old folk song from the 1870’s and recorded by Lead Belly it perfectly suits Nirvana’s repertoire before the curtain call.

Then the  film closes with Cobain hospitalized and comatose in Rome after he overdosed on Rohypnol. Just after returning from Rome barely a month passed before Cobain bowed out to the world leaving a suicide note in a flower pot nearby his body, Joining the notorious 27 Club…

Stirring & thought provoking stuff.Rock n Metal 90x90 Logo






  • Mark Grundy says:

    Kurt Cobain is a HERO of mine, too soon, too soon!

    I was never aware of his ‘Montage of Heck’ release, I have to check this out now. Looks very interesting.
    Lovely presentation of the site too, it’s clear and concise and I can read it easily.. Brownie points there! 🙂

    Thanks for the read, I shall check out the video.


    • Pete says:

      Hey mark, good to see you here at RocknMetalCollectables again.

      The Documentary Montage Of Heck was released on DVD last year and is currently being screened on Netflix if you have an account. It’s well worth watching as it gives the viewer unseen footage of Kurt and his personal tapes he made before Nirvana became grunge stars.

      There’s some very revealing stuff on there which will tell you what kind of person Cobain was right back from his troubled childhood. The documentary traces back to a pivotal moment where everything seems to change, and for us, good thing or bad result, could enjoy his music that would alter rock music history.

      Thanks Mark, for the read and positive words here today.

      Keep rockin’,


  • Chris says:

    Sounds like a pretty personal look at his life but did this come out before or after the recent conspiracies concerning his demise?
    I only ask as you mentioned the inclusion of Courtney Love in the video – many ‘original’ Nirvana fans (myself included) cannot stand that girl and don’t trust her as far as we could spit!
    It seems a documentary including her seems a little…wrong?
    Two private investigators have actually made it their life’s work to prove she had something to do with his death – there ain’t no smoke without fire!

    • Pete says:

      Hey Chris, thanks for joining this post & chiming in with some valid facts there.

      First off, loved Nirvana, even though it’s a band who killed off the 80’s heavy metal era almost instantly. I liked the band itself, but I was never one to follow Cobain or his widow Courtney. The footage in the Doc is made up of many personal tapes and archived footage taken from Cobain’s ‘Montage of Heck’ which the producer Brett Morgan had total access to rummage around to present in his film.

      She (Courtney) claims he (Kurt) knew of her even thinking about infidelity and his hospitalisation in Rome was maybe influenced by that. I’m not sure why the producer felt he should include Mrs love into the documentary except that it was cast as a very intimate affair with only her, former band member Krist Novoselic & family members appearing.

      The Documentary is the rawest and most personal footage you will ever see of Cobain, from his childhood to achieving superstardom to his demise, why or whoever was behind it?

      Seriously Chris, it’s worth checking out. If you’ve got Netflix you’ll find it there. Watching it is well worth your time being an old Nirvana fan, and it will satisfy some of your queries here.

      Very best,


  • Paula says:

    Hi there, this is a great review and I do have netflix so I am really interested in watching this. I wasn’t aware of this release so am super excited to watch it.
    His early life and the troubles were well documented and it is interesting how Cobain faced all the ups and downs in his family life. I would be interested to know how his daughter is dealing with such famous parents, the death of her father and the well known and documented stories about her mother including heroin use during pregnancy.

    • Pete says:

      Hi Paula, & Thanks for joining this post today.

      Glad you’ve got Netflix, Watching the Montage Of Heck will be well worth you’re time. It’s a personal Documentary that shows Cobain’s difficult behaviour which took a turning point around the time his parents split. You could easily think that if he never became a rock star he probably would of been a ticking time bomb anyway. I think the music and the stardom helped him amplify his inner demons to the point it ended up consuming him.

      As for Francis Bean Cobain, She is doing well, grown up now looking gorgeous and was actually behind the scenes helping The Montage Of heck become the film it is. As for Courtney, never been one to investigate her life, but her band Hole did have some good singles. Seen her in a T.V appearance of Sons Of Anarchy lately but her life is nothing I can aspire to.

      Enjoy the film!

      Thanks again Paula,

      Take care now,


  • Guy says:

    I don’t know. For some reasons I always been attracted to musicians like Kurt…. or more the kind of music that was coming out if it. The doors with Jim Morrison had the same effect on me.

    It’s always kinda sad to see them go like that. but it’s not only musicians who have these kind of tendencies. Movie actors, and even people around us we would never suspect.

    I’ll probably watch that montage of Heck. Because I always was curious of what was driven people to be the way they are.

    • Pete says:

      Hey Guy, thanks for dropping in to this post.

      Some of the most creative and talented people usually have conditions. It seems to put put the poetry in them somehow. Bohemians or people that are in a tragic environments often give the best perspective that resonates more with their readers and listeners. When people get too famous or wealthier, the level of artistic merit wanes a little, it’s just not the same i reckon.

      I would say Montage Of Heck really is worth a watch, I saw it on Sky TV for free or maybe Netflix if you subscribe to any. It’s well put together and doesn’t gloss over anything, just hard bare bones stuff that makes you see him as he was. Some of it quite disturbing yet real down to earth things we or friends around us go through. Anyhow, check it out…you might like it?

      Thanks again Guy for visiting and joining this discussion,

      All the very best,


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