Who Killed the KLF? – Fantastic Fest Review

Who Killed the KLF? – Fantastic Fest Review

From their punk rock origins in 1970’s Liverpool, the dynamic duo of Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty shot to the top of the pop charts as one of electronic dance music’s progenitors, The KLF. Less a music group than an artistic collaboration that used music to spread chaos, their success was massive with hits like “3AM Eternal” selling millions of copies, but it was all a big accident — one they neither foresaw nor desired. Then, just as they were at the pinnacle of their success, they disappeared and took the music with them. Not only did The KLF come to an end, they deleted all of their music from catalogs, making it impossible to produce CDs or license for streaming, forgoing millions of dollars in revenue in the process. Those of us who were around at the time could never forget their audacious presentations, and those who weren’t there have only the stories and memories of their elders.

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The KLF were one of the biggest British electronic bands on the globe in the 1980s and 1990s and then out of nowhere they vanished off the face of the planet. This documentary explores what their music meant to the audiences, what it stood for, what happened to Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty. They had the rich and fame, they wanted to destroy the establishment that built them and implemented their own self destruction. They found loopholes to laws, and did everything they could to make sure they could deliver the true shock they were after.

That is what makes Who Killed the KLF? so great, it is radical, insane, non-linear, and absolutely bonkers in what Cauty and Drummond did, they changed the music scene, they removed their music for roughly 20 years from the industry, nothing was allowed to be licensed, nothing could be played, their music fell off the globe and then this documentary was made and that all changed. Who Killed the KLF shows some of their crazier moments as a band, threatening to burn millions of dollars if their chosen recipient didn’t accept the prize, set fire to a million dollars in the Scottish ocean side, which was shockingly not illegal at the time. The KLF could only be killed by one or two individuals, and those individuals were the band themselves. They set out to make a statement, made it, then vanished into obscurity.  

If music isn’t your cup of tea in particular, the band also was influenced by the illuminati. There is so much to be dissected and further delved into regarding the KLF and their music, beliefs, and what they stood for. Who Killed the KLF? is a brilliant documentary that dissects the infamous band, that chose to dissolve themselves in the most anti-establishment way possible. In a documentary that focuses on a subject matter that is so anti-government, it makes you think of our current times and how reflective and important the KLF would be in todays landscape.



My earliest movie memory, outside of my home theatre in my basement, was going to the local Video 99 and wanting to rent ET only to be told by the shop owner it was playing down the street in theatres. My love for cinema has been alive for as long as I can honestly remember. I would frequent the cinema minutes down from my house daily. It was a second home. Movies are an escape from the everyday world, a window into the soul, a distant friend. If I’m not watching a movie, I’m probably watching a tv show, if I’m doing neither I’m asleep.

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