The Life and Hard Times of Guy Terrifico (2005) Poster

User Reviews

Review this title
11 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
Very entertaining!
jonny_is14 March 2005
I saw this at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin Texas. I can't say enough good things about this movie. The film follows the life of the fictional Guy Terrifico, who made his way up the country music charts in the early 1970's along with greats like Kris Kristofferson, Merle Haggard and Waylon Jennings. The interviews with these country music stars is what gives this film its authentic touch as well as laugh out loud humor. The performance and musical talent of the films star, Matt Murphy, draws you into the often inebriated world of Guy Terrifico. He captures the essence of a true poet who is swept up in the world of super stardom. I talked to many people after the screening who didn't realize they were watching a mockumentary until the end of the film. They thought Guy Teriffico really existed. That's the mark of good film-making. SEE THIS FILM!
13 out of 15 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A caricature of the 1970's rockstar life that's so outrageous it's believable, so believable it's funny
joelduplessis19 April 2006
I just finished watching this "honky-tonkumentary" and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It is compelling, it is funny, it has surprisingly good music, but most of all, it is thoroughly believable. The Life and Hard Times of Guy Terrifico has a feeling of authenticity about it that few mockumentaries can match. The acting is superb. Best of all are the interviews about Guy Terrifico with real stars (Ronnie Hawkins, Merle Haggard, Chris Kristofferson, etc.). They come across sounding so impromptu, that I wonder whether they were scripted or in fact improvised? Actually, I found myself wondering the same thing often throughout the movie. Nothing seems put on or forced. When Guy and the band are writing their music, it really seems that the actors are playing and singing the songs for the first time. And as much as I generally dislike country, the soundtrack was amazing - definitely worth buying. Most of the humour in the film comes from the outrageous way it caricatures the lives of 1970's rockstars: it's so outrageous it's believable; it's so believable, it's funny. There is so much to recommend about this film that I can't imagine anyone disliking it.
6 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
I laughed my a** off!
radiogurl11 September 2005
I don't even know where to begin... but we saw this movie on a whim at the Toronto International Film Festival Friday night. We really had no idea what it was about but thought we'd take a chance on it. Well we rolled the dice and won!

Sure there are lots of similarities than can be made to other "mockumentaries" but the nicest surprise of all was Matt Murphy. It was our understanding that he's a first time actor and he was wonderful; great comic timing and very convincing as the beleaguered Guy Terrifico. It was also our pleasure to meet him after the movie was screened.

If you're not a fan of country music DO NOT let that stop you from seeing this movie! There are lots of laughs to be had, mostly at poor Guy's expense.
10 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
"TERRIFICO" indeed!
bigharv-118 April 2005
"The life and hard times of Guy Terrifico" is the funniest film I've seen all year. I checked it out at Austin's South by Southwest film fest and have been laughing ever since. This crazy little Canadian film is about a mad man country rock star in the 1970's who disappears at the height of his career. 30 years later, an album of duets called "Retribution Honkytonkus" is apparently about to be released with new Guy Terrifico recordings so this documentary crew interviews all his old buddies to see if they think he is alive or not. Did he die or didn't he? I won't spoil the ending but you won't be disappointed. I would describe this film as "This is Spinal Tap" in the country music world. It features Kris Kristofferson, Merle Haggard, Phil Kaufman, Levon Helm & Ronnie Hawkins along for the ride. Lots of funny moments but "Hump the Drum" is my favorite. GUY ROCKS!
10 out of 14 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
The Spinal Tap of the 1970s San Fernando Valley Country Scene
beadcat4931 August 2007
Not only was this funny along the lines of "Spinal Tap", but really was the most true-to-life mockumentary I've seen. I had never heard of it, but rented it on an impulse because Kris Kristofferson and Merle Haggard were in on the joke. This film takes place in the early 1970s. I was just dating my husband (guitar player) at this time and we were entrenched in the music scene of L.A. at a certain level that included hanging at The Corral in Topanga Canyon, going to the Topanga Canyon Banjo & Fiddle Contest every year, and our good friend Artie was in the house band at The Palomino in the San Fernando Valley. Clarence White and Gram Parsons had just left the Byrds and were playing around town. We went to the Troubador to see Waylon Jennings, where we got a great show, culminating in Waylon falling over backwards off of his stool at the end of a tune. The Eagles, who were just Linda Rondstadt's back-up band then, used to hang out at the bar at the Troubador. I have to say that this film is the most real film I've seen of those days, mostly because of the set designer and the clothing designer. Everything in this film is so on-the-money as to be almost real...unlike "Spinal Tap" which was much more tongue-in-cheek and over-the-top. I recommend this film highly for anyone who wants to know what it was really like in those days. Our friend Bob went to the Troubador one night a little early for the show to see Kris Kristofferson and went upstairs and saw Kris there. Bob kept going on about this new songwriter, knowing that Kris had everything to do with bringing him to the limelight, and couldn't say enough about John Prine. He ended up singing "The Late John Garfield Blues" with Kris Kristofferson upstairs at the Troubador before the show. When it was over and he was heading downstairs he heard Kris say to someone..."Who was that big guy in the tennis shoes?" Ah yes, those were the days. This is a brilliant film, in my humble opinion. It captured everything about those days. Well done!
5 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Go see this film. It's funny and deserves to make money.
martina-newhook4 February 2006
This is a very funny film and I highly recommend it. It's beautifully written and the actors are priceless. It's a pleasure to see an independent film of such high quality. If you're like me, and never much cared for country music, you'll still love this film because it contains the key elements of a good story that everyone can relate to and can appreciate. Oh, and did I mention that it's stinking funny?

This was a feature pick at the Toronto International Film Festival for a good reason. The original music, the characters and love that the writer had for his material makes this a classic must see mockumentary that rivals Spinal Tap.
6 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Late Canadian country star was a legend in director's mind
wonderdawg22 October 2009
In the early 1970s Canadian country/rock legend Guy Terrifico was gunned down at a concert and vanished on his way to the hospital.

Recently some unreleased tapes have surfaced sparking a new recording project and prompting rumors he may still be alive.

Why would Kris Kristofferson, Merle Haggard, Colin Linden and other musical luminaries appear on an album of duets with a man who supposedly died 30 years ago?

"I loved Guy Terrifico," Kristofferson says with a craggy grin. "He was the only guy back in the early 70s who drank more than I did. He made me look like a choirboy."

Indeed the musicians interviewed for this "honky tonk-umentary" seem more interested in talking about Terrifico's excessive lifestyle than his music.

Linden recalls playing at the club Guy bought after winning the lottery.

"As soon as you'd get there for soundcheck he would start plying you with drinks and whatever else he had kicking around. By the time he'd get ready to play a lot of the bands would be too messed up to play. Normally this would be a bar owner's worst nightmare but for Terrifico it was like a dream come true. Guy just wanted to hang out with the bands, that's all."

Haggard recounts an incident at a post gig party when Terrifico got in his face once too often. ("He was an a----hole so I knocked him out.")

The film also includes reminiscences by Ronnie Hawkins, Levon Helm of The Band and Jim Cuddy and Greg Keelor of Blue Rodeo.

So how come you have never heard of him? Simple. He's entirely the product of freshman filmmaker Michael Mabbott's feverish imagination.

A composite of Jerry Jeff Walker, Gordon Lightfoot and Gram Parsons, Terrifico is played with woozy verisimilitude by Halifax musician Matt Murphy.

Playing himself is Parsons' former road manager, Phil Kaufman.(Parsons' real life story was more bizarre than any fictional film.)

Simulated studio and concert footage add to the illusion. "Home movies" of late night jams at the Vancouver apartment Guy shares with wife Mary Lou (Natalie Radford) will strike a responsive chord with survivors of the era and those who are still "living the dream".

Admittedly this mock doc will be best appreciated by a niche audience. So if you're not familiar with Parsons' legacy, you don't have anything by Kris, Merle or The Band in your collection and you've never seen a boomer folk in concert you may not "get" it (or want it).

However, if you can check one of the above, the sly inside humor and musical references will have you chortling with delight like a senior at a rest home who has just realized its Saturday night and there is chocolate pudding for dessert.
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Guy is Terrifico!
anaconda-406585 May 2015
Warning: Spoilers
The Life and Hard Times of Guy Terrifico (2005): Dir: Michael Mabbott / Cast: Matt Murphy, Kris Kristofferson, Colin Linden, Merle Haggard, Levon Helm: Hilarious fiction documentary about the oppression often brought upon by one's self. Guy Terrifico rose to the top of the country music charts only to overwhelm with his daring public offenses and his need to exploit himself for the good of reputation. Those who knew or worked with him express their feelings towards his constant partying to stage antics that included sexual acts with a drum. An assault by country music legend Merrill Haggart led to his first drunken public outburst on a family program. Tremendously interesting in how Terrifico is seen as an icon while his antics are viewed in humour. Matt Murphy makes a stunning debut as this flamboyant musician whose actions were unpredictable. It is a seamless performance peppered with a lot of great comic moments that drive the false reality presentation. There are many real life country artists in on the joke here. Among them, Kris Kristofferson, Colin Linden, Levon Helm, and Merle Haggard all involve themselves in fictional memories that further broaden the character of Terrifico. The result is an unusual documentary is both entertaining and clever as we witness the life of Guy Terrifico draw upon hard times through booze, drugs and a complete lack of virtue. Score: 9 / 10
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
See This Movie!
good_neighbor_girl12 September 2005
Warning: Spoilers
If you can see it, support it! I say it has to be the sleeper hit of the TIFF!!!! Even though I am not Canadian (so I missed some of the Canadian references, and the lead Singer of Blue Rodeo walking right past me while my Canadian friends got kinda excited) I totally got all of the Country music history and totally felt "connected" with the movie. It is so well written and well acted that there is absolutely NO way you can not love this movie when you see it. I think we all kinda wished that Guy were "real" and that he were really alive and we can expect a CD anyday now! Such classic lines like "Don't F&ck with the stuff" and "Hump the Drum" I think American audiences would embrace this film and am rather sad I may not get the chance for my family/friends to watch it. Once again if you get the chance you will have to GO!!!
1 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Less than terrifico...
rniemi-114 July 2007
I had high hopes for this one going in but soon became disappointed, then bored, then disaffected--frankly, couldn't finish it. The faux rockumentary premise sounded promising ('Spinal Tap' was a hoot) but despite a few mildly amusing lines, gags, and pratfalls this film mostly recycles clichés about how dissipated and reckless rock musicians can be (yawn). Yes, it's good-natured in a goofy sort of way. Still, I couldn't help but feel that my intelligence was being insulted with simplistic, unoriginal, and very predictable material about a fictional Guy who was inherently uninteresting. Granted, comedy is the hardest thing to do but when it's bad, it's really bad.
1 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Who in the hell green-lighted this film??
kithpunx8214 November 2009
Being an overly ridiculous Gram Parsons/ 'traditional country' fan, I unfortunately purchased this less-than-god awful "honkey-tonkumentary" for five bucks after noticing the names of some of Bakersfield's' best shouting out at me in large font on the front cover. Obviously a smart move, most likely on the part of the distributors of this "turkey" to entice a sucker like myself to give it a look.

I should have known better by the photos of what looked to be a welfare throwback of the great Nudie suits of the sixties and seventies. Seriously, a blind retard would have been a better choice in the set and wardrobe department.

As far as the 'plot' or, lack thereof is concerned it seems as if scenes were just being made up on the spot, reducing what little of a back story that may have at one time existed to laugh less dick and fart jokes(literally) we now so often hilariously see in such blockbuster gems as those one-hundred plus straight-to-DVD new Lampoon movies.

Overall, I could write a funnier and far more entertaining script on what I can only name as a place where this movie belongs-THE TOILET.

Sorry...Go Cry About It.

0 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews

Recently Viewed