Jack Black was a blast in School Of Rock, but his real-life counterpart Paul Green completely blows his amp in the hilarious Rock School. Documentary filmmaker Don Argott trains his camera on this frustrated and frankly screwy musician who consciously steals the show from his class of budding 'guitar gods' and 'devil drummers'. "Do you love Satan!" he screams to lift their morale. But the kids just look at each other and shrug. It's like Spinal Tap, only shorter.
As if the rallying cry to satanic worship wasn't disturbing enough, Green bears an uncanny resemblance to Ray Liotta, which is highlighted in various psychotic episodes. When he violently shakes a pupil in a spontaneous Vietnam War re-enactment, the feeling is that perhaps he isn't quite fit to teach. Still it's plain to see the inspiring effect he has on a class of hippy-haired misfits. They include the comically depressed Will who boasts of numerous suicide attempts; "If it wasn't for Rock School", he insists, "I'd be dead now. Honestly."
"AN UPLIFTING SLICE OF LIFE"
An Amish rapper sums up the anything-goes ethos of the school and this makes for a wickedly funny film although Argott too often aims for the punchline at the expense of well-rounded portrayals. Obviously Green is playing up to the camera but the closest we get to really understanding his schizoid behaviour is a roundabout admission that he secretly resents his more talented pupils. Even with its flaws though, Rock School is an uplifting slice of life that proves the wildest dreams can come true. If rock music be the food of feel-good entertainment, play on!