The hugely engrossing, stranger-than-fiction documentary "Last Days Here" tracks three roller coaster years in the recent life of fiftysomething burnout Bobby Liebling, the outrageous frontman of 1970s doom metal band Pentagram. Co-directors Don Argott and Demian Fenton have created a deft and weirdly affecting portrait of how a drug-addicted man-child knocking on death's door manages an astonishing resurgence.
When we first meet Liebling, he's living in the sub-basement of his aging, long-suffering parents' suburban Maryland home. Strung out on crack, heroin and who knows what else, scratching his skin raw from imagined parasites and surrounded by frat house squalor, the wraith-like Liebling still dreams of the rock 'n' roll stardom that, thanks to a staggering series of botched opportunities, eluded him and his revolving door of bandmates.
That Pentagram has maintained a strong cult following in the Facebook age is not lost on Liebling's friend and manager, a good egg and Pentagram nut named Sean Pelletier. The über-fan's longtime goal to rally the band — and keep the erratic Liebling sober and focused long enough — for an awesome reunion concert (Liebling OD'd at the last one in 2005), makes for highly eventful, never-say-die drama.
But it's the offbeat love story at the heart of Liebling's resurrection that provides the film's most powerful — and touching — surprise.
"Last Days Here." No MPAA rating. Running time: 1 hour, 32 minutes. At Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theatre, Los Angeles.