‘Soaked in Bleach’ Trailer: The Kurt Cobain Death Conspiracy Docudrama Starring That Guy From ‘Lost’

By  · Published on April 9th, 2014

Kurt Cobain Death Scene in Soaked in Bleach

We’ve already had one great documentary spinning theories about Kurt Cobain’s death (Nick Broomfield’s Kurt & Courtney) and one great dramatization of the last days of the Nirvana frontman (Gus Van Sant’s Last Days), but now there’s a (possibly great?) movie coming out that combines both approaches. Today is the 20th anniversary of when Cobain’s body was found dead, so of course the first trailer for this new docudrama has just arrived online. Titled Soaked in Bleach, it combines interviews with people associated with the case, including private detective Tom Grant, with reenactments featuring actors such as Lost’s Daniel Roebuck as private detective Tom Grant.

Others in the drama side’s cast play Cobain (Tyler Brian), Courtney Love (Sarah Scott), Hole guitarist Eric Erlandson (Kale Clauson), Guns N’ Roses bassist Duff McKagan (Tor Brown), Butthole Surfers singer Gibby Haynes (David Daskal), Earth front man Dylan Carlson (August Emerson) and a character named Kat, who I assume is Babes in Toyland’s Kat Bjelland (Alyssa Suede). The talking head interviewees include forensic pathologist (and JFK assassination conspiracy theory fueler) Cyril Wecht and former Seattle Chief of Police Norm Stamper. Not surprisingly, Love herself did not participate.

She not surprisingly will be in total opposition to the release of the movie, and not just because she has had her own Kurt Cobain biopic and/or documentary in development for years, attached directors of which have included Marc Forster and Brett Morgen (The Kid Stays in the Picture). If she wasn’t happy about the Nirvana reunion or the Muppets “raping” their song, there’s no way she’s giving anything but two middle fingers up to a unauthorized portrayal of her, one that once again implies she had something to do with her late partner and father of her daughter (who is also portrayed in the movie, by twin babies).

Soaked in Bleach is the directorial debut of Benjamin Statler, a producer on the realism-intended Navy SEAL film Act of Valor and Morgan Spurlock’s documentary Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope. Another of the film’s producers is Richard Middleton, who got a bit of experience with dramatizations involving famous people by working on Hitchcock. And it was shot by Ben Kutchins, the DP that couldn’t make the Veronica Mars feature look any better than a TV movie – and with this, the style probably works better for that small-screen-noir look.

According to the trailer, part of the aim of this movie is to reopen consideration of Cobain’s demise not being of his own volition, both by the audience and the authorities in Seattle. Of course, that was already done by the latter quite recently, with the results only being the release of never-before-seen photographs of the grunge singer’s body. They had been undeveloped in 1994, for whatever reason, but they show no new evidence of anything other than what was determined back then. At the time of the announcement of the photos, there was also an announcement that the case will not be revisited any further.

Check out the trailer below and let us know if you see a need for it, and whether you’re dying to see it either way.

Christopher Campbell began writing film criticism and covering film festivals for a zine called Read, back when a zine could actually get you Sundance press credentials. He's now a Senior Editor at FSR and the founding editor of our sister site Nonfics. He also regularly contributes to Fandango and Rotten Tomatoes and is the President of the Critics Choice Association's Documentary Branch.