In the 1990s, infamous dirt bike rider Larry Linkogle began a revolution. Fed up with the culture of motocross racing, he along with his friends set out to create a new sport. The high-stakes, often death-defying world of freestyle motocross was born and took fans of extreme sports by storm. Though Linkogle rose to legendary status with his record-breaking stunts and rock-and-roll lifestyle, his inner demons and self-destructive behavior eventually led to his demise. Narrated by Motorhead front man Lemmy Kilmister, Mind of the Demon is a morbidly fascinating look into Linkogle's brilliant yet haunted psyche. Through incredible archive footage and interviews with colorful characters and top dirt bike competitors, this award-winning documentary rebuilds the thrilling story of the birth of freestyle motocross. Past and present intertwine and drive Linkogle's story towards two possible conclusions: glorious comeback or nosedive into self-destruction.
Featured Review For Mind of the Demon
This is, without doubt, the gnarliest film that has ever been put together. Follow the story of Larry Linkogle, one of the founders of freestyle motocross, as he achieves legendary status and battles his inner demons, all the the melodic mumble of Motorhead frontman Lemmy's absolutely amazing narration.
This is one weird documentary. It’s not bad, and it almost certainly achieves exactly the effect it’s going for, but it is an awfully strange effect. Do you know anything about freestyle motocross? You do? Well, then buy this DVD! It’s full of totally gnarly tricks! If you don’t, though, you’d better get comfortable with people using words like “rad” and “gnarly” in a completely irony-free manner. That said, it’s also amazing fun.
The film takes us through the life of a Mr Larry Linkogle, daredevil extraordinaire and freestyle motocross pioneer, as he plays his vital roles of inventing the sport, founding the “Metal Mulisha”[sic] and battling his drug problem. His own rise is so integrally linked to the sport as a whole that through examining the life of Larry, we’re also treated to front row seats for the birth of a new sport. This is done through interviews with those close (and not so close) to Larry, interspersed with sick tricks and narration from Lemmy.
Yes, Lemmy from Motorhead is the narrator of the piece, and whether he’s the best or the worst you’ve ever heard depends entirely on whether you’re looking for a good laugh or anything resembling human speech. His slurred, stilted delivery feels like your drunken friend trying to puzzle out the most bitchin’ motocross-themed crossword ever to cross the pages of the Times.
There’s something refreshingly honest about this film: it’s not some cheap studio cash-in trying to wring some money out of a sub-culture. It’s made by people who love freestyle motocross, for people who love motocross, and what it lacks in professionalism it makes up for in unpolished authenticity. And there are moments of accidental genius, such as the interview with Micky Dymond, whose title reads not “Freestyle Motocross Pro” or “Film-maker” or any such standard fare. Micky’s title is, we shit you not, “Gnarliest Rider in History”. We love that title so much it hurts us a little bit.
It’s odd to say, but the tone of the film is such that it feels like a bit of a spoiler to say that Larry’s still alive. With everyone talking about his problems and downward spiral into drugs, to suddenly see him onscreen in the last ten minutes talking about his life to the interviewer is surreal. There’s a real feeling of “Dude, we thought you were dead.” It’s not clear whether this was the intended effect, since anyone familiar with freestyle motocross would surely know he was still alive, we guess? It’s odd, is the point.
What we have here is a film that, like the people involved, is still firmly in the 90s, when everything was X-treme and a man could make a decent living selling videos of motocross riders doing rad jumps. And you know what? That’s pretty awesome. Actually no, it’s not awesome: it’s gnarly.