OK, let's get this out of the way.
If you're expecting The Dirt, Netflix's new Mötley Crüe biopic, to be anything more than a sleaze-soaked romp with about as much emotional depth and cinematic invention as a Lifetime movie, you've got the wrong film — and, quite frankly, the wrong band.
But if you're looking to take an hour-and-45-minute ride on the wild side with four rock & roll lifers as they somehow survive one horrifically bad decision and event after another, The Dirt — based on the band's 2001 best-selling book of the same name — definitely delivers the highly entertaining goods. Directed by Jeff Tremaine (best known for Jackass: The Movie and its various sequels), The Dirt hits most of the more lurid plot points from the Crüe's rise, demise and eventual 1997 reunion in rapid-fire succession; it never lingers too long on the carnage, or digs too deeply into how (or why) this incredibly dysfunctional foursome managed to become one of the world's biggest metal bands.
Crüe fans will already know the story by heart, of course, but that won't make it any less enjoyable. Sure, The Dirt is basically just a trashy live-action musical cartoon loaded with tits, booze, cocaine and heroin, but it's also a total blast — and the sheer WTF-ery of it all will leave you wondering how Nikki Sixx, Tommy Lee, Vince Neil and Mick Mars actually lived to tell the tale. Here, then, are 13 of the most insane moments from The Dirt. Needless to say, be forewarned: If you haven't read the book or watched the movie yet, spoilers lay ahead.
1. TOMMY'S SPLASHY ENTRANCE
The Dirt introduces us to all four members of the band during an early-Eighties party at their Sunset Strip–adjacent pad. We first see Tommy Lee — played by Colson Baker, a.k.a. rapper Machine Gun Kelly, who totally nails the drummer's goofball puppy dog charm — while he's performing oral sex on a more-than-willing groupie, who then proceeds to soak the room with an orgasmic fountain of vaginal fluid.
2. NIKKI CALLS THE COPS ON HIS MOM
Fed up with the never-ending verbal abuse he has to endure from his alcoholic mom and her parade of loser boyfriends, the adolescent Nikki Sixx (played by Vince Mattis) carves up his left forearm with a knife, then calls the police and tells them that she stabbed him. The scene clarifies Nikki's adult issues with women, while the blood streaming down his arm foreshadows his gory heroin overdoses to come.
3. VINCE'S GIRLFRIEND INSTANTLY RECOGNIZES THE BAND'S GREATNESS
Though it's way more historically/chronologically accurate than Bohemian Rhapsody, The Dirt takes the similar approaching of condensing and simplifying events in order to speed up the story. The most insanely ham-fisted example of this is the scene where Vince (played by Daniel Webber) jams with Tommy, Nikki (Douglas Booth) and Mick (Game of Thrones' Iwan Rheon) for the first time. Within the opening five seconds of "Live Wire," Vince's girlfriend Lovey (Katherine Neff) is vehemently objecting to the band's sound, telling Vince that "this music's way too heavy, baby!" But after they play on for another minute, she's suddenly overcome by their sheer brilliance. Clearly, these guys are going places!
4. THE BAND'S DEBUT SHOW TURNS INTO A FULL-SCALE BRAWL
The Crüe's first-ever club appearance gets off to an extremely inauspicious start: Before the band can even finish playing their opening number, some drunken mook hocks a loogie onto Vince's prized leather pants, and the singer responds to the gentleman's insult by leaving the stage to beat the living shit out of him. His bandmates follow him into battle, and the whole club briefly goes up for grabs. By the time the bouncers finally restore peace to the dance floor, people are chanting "Mötley Crüe!," and — apparently delighted at getting a bonus brawl to go with their rock show — the previously lukewarm audience is now firmly on the band's side.
5. A MIRROR SHATTERS ON DAVID LEE ROTH'S HEAD WHILE HE'S DOING BLOW
During a party at the Crüe's pad, a drunken reveler accidentally knocks a mirror off the wall and onto the head of guest of honor David Lee Roth (Christian Gehring). The mirror shatters into a dozen pieces, but DLR is simply too cool — and too busy hoovering up the pile of cocaine in front of him — to register a complaint. Hey, it's still gotta be more fun than hanging out with the Van Halen brothers ...
6. OZZY'S PISSY ANT-ICS
While on a U.S. tour opening for Ozzy Osbourne (played with an appropriately hunching stagger by Tony Cavalero), the boys get a stern poolside lecture from the former Black Sabbath frontman, who counsels them about the dangers of rock & roll excess ... and then proceeds to show them how it's really done. First, Ozzy snorts up an entire line of red ants off the pool deck; then, after relieving himself in front of the other motel patrons, he drops to his knees to slurp at the puddle of his own piss. The Crüe are seriously grossed out by the performance — and by Ozzy's insistence on lapping up a puddle of Nikki's urine, as well.
7. TOMMY INTRODUCES HIS PARENTS TO HIS GROUPIE FIANCÉE
When Tommy's bizarrely normal parents (played by Joe Chrest and Elena Evangelo) show up at one of the band's concerts, the drummer excitedly introduces them to Roxy (Jordan Lane Price), his new fiancée. Unfortunately, unbeknownst to Tommy, Roxy has just finished fucking Nikki in the dressing room, where the bassist capped their encounter by doing a line of coke off her naked ass; nevertheless, as Tommy's mom quickly discovers, she's actually quite sensitive about being called a "groupie." This, you think to yourself, will not end well — and you'd be right.
8. VINCE'S CAR CRASH
It's December 1984, and there's a massive party raging at Vince's palatial beach pad. But even though he's become a wealthy rock star who can get anything he wants with a snap of his stubby fingers, Vince decides to make a liquor run in his Ford Pantera. Razzle, the drummer of Hanoi Rocks, rides shotgun, only to lose his life when Vince drunkenly swerves into oncoming traffic. In his delirious final moments following the crash, Razzle mistakes the sirens flashing around the totaled sports car for Christmas lights. "What do you want for Christmas, Razzle?" a dazed Vince asks him, but Razzle sadly dies before he can reply, "I want my fucking life back, you asshole!"
9. TOMMY VOMITS ON A STRIPPER
Tommy Lee loves alcohol and strippers in just about equal measure, but the combination of the two proves particularly unfortunate during one wild evening at a strip club during the late 1980s. Having drunkenly snatched a stack of bills from his bandmates' table, the drummer staggers over to the stage, where he proceeds to "make it rain" for the dancer ... and then projectile vomits all over her back.
10. VINCE DOES THE WRONG LINE
Troubled by his impending divorce from his wife Sharise (Leven Rambin), and struggling to stay sober, Vince has been avoiding the recording studio — though his bandmates (two of whom are constantly wasted, and one of whom is in debilitating pain from a spine condition) admittedly aren't much fun to work with these days. When Vince finally does show up, Nikki lays out a line of what looks like cocaine, and insists that he partake of it; however, he neglects to inform the singer that it's actually heroin until he's already snorted it. Take that, dude!
11. NIKKI'S (BRIEFLY) FATAL OVERDOSE
By 1987, Nikki is locked so deeply into his heroin addiction that he's regularly shelling out over a thousand dollars a day for the stuff. He overdoses and turns blue at a party, then actually dies for two minutes, only to be revived in the ambulance by a double-shot of adrenaline from a stubborn paramedic. Understandably frightened by the experience, the bruised and bloodied Nikki vows to clean up his act ... a vow which lasts just as long as it takes for him to get home and fix up another shot of smack.
12. THE DEATH OF VINCE'S DAUGHTER
As easy as it is to make fun of Vince Neil, both the real-life version and his cinematic counterpart, the fact that he lost his four-year-old daughter Skylar to cancer is insanely sad. The hospital scenes between him and Skylar (played by Kamryn Ragsdale) are incredibly tender and unbelievably heartbreaking. They spike The Dirt's nonstop debauchery with a few moments of genuine humanity, and actually make you feel some real empathy for Vince.
13. PEARL JAM'S UNEXPECTED CAMEO
By the early Nineties, the music world has changed, and Mötley Crüe — even though they're coming off the multi-platinum success of Dr. Feelgood — are now yesterday's news compared to all these hot young bands coming out of Seattle. In order to depict the rise of grunge, the filmmakers take the insanely groan-inducing tack of putting an ad for Pearl Jam's Ten album on the side of the building where the Crüe are recording. And just in case that's not obvious enough for you, the studio's neighborhood is shown in the midst of a rainstorm — you know, dude, just like those things they have in Seattle!