|Soaked in Bleach|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Benjamin Statler|
|Music by||Peter G. Adams|
|Distributed by||Montani Productions|
|June 11, 2015|
Soaked in Bleach is a 2015 American docudrama directed by Benjamin Statler, who co-wrote and produced it with Richard Middelton and Donnie Eichar. The film details the events leading up to the death of Kurt Cobain, as seen through the perspective of Tom Grant, the private detective who was hired by Courtney Love to find Cobain, shortly before his death in 1994. It also explores the premise that Cobain's death was not a suicide. The film stars Tyler Bryan as Cobain and Daniel Roebuck as Grant, with Sarah Scott portraying Courtney Love and August Emerson as Dylan Carlson.
The film provides a look at inconsistencies in the death of Kurt Cobain (portrayed by Tyler Bryan), the lead singer of the American grunge band Nirvana, as seen through the perspective of private investigator and former police detective Tom Grant (portrayed by Daniel Roebuck). In addition to the dramatization of Cobain's final days, the film combines documentary footage as well as interviews with people associated with the case such as former Seattle Police Chief Norm Stamper and former president of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences Cyril Wecht. Grant's own recorded conversations with key figures such as Rosemary Carroll, Cobain and Love's attorney and Dylan Carlson--the man who purchased the shotgun used to kill Cobain--are also prominently featured.
Soaked in Bleach marks the directorial debut of Benjamin Statler, who co-wrote and produced the films Act of Valor and Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan's Hope. Statler co-produced the film with Richard Middelton and Donnie Eichar. The title, "Soaked in Bleach", derives from a lyric off the Nirvana song "Come as You Are" which was the second single from their second album Nevermind.
The film has a 50/100 rating on Metacritic based on seven reviews. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a 30% rating based on 10 reviews with an average rating of 4.5/10. Dennis Harvey of Variety wrote that the film "may be TMI for those not already obsessed with all things Cobain", but it presents enough evidence to counter its dismissal as a conspiracy theory. Zack Sigel wrote for VH1 that the film presents "Flimsy evidence, personal agendas, and blatant disregard for facts".
On June 17, 2015, Deadline Hollywood reported that Courtney Love--Cobain's widow--had sent cease and desist letters against theaters showing Soaked in Bleach claiming, "A false accusation of criminal behavior is defamatory ... which entitles Ms. Cobain to both actual and presumed damages". The letter also states "We hereby demand again that you immediately cease any and all plans for exhibition or promotion of the film. If we do not hear from you within five days, we are required to immediately pursue all available civil legal remedies on behalf of our client against you." To date no lawsuit has been filed on Love's behalf. The producers of the film responded to the letters by stating, "Courtney Love's uninformed accusations and efforts to discredit the film are totally off base. Courtney Love and her lawyers clearly don't like that the film presents a compelling case for re-opening the investigation into Kurt's death. They should respect the First Amendment and let people decide for themselves."
On June 27, 2016, Vernon J. Geberth, former homicide detective of the New York City Police Department, who was among the experts interviewed in the docudrama, posted an article on his Practical Homicide Investigation website and Facebook page, stating that he "was not happy that the producers of Soaked in Bleach made it appear that he agreed with their homicide theory". He stated further that he "made it quite clear that he believed that Kurt Cobain took his own life and backed up his opinion with the facts that he had obtained from the Seattle Police Department's Homicide Division coupled with his own experience with suicide cases".