Film Review: Soaked in Bleach – 5/10

Smells like bullshit…

Kurt Cobain of Nirvana (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)

Interest in Nirvana and Kurt Cobain has never been higher following last years induction into the Rock ‘n’ Roll fame and the release of illuminating documentary Montage of Heck earlier this year. I enjoyed Montage of Heck but on reflection it left me hungry for a NIRVANA documentary rather than a KURT COBAIN one. Soaked in Bleach barely mentions Nirvana or their music at any point.

A lot of an audiences ability to enjoy Soaked in Bleach will depend on whether they believe the theory that Cobain’s suicide was in fact a murder. I have always found this a little far fetched and to be honest nothing in Soaked in Bleach convinced me otherwise.


The film revolves around the hours of recordings and testimony from private investigator Tom Grant who was hired by Courtney Love to try and locate the missing Kurt Cobain. Grant plays numerous tapes of his interactions with Love and with other Cobain associates and points out a number of inconsistencies. The problem with this is that Cobain and Love were drug addicts. Their associates, friends and employees were drug addicts. Drug addicts are liars, they are unreliable and they are self serving. They are not known for their logic or memory retention. This makes any form of investigation into the days leading up to Cobain’s tragic suicide almost impossible.

Alongside the recordings and interviews are reconstructions of conversations that Grant had with Love. This is a bold move to pull in a feature film as reconstructions are generally the reserve of terrible exploitative American TV shows. Surprisingly this doesn’t derail the entire project but it also doesn’t really add anything either.


PI Tom Grant was hired by Courtney

One thing that isn’t in question is that Seattle P.D fudged the investigation into Kurt’s death and if they had done their job properly this film wouldn’t exist. This and Tom Grant’s tape recordings are the basis for the entire argument. The burden of proof is firmly on the camp screaming ‘murder’ however and there just isn’t enough here to merit a feature length documentary.

There is so much great Nirvana footage and music out there. A much better Kurt Cobain documentary has been released this year. Don’t waste your time on Soaked in Bleach.

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