The Acid King (2019) 

In this documentary about Ricky Kasso, who teenager who killed one of his peers in 1984 and whose crime was never fully understood, but always kept the attention of locals and others alike. 

Written and directed by Dan Jones and Jesse P. Pollack, this documentary explores a subject many in fans of true crime, horror fans, and metal fans are familiar with. The story of Ricky Kasso, a teen with issues and who was thrown into the streets quite young to then turn to drugs and murder in the name of Satan is one that is so well-known, a documentary about it is something many would have expected to come earlier. This documentary here does interview a decent amount of people, but viewers will notice that many of those people are folx who were inspired by Kasso’s story to create films and music. While these people bring interesting information and mostly opinions (some might say even a bit of fanboying/fangirling), they are not the most interesting ones in here. The ones that are those who lived through it and have done solid research without bias on the subject. Thankfully, author/journalist David Breskin brings that angle that is more journalistic and a manner of speaking that comes off more as expect for this type of film. While the filmmakers interviewed know the subject and may have done great films on Kasso, they seem to take a bit too much of the run time. That being said, of all the films and art pieces made around Kasso, it was a bit of a letdown to see that no mention is made of the 2000 Peter Filardi film Ricky 6. This seems like an odd oversight, but given how hard it is to find a copy of Ricky 6, let’s hope that was the reason why. 

In terms of how this documentary was shot and put together, feels not super polished. It comes off a bit thrown together without a goal in terms of how it would look. The film looks a bit outdated because of this and a lower budget possibly had something to do with it. The fact that the film has a lot of black screens with white text that is not truly integrated makes it feel a bit disjointed. This brings the film to an almost halt as the viewer has to slow down their mental process and read these screens that sometimes have a lot of content. Some will love this, other (like this reviewer) may not.  

The Acid King comes off as an incomplete documentary even though it has tons of information in it. Something feels like it’s missing and other things, like the fawning over Kasso, come off as too much. It’s an uneven documentary that doesn’t seem to want to focus on what is most important in these kinds of films. The film as a whole comes off lacking, incomplete.