30 years after they topped the charts and announced their retirement, the story of British pop duo The KLF is coming to light in a new documentary from BAFTA-nominated director Chris Atkins (Starsuckers, Taking Liberties). Who Killed the KLF? will world premiere at Austin's Fantastic Fest, the largest genre film festival in the US, specializing in horror, fantasy, sci-fi, and action movies from all around the world. Not shying away from personal backstories and unseen archival footage, Atkins gives us an insight into Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty’s backgrounds and the burgeoning events that made the KLF so bizarre: the band who completely undermined the music industry in such a daring way. Who Killed the KLF? will world premiere at Fantastic Fest on Saturday, September 25th. Who Killed the KLF? is the journey of Bill and Jimmy - how they transformed from eccentric stars with a string of international no. 1 hits to increasingly hostile pranksters who - by the end - weren’t entirely convinced by their pranks themselves. The “K Foundation” - their new vehicle for their more destructive behavior - becomes the fixation of the second half of the film, as the band get disillusioned by the fame and wealth they accrued. The film highlights their most undoubtedly destructive act: when they burnt £1m of cash on the island of Jura in Scotland, and then refused to explain why they did it.
Who Killed the KLF? goes back in time to the moments that made the band so unique. Through the use of archive and reconstructed footage, audiences are taken on wild road trips to Sweden with the band, who attempt to meet ABBA to personally ask for permission to sample “Dancing Queen”; we go to remote Scottish islands with robed journalists; we go to Spain to watch the KLF make “The White Room”, a disastrous £1 million budget movie with no plot. As well as these unconventional stories, the filmmakers also explore the mainstream fame they had, with their frequent visits to “Top of the Pops” under different names, to their sets at rave warehouses as they pioneered the genre’s renaissance with tracks like “What Time is Love?” and “3AM Eternal”. Who Killed the KLF? was produced by Nicky Bentham, with Richard Thompson of Fulwell 73 and Ian Neil serving as executive producers. Film Mode Entertainment is handling sales.
Who Killed the KLF? at Fantastic Fest:
Saturday, September 25, 2021
Screening 2:50pm at the Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar
Official Synopsis: From their punk rock origins in 1970’s Liverpool, the dynamic duo of Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty shot to the top of the pop charts as one of electronic dance music’s progenitors, The KLF. Less a music group than an artistic collaboration that used music to spread chaos, their success was massive with hits like “3AM Eternal” selling millions of copies, but it was all a big accident — one they neither foresaw nor desired. Then, just as they were at the pinnacle of their success, they disappeared and took the music with them. Not only did The KLF come to an end, they deleted all of their music from catalogs, making it impossible to produce CDs or license for streaming, forgoing millions of dollars in revenue in the process. Those of us who were around at the time could never forget their audacious presentations, and those who weren’t there have only the stories and memories of their elders.
Director Chris Atkins worked with Drummond and Cauty to tell their story, and it’s crazier and more chaotic than anyone could’ve possibly understood at the time. Science-fiction, new age religion, abstract art, ABBA, Doctor Who, Tammy Wynette, and some big-ass beats come together to finally answer the question, WHO KILLED THE KLF?