Articles from the Boston Compass, Film, Music


That time Ministry met Kubrick


When director Stanley Kubrick called up Ministry frontman Al Jourgensen, to ask them to be a part of his upcoming movie A.I., Al thought it was a joke and hung up:

I thought it was a crank call. His secretary was calling and I was like, ‘Yeah, right.’ Click. And then he called back personally and then talked to me, and I was just freaked out. I mean, who wouldn’t be freaked out? Here’s this eccentric American God living in the countryside of England, and he’s calling me up in Austin, Texas, and saying he wants me to do the music for his film and he wants me to be in his film and he’s famous and all that. I didn’t even believe it.”

Unfortunately, Kubrick passed away a couple weeks later, leaving the project in the hands of Steven Spielberg. By the time Ministry went to the studio to film, the script had been heavily reworked to make the movie family friendly. The seedy sex scenes and dark story lines had been replaced by a cuddly teddy bear. Initially Steven and Al did not hit it off. Al, who compared meeting Spielberg to meeting the Queen, introduced himself with a joke saying he thought they were filming a porno named A.I. for Anal Intruder. Despite this clash of cultures, the two would become friends, with Steven asking for Al’s advice on scenes and even coming to him with his own acronyms for A.I., although Al describes these as lame. Apparently, when Scott Ian of Anthrax met Spielberg in Germany, he wasn’t interested in the conversation until Scott mentioned he knew Al, of whom Steven had kind words to say. Ministry had two songs appear in the movie and were cast as the unnamed band protesting robots at the “flesh fair”, because according to producers, they looked like the kind of band that would play for a bunch of humans that hated robots. And that’s the story of one of the strangest crossovers of heavy metal and Hollywood in history.

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