Skinny Puppy DVD video director William Morrison first planned to document their brief 2004 "Greater Wrong of the Right" European tour and related travels. Morrison's Canadian production staff and partners were located in (my hometown) Toronto and the logistics and control elements made the Montréal and Toronto gigs easiest to film.
The first disc opens much like a theatre production with scrolling credits as we hear the anticipation of a noisy audience. As the onstage live intro ends, Ogre sings "Downsizer" from backstage. We're shown some CGI backing film segments floating in and out of the live crowd shots. Those who have seen the live tour will know the Ogre "plague doctor" character does not appear until the second song "I'mmortal".
What we see from this point on is some of the best coverage of an industrial gig ever released, with a lot of unobscured content. Cevin Key's movements get punched in when appropriate. As the scenes are jostled between the Spectrum de Montréal and KoolHaus Toronto sets, one can see some subtle discontinuity between Ogre's movements especially when he's sprawled on a slimy stage.
Most theatrical in the stage show, we find the Ogre slowly removing the costume head-dress and jacket. By contract a stark clean black robed William on guitar, Key is hidden behind a metal framed keyboard and electronics structure with dreads bobbing, and Justin Bennett behind the drums looking much like a younger Key drumming.
We get the now infamous head-chop scene by US political goons, and the all present trademark US Military propaganda footage on the background screen. This is most present in the 1991 Gulf War shocker "VX Gas Attack" with Ogre orally spewing toxic waste. "The Greater Wrong..." live set list is longer than 1987's "Ain't It Dead Yet?" concert but missing are the large vintage props such as stilts and punishment chair. The backing video intrusion theme seems to be lost through the latter part of the live show presentation. Montréal's encore with Ogre crouched between five fixed camera tripods is sadly missing. While Ogre does not take part in a wardrobe change, he does tend to peel off costume layers by night's end showing off his soiled self.
Moving on to the special features DVD 2, we get William's solo contribution to the package, "Information Warfare," as he explores through third person perspective the events of the recent US War on Iraq.
"Eurotrauma" is a 48 date home video shot by the late D. Rudolph Goettel, Key and Ogre during their 1988 "Head Trauma" tour, edited by Ogre down to 30 minutes. It starts at Toronto's airport with their departure to Brussels for the tour preparations. One finds the amicable touring band members drawing in the viewer as they slowly gain financial momentum and enhance the stage show until tour's end. Some of this video content can be found on the 1996 enhanced version 2CD "Brap: Back and Forth Series 3+4" in the multimedia section. The bonus video "Pro-Test" plays through. A collage of "Last Rights" and "Too Dark Park" tours archival footage was filmed in 16mm format by director Jim Van Bebber.
The live set sound on this DVD is stereo and 5.1 surround with audio mix by Ken "Hiwatt" Marshall.
This 2DVD package is a great masterpiece showcasing new and old. When I asked William "So how do you direct a video when you're performing onstage?" before the band's Toronto gig, he simply chuckled and remarked he did so by preparing the camera crew ahead of time.
This is a very full package that deserves full grades. The star segment of the show is definitely the entire live 2004 concert footage. The gem being the vintage 1988 "Head Trauma" tour home video. They've really got a hit on their hands, as it's the first modern day live video document by the band.