Counterpoint to HBO’s somewhat touchy-feely Montage of Heck, Soaked in Bleach will go down in history as 2015’s “other” Cobain documentary, one with a decidedly less positive bent on the fallen Nirvana leader’s continued legacy.
The film re-visits the conspiracy theory that Courtney Love had Kurt Cobain murdered, built largely upon the fact that Cobain couldn’t have injected himself with such a large amount of heroin and remained coherent enough to shoot himself in the head. The only new compelling argument is the conversations that were recorded by Tom Grant, the private investigator hired by Love to find Cobain before his death. His evidence includes conversations with Love, the couple’s attorney Rosemary Carroll, and close friend Dylan Carlson.
While the film is entertaining in a voyeuristic way, it doesn’t deliver much in terms of startling revelations; with the exception of course of some disturbing audio of Love, a well-known drug addict, being somewhat even more calculating and pragmatic in regard to her and Kurt’s impending divorce and what she and her then up-in-coming band Hole stood to gain from the fallout. Make no mistake, Courtney Love is not a good person. But a murderer? Who concocted a scheme of this magnitude and got away with it? Grant may be giving her too much credit.
Until the Seattle Police Department finally decides to re-open this case, movies like Soaked in Bleach will probably continue to be made for decades to come, and both the Alt Rock faithful and true crime nerds will continue to gobble them up, despite their questionable existence and dubious quality.