Filmmaker Jeff Krulik became a sort of underground phenom in the ‘90s for Heavy Metal Parking Lot, that infamous, hilarious, and kind of astonishing short documentary about metalheads loitering outside a Maryland arena before a Judas Priest/Dokken show in 1986. He extended the franchise with Neil Diamond Parking Lot and Harry Potter Parking Lot. Krulik went on to serve as a producer for the Discovery Channel, and to independently make dozens of affectionately odd docs about endearingly odd people, like King of Porn, Obsessed With Jews, I Created Lancelot Link, and the not-to-be-missed Ernest Borgnine on the Bus.
Unsurprisingly, his YouTube channel is wonderful.
There’s tons of weirdness there to enjoy, but I was enchanted by this raw, unused footage of a 1994 tour through the Hard Rock Café’s memorabilia warehouse. We’re guided through the experience with the amusing and dryly acerbic commentary of overalled and ponytailed curator Steve (last name lost to the decades), who shows us everything from a Les Paul chainsawed in half by The Plasmatics’ Wendy O. Williams to an instrument donated by an impostor—who posed as a Billy Squier sideman, because he was apparently not a terribly ambitious impostor—that prompts wonder as to why they even kept it around. You will see valuable Buddy Holly and Who posters on the floor. Steve smartasses his way through priceless collections of toys and clothing, too. It’s good fun, and I’ll shut up now and just let you watch it.
Bonus! Here’s Krulik’s Hitler’s Hat, the tale of the Jewish-American G.I. who took Adolf Hitler’s top hat as a WWII trophy! This video also boasts my single favorite YouTube comment ever:
”I wish i had a hat like that, i mean I don’t support the nazi’s actions, but hitler did have some good taste for hats.”
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
’Heavy Metal Parking Lot’ Trading Cards!