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Feature-length documentary on San Antonio's infamous Butthole Surfers surpasses its fundraising goal 

click to enlarge The San Antonio-born Butthole Surfers are the subject of a planned feature documentary. - COURTESY PHOTO / BUTTHOLE SURFERS
  • Courtesy Photo / Butthole Surfers
  • The San Antonio-born Butthole Surfers are the subject of a planned feature documentary.
One of San Antonio's strangest — and eventually, most successful — musical exports is set to be the subject of a feature-length film.

A Butthole Surfers documentary is in the planning stages from director and producer Tom Stern, whose credits include Netflix’s The Toys That Made Us and Kevin Hart's Guide to Black History, according to a recently launched Kickstarter to fund the project.



That fundraiser quickly surpassed its $50,000 goal, racking up more than $70,000 in support with 23 days to go. According to the campaign, the unnamed doc is being done in full collaboration with the band and will feature animated sequences and interviews with underground rock luminaries including Henry Rollins and David Yow of The Jesus Lizard.

"The band exploded onto the underground music scene in the 1980s, amassing a growing audience as they built one of the most mind-boggling surrealist rock and roll spectacles ever devised," the Kickstarter page states. "Their very name was a fuck you to the straight, conformist, homophobic Reagan ethos of the time. Instead, they were radically inclusive weirdo pioneers who pushed the limits of artistic expression and lifestyle."

Formed in San Antonio in 1981, the Butthole Surfers flogged the road for years, performing wild, unpredictable and acid-fueled shows while bathed in film projections that could include anything from old cartoons to bloody sex change operations.

After settling in Austin, the Surfers leveraged their status as a cult act to sign with Capitol Records, record an album with Led Zeppelin's John Paul Jones at the mixing desk and release the LP Electriclarryland, which yielded the surprise radio hit "Pepper."

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January 12, 2022

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