Retelling of the Gram Parsons story. Execrable
OPENS MARCH 19, CERT 12A, 88 MINS
Anyone coming to Grand Theft Parsons under the illusion it has been the intention of its makers to celebrate the life and pioneering music of one of rock’s lost visionaries is likely to be chewing holes in the wall by its end and demanding someone’s head on a pole. The film pays scant attention to anything to do with Gram, apart from his squalid death of a drugs overdose in September 1973 at the age of 26, and the much-celebrated hijacking of his body by friend and roadie Phil Kaufman, who?true to the terms of a drunken pact?cremated his corpse in the Joshua Tree desert. Jeremy Drysdale’s inept screenplay?which is not much concerned with factual accuracy?treats this episode as a lark, a limp attempt at gonzo comedy, with Jackass’ Johnny Knoxville hamming it up tiresomely as Kaufman. Grand Theft Parsons was apparently made for a pittance, and it shows: the film looks like it was shot through a plank, and has the visual flair of something made for radio. Truly wretched.