You're Gonna Miss Me (2007) - Rotten Tomatoes

You're Gonna Miss Me (2007)



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Texan band The 13th Floor Elevators coined the term psychedelic rock and were responsible for some of the garage era's most precious nuggets. With his visionary lyrics, their charismatic singer Roky Erickson was poised to be a huge star, but as his fame grew, so did his notoriety, and his drug intake and public declarations about the benefits of marijuana and LSD bought him to the attention of the local police. Arrested for the possession of a single joint in 1969, Erickson pleaded insanity to avoid a prison term, and spent the next three and a half years in the State institute for the criminally insane, diagnosed as schizophrenic and subjected to electro-shock treatment. Though he would go on to release dark, influential albums up until the mid-90s, he never fully recovered. The film sees Roky, surrounded by televisions and hi-fi equipment, cloaking himself with sound, while being looked after by his doting, overprotective mother, whose well intentioned refusal to allow Roky prescribed medication and psychiatric advice is questioned by his younger brother Sumner, who takes his mother to court to challenge her guardianship.

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Critic Reviews for You're Gonna Miss Me

All Critics (18) | Top Critics (9)

Like any good documentary, this one releases information slowly and sometimes with startling abruptness.

Full Review… | August 24, 2007
Seattle Times
Top Critic

There's an undeniable fascination to watching the extensive footage of Erickson, whose yowling, manic vocals on display in the extensive archival performance footage contrasts dramatically with scenes of him in more recent times.

June 20, 2007
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic

You're Gonna Miss Me follows Roky Erickson, the lead singer of the 13th Floor Elevators and maybe the most influential 1960s pop star that most folks haven't heard of.

Full Review… | June 8, 2007
New York Times
Top Critic

Complexly intriguing.

June 7, 2007
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic

A sensitive case-study of a promising artist who fell afoul of the system but still managed, with the help of family, to reassemble his shattered life.

Full Review… | June 7, 2007
Top Critic

Director Keven McAlester thinks he's making Crumb, but he doesn't give you enough of [Roky] Erickson in his glory. You're Gonna Miss Me has the taint of exploitation.

Full Review… | June 6, 2007
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for You're Gonna Miss Me

Very interesting film, and plenty depressing. But while I respect the filmmakers' decision to put across the complexity of Erikson's situation, I wish they had dug a little deeper into Roky himself. As we see him, he's a fascinating enigma, but I get the feeling they left out a whole lot. The film is only 90 minutes; it should be longer. That said, it's an interesting watch. If you care at all for music made in the past 40 years, you need to realize what an inspiration this guy was, and continues to be, for musicians across the board. That alone should be reason enough to see it.

Steve Joseph
Steve Joseph

You're Gonna Miss Me (Keven McAlester, 2005) You're Gonna Miss Me, which looks at the post-musical life (one cannot call it a career) of psych-rock pioneer and legendary schizophrenic Roky Erickson, is one of the most harrowing things I have ever seen on celluloid. It is also well-nigh incoherent, and since I watched it I've spent a good deal of time weighing whether this was intentional on the part of McAlester (The Dungeon Masters), as a kind of mirroring of Erickson's own thought processes, or whether that even matters (as clever/possibly brilliant as the idea is). I've come to the reluctant conclusion that it doesn't, and that something a little more straightforward would've gotten the job done a lot better than this did-which I rush to add in no way mitigates the straight-up creep factor this movie produces, which is almost unheard-of in the documentary realm. We begin with an arresting scene, in which Roky's little brother Sumner Erickson is testifying that he, not their mother, should be Roky's legal guardian, alleging that, basically, she's messed him up for the past thirty-five years. Powerful stuff. We then trade off scenes of Roky's life today with documentary bits about the rise and fall of the 13th Floor Elevators and the Aliens. (We eventually come back round to that courtroom scene towards the end of the film, after we've gotten to know Roky's mother even better than we've gotten to know Roky.) Pretty basic documentary technique, but (a) the historical bits seem almost unfinished; there's little snippets of interviews at the beginning with big-name folks like Patti Smith and Billy Gibbons, but those die off pretty quickly, and (b) the present-day bits featuring Roky seem as if they're there solely to create that creeptastic atmosphere, as contrasted to the present-day bits featuring Roky's mother, which are equally creeptastic, but at least move the story forward. But my ultimate complaint is that the film raises a lot of questions, and then never even attempts to answer any of them. The most obvious is how much of Roky's current state has to do with his incredible, massive drug abuse, how much has to do with the electroshock treatments he was subjected to while locked up in an asylum, and how much is genetic. (I'm no psychologist, but it seems to me you can't watch this movie and not come away well aware that crazy runs deep in the Erickson family.) Perhaps there is no real answer, at least not a definitive one, but no one even tries. We get a lot of bitter sniping from various family members, all of which goes nowhere. Etc. There are a lot of very interesting threads to be found here, but all are left ragged and incomplete. With a little more planning, a little more asking of the right questions, this could have been one of the great musical documentaries of all time. As it is, it's remarkably like the music of Roky Erickson and the Aliens-a curiosity that seems earnest, but that still has someone in the background looking at how to best hook the rubes come to look at the freaks. ***

Robert Beveridge
Robert Beveridge

A fascinating doc about Roky Erickson, the singer for '13th floor elevators'. Very similar to the doc 'Devil in Daniel Johnston' and just as good.

Wu Chouin
Wu Chouin

Super Reviewer

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