"Oliver Stone has assassinated Jim Morrison."
That's how one of the real Doors reviews the Jim Morrison film biography.
Ray Manzarek, the real-life keyboardist for the Doors, was legally bound from commenting on Oliver Stone's movie about the legendary rocker before its release. Now he's been unleashed.
"The film portrays Jim as a violent, drunken fool," says Manzarek. "That wasn't Jim. When I walked out of the movie, I thought, 'Geez, who was that jerk?' "
Manzarek feels Val Kilmer's portrayal of Morrison was "adequate--a nice attempt." And that the lavish, re-created Doors concert footage was "brilliantly filmed, although over-amped and sensationalistic."
But he insists that the movie fails to capture his band's artistic vision. "The film comes from the entirely wrong philosophical base. The Doors were about idealism and the '60s quest for freedom and brotherhood. But the film isn't based on love. It's based in madness and chaos. Oliver has made Jim into an agent of destruction."
As for the film's alleged errors or alterations, Manzarek claims: "Jim didn't light Pam's closet on fire. He didn't throw a TV set at me. His student film didn't have images from 'Triumph of the Will.' That was totally made up. And Jim never quit film school. He graduated from UCLA."
He also believes that the movie misses the Doors' basic message.
"All you see is Jim as a drunken hedonist. The tragedy is that fame consumed him. But that wasn't Jim's message. He was intelligent. He was loving. He was a good man who believed in freedom and in questioning authority.
"But you'd never know that from seeing this film."