I had never heard of Wild Man Fischer, but this documentary does a great job bringing me up to snuff. Back in the wild 60's, Los Angeles street singer Fischer was "discovered" by one Frank Zappa, who brought the troubled young man into a studio to record an album that would go on to be seen as an "outsider" classic, and a favorite on quirky radio shows like Dr. Demento with his signature tune, "Merry Go Round".
But beyond this level of fringe stardom lies the story of a man who was institutionalized as a teen, suffered a tragic and disturbing family life, and has lived with paranoid schizophrenia for his entire life. In "Derailroaded", director Josh Rubin looks closer at Fischer, and his unbiased eye lets the viewer see Wild Man in his prime, as well as in recent years. Music, interviews with family and friends, and lots of archival films make this one an important and fairly comprehensive look into the man and his music. Interviews include friends Barnes & Barnes, Weird Al Yankovic, Mark Mothersbaugh, Dr. Demento, and Frank and Gail Zappa. A fine documentary and a fascinating individual. (MVD Visual)