Even though he's in his 50s, Liebling has the maturity of a teenager, and at the beginning of the film lives in his elderly parents' sub-basement, surrounded by his record collection, crack pipes and regret. He's never had to grow up, living in a drug-induced haze broken by periodic forays back into music, but always ending up where he started. It's the classic cycle of addiction, and because he has the safety net of his parents, there's really no reason to break that cycle.
The heart of Last Days Here is Sean “Pellet” Pelletier. He works in the music industry, was a huge Pentagram fan, and ended up as Liebling's friend and manager. There's no reason Pellet should stay with Liebling. Constant relapses, broken promises and having to spend his own money to help Liebling should have sent him packing. But there is something people see in Liebling, a spark of humanity that makes people want to help him, even if he doesn't want to help himself.
Part of the story of the documentary is the effort to reunite some of the original members to record some new material. Interviews with Geof O'Keefe and Greg Mayne shed light on the time in Pentagram's career when they were on the cusp of success, but fell short. It looks like they are going to fall short again when a possible record deal with Phil Anselmo's company is scuttled by Liebling's issues, which land him in jail.
Last Days Here looks like it will end badly. Liebling is a mess, his girlfriend has left him, and the future seems bleak. I don't want to spoil the ending, but since that Pentagram CD was released in 2011, it's safe to assume things did turn around for Liebling.
Pentagram and metal fans will enjoy Last Days Here, but even if you've never heard of Bobby Liebling his story is universal. It's a timeless tale of success, failure and the quest for redemption. Throw in love, undying friendship and an emotional ending, and you have an extremely compelling documentary. Last Days Here is now available On Demand through IFC via your cable system.
(released March 2012 by IFC Films)