Shop now Shop now Shop now  Up to 50% Off Fashion  Shop all Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Listen with Prime Shop now Shop now

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars48
4.6 out of 5 stars
Format: DVD|Change
Price:£3.77+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on 17 August 2007
Revelations is probably Bill Hick's best show on recording, so with the documentary this should be the greatest Bill Hicks DVD out there - but it isn't.

Revelations is seriously let down because the first 10 minutes or so of this issue have been badly edited, so rather than Bill coming on stage and the comedy keeps rolling, instead what we get is Bill on stage - cut to 30 secs later - cut to 30 secs later, etc. We never get to see Bill's feelings on leaving LA "Bye, Bill, we'll be good!" and the choppy editing is annoying.

But worst is that for some unfathomable reason, whoever edited Revelations on this DVD release also decided to fade in images from the background during Bill's performance. So we get to see a burning US flag suddenly fill the picture, and at another point, the head of a baby with accompanying child noises. It's distracting, annoying, and entirely pointless.

If you really want a recording of Revelations to view, don't buy this release - instead get a standalone which hasn't been butchered the way this one has.
0Comment|53 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 12 January 2006
You read that title right.
It's criminal that there are so few 'real' Bill Hicks performances available, but Totally Bill Hicks is the best of the bunch. The DVD contains a featurette about Hicks' life, and a live show recorded in London just a few months before his untimely (understatement) death.
The featurette 'It's Just a Ride' is brilliant. It plays before the live show on the DVD, and strangely enough, I find myself watching it the whole way through every single time. Aswell as showing us some brilliant bits from other shows (I absolutely love his explosive rant at commercial pop music) we get to hear from the people who knew him best, including his close friends, colleagues and even his family.
Revelations, the show itself, is pure Bill Hicks at his best. As Jay Leno also mentions in the featurette, it's noticeable that Bill was in a slower but more productive phase. That's not to say he puts on a dull performance here; he is angry, loud, pissed off, and not afraid to say or do what he wants.
What's sad is that while Bill does joke about things like the Persian gulf war, you can tell it was a subject that genuinely saddened him. He dreamed of a peaceful, explorational world (where we all make money doing nothing) yet was stuck in one of utter banality that was killing itself.
Bill Hicks was and still is an utter inspiration, in terms of being who you really are, in terms of taking what you can from the world, and in understanding everything you want to understand. The world is a colder place without Bill Hicks. But then again, it's just a ride.
0Comment|15 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
The worst thing about watching a Hicks video or listening to a Hicks CD is the moment it ends and you realise that this man is no longer around... it's a sad emptiness made all the more profound by the scarcity of any material for those of us he left behind.
Bill Hicks was a genius... the funniest man ever to step up on the stage, and a ferociously caring individual who struck out at the hypocrisy and mediocrity that threatens to consume us all. This performance is one of his finest... the documentary is somewhat dull... it's just not possible to capture the essence of Bill any better than he did himself on stage. The show that follows it however is dazzling and hilarious and thought-provoking and moving, all at once. The material is delivered with a confidence and assurance that speak to a man who learned his craft with the other greats of his day, and surpassed them all.
Although the references to current political events are somewhat dated, there is a truth and relevance in the central tenats that remains valid even today, almost ten years after his death. His fight was never at people or events, but at trends and philosophies.
Bill Hicks is the comedian's comedian... someone who surpassed the laughter and took his audience with him to visit a place where the complacent media have refused to do... the truth.
He will be missed.
22 comments|36 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 13 April 2004
If you prefer your comedy simple and light then look away now - Bill Hick's comedy is both intelligent and clever and his topics range from the Iraq war to drug abuse. In this 70 minute long stand up show he provides a social commentary as well as satirically ridiculing the political world. He talks about issues that were relevant at the time of his performance and are increasingly more relevant now. Most importantly he can tackle such serious issues and still be funny, and in some cases hilarious. His comedy is full of excellent examples; especially when he compares US foreign policy to a scene from the film Shane ("pick up the gun!!"), and also when he explains how the USA sold "farming equipment" to Iraq. Then there's the advise to all people who work in Marketing - "kill yourself!" and trying to work out why there's no mention of dinosaurs in the Bible.

Bill Hick's idea was to spread his Liberal philosophy to the masses and still make you laugh at the same time, in a similar way to Michael Moore. As a result you get a defiant and uncompromising comic genius rarely seen in this day and age. As a performer he was in the habit of thinking on his feet and his body language showed his passion for his beliefs, - which he wasn't afraid to share. He openly admits his appetite for pornography and his taste for drugs ("not all drugs are good, some are great."). He was also a good physical comedian displaying some hilarious facial expressions and going more and more OTT as the show progresses.

Clearly the DVD should have been better prepared. There is no proper menu and no scene index. The DVD consists of 2 Featurettes; a documentary and a live stand up show called revelations, but these are not under separate options. Instead the live show just follows on from the documentary. It's a shame because not only does it cause inconvenience to the viewer, but the quality of the contents deserves a better package.

The documentary is about 30 minutes long where many prominent members of Bill's life share their views with us. You also get to see clips of the show One Night Stand where Bill had a regular slot; the very best of this show is available separately. The highlights of the documentary are the interviews of his immediate family including his mother, father and brother.

I believe that anyone who watches his performance will begin to question the world we live in. The effect will last long after the show has finished, his views may be bleak but they are impossible to ignore. Ultimately he was a peaceful man who wanted peace for everyone - God bless you Bill Hicks.
0Comment|28 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VINE VOICEon 18 December 2010
About 10 years ago, my first experience of Bill was this DVD. It made me see, for the first time, that there were still Prophets in the World who spoke out & challenged the status quo & made people sit up & think about what life should be like - kind, compassionate & filled with truth.
As I've now read, seen & heard almost everything ever made about or by Bill, I thought it was a good time to go back to the start of many people's journey's and see if this matched up to other potential starting points in the form of American Scream: The Bill Hicks Story & the new film: American - The Bill Hicks Story.

Happily it does & it is surprising how insightful this DVD can be, despite the fact that its contents have been widely diseminated across the internet (e.g. the 'It's Just a Ride' routine on Zeitgeist).


As an example, the documentary 'It's Just a Ride' provides many interviews & perspectives which have been forgotten with time. One curious thing I found was how unequivically praising Jay Leno was of him & how many times he featured as a commentator (given that Bill regularly did an infamous routine satirising Leno & imitating him blowing his brains out).
Also in this documentary are comments from Bill's dad (who passed away before the latest documentary) & also many comments by contemporary comics & critics who have faded into obscurity now but help place Bill in his proper context.
There are also some very interesting observations, such as that Bill didn't want to be Lenny Bruce but was more looking to be Jesus (during his angriest moment at the Temple).

Moving on from the documentary, there is Bill's performance at the Dominion theatre in London, which was almost undeniably his finest performance. Whereas Bill always seemed slightly unwelcome & at odds in America, he always seemed on top form when in the UK (e.g. Salvation - Oxford, 11/11/1992. This performance is no exception & the British audience seems to inspire Bill to bring out his best material & be most at ease on stage.

There is also the fact that this was (barring TV performances on Letterman) Bill's biggest ever live audience &, rather than being dwarfed by the set-up (as he feared), he seems to make it his own.

The first thing after the documentary is a short intro video to his live performance about how Bill was born in 1961 & always wanted to be a cowboy ("Fighting corruption & speaking out against truth and justice"). Irony is that apparently Hicks couldn't ride a horse, but the set-up is still very well executed.

As Bill walks on stage following the intro to the sound of Jimi Hendrix, he is seen silhouetted against fiery flames in a black cowboy hat & coat.
To give you a flavour of what's on the DVD, here is a tracklist of what's on here (as one doesn't seem available elsewhere):

Track 3 ('LA & the Weather') is about Los Angeles & its 'hot & sunny weather' & also his routines about the LA riots.
4 ('Arming the World') involves his normal routines about 'smoking' but this time with the twist that he's just quit.
Track 5 ('Arming the World') covers George Bush & how sold weapons to the Koreans in an attempt to win votes in the 1992 election & also about him selling the Iraqi's "machine-tools" which, as if by magic, were converted into weapons. (e.g. the 'flame throwing rake'!) This bit includes his oft-quoted Shane routine.
Track 6 ('JFK') is Bill's routine about the JFK assassination & the assassination museum & how, if you could go up the window, you would notice how impossible it would be for Oswald to have killed him.
7 ('Christianity') is Bill's satire of Creationists & his discussion with them about Dinosaurs.
8 ('Grassy Knoll') is based on Bill's observation about 'Christians and crosses' & then continuing with a further routine on JFK & the gunshot heard on the Grassy Knoll.
9 involves how to top the stunts in Terminator 2 in other films using an ingenius new method...
10 is another famous routine featuring the bit where Bill says about "Anyone without advertising or marketing... Kill yourself!".
11 ('Basic Instinct') is Bill's opinion on one of the 90's biggest films & how it is in fact a piece of s**t.
12 ('Goat Boy') is the most infamous routine of all, involving Bill acting out his alter ego 'Randypan the Goatboy' whose only purpose is to give women pleasure.
13 ('British Porn') follows on from the Goatboy routine about how British porno's used to have blue dots covering the *ahem* best bits.
14 ('Smoking Pot'): Actually more of a routine on rednecks & how there are too many people in the World.
15 ('The Playground in the Sky'): Children on airplanes.
16 ('Good & Bad Time on Drugs'): Another famous routine about God leaving pot & mushrooms growing everywhere on the planet to facilitate our evolution.
17 ('Suckers' of Satan'): Bill's bit about Vanilla Ice sucking Satan's *ahem* pecker in order to attain fame.
18 ('Positive Drug Stories'): About how he never hears positive drugs stories on the news. Also includes the 'Just a Ride' ending (the best ending to any comedy routine...err... ever.)


Two downsides with this DVD.
First off there are no extras on the DVD. Admittedly this is because 1994 was still a year or VHS videos & so Extras didn't really exist (on DVD's, the documentary would usually be part of them). However, it would still be good to see some on here (though this is compensated by the 5 hours of extras on the new film).

Second, there is an outright lie on the cover of the DVD. When I first saw it, I hadn't noticed it as I thought it genuinely was true. In hindsight - it isn't "Hick's last live performance", however much we might want it to be.
(Hicks' last live performance was at Igby's in Houston, Texas, ending with a bearded Hicks yelling along to Killing In The Name by Rage against the Machine.)

All being said though, this is still the best DVD/Book/CD around on Hicks, covering all his usual material but with a confidence & clarity that is just not seen in any of his other complete sets (though the edited CD's do capture some of it).
And if this DVD is on your shelf gathering dust or has been scratched to hell, then I think its time you looked into it again too. It may now be 16 years old, but still Bill Hicks remains unsurpassed.
0Comment|3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VINE VOICEon 12 July 2007
Bill Hicks was that rare breed, an American who understood irony. Not only that, he used it to deflate sacred cows. Unfortunately his untimely death robbed all of us of an acerbic critic of all things morally questionable. In his, and my opinion that is. This perormance filmed in London, where he was better recieved than at home in the U.S. was one of the later performances from his career. His timing is spot on, his delivery, full of stagecraft is exemplary. Yet you get the sense tha something is just not right. His audience love him, but one or two of the jokes go over their heads. This is not an american audience, so some of the material has obviously been trimmed to match them. The subjects of his anger range from the military to Vanilla Ice, pause while those under 21 Google that, all are hit spot on. Brilliant though the show is, it leaves you wanting more. Which for a comedian is the highest praise you can get. Why this only gets 4 stars though is the Channel 4 documentary at the beginning. Watch the show then watch the doc. It makes more sense that way. The only irratations are the cut in shots during the stage show and the tacked on ending. Better to have let Bill finish in his usual style onstage. You will want to watch more of Bill after this, even if you have never seen or heard him before. A fine record of one of the funniest americans ever. Well worth adding to your collection.
0Comment|3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 20 October 2002
The late great prophet Bill Hicks. What can you say about a man whose changed so many lives? A friend introduced me to Bill's comedy back in 1998, I'd never laughed so much in my life. But underlying the laughs, is a serious undertone that makes you sit-up and listen, and begin to question your ideals.
Personally, I would fully recommend any of Bill's stuff and 'Totally Bill Hicks' is an excellent place to start, allowing you to find out about Bill's life in the documentary, and then watch probably the greatest show Bill ever did, his last. Be warned though once you listen to Bill, you'll never be the same. Truly a Bodhisattva. I would have loved to hear what Bill made of recent events.
11 comment|12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 18 May 2005
Like one of the reviewers has already said, Bill Hicks is a truly life changing experience. The energy and intelligence in his brutal but brilliant humuor has to be seen to be believed.
I am a writer, and his incredible ideas are a great inspiration to me, not just for their subject matter, but they way they were delivered. He has magnificient charisma on stage and an incredibly inventive imagination. It is truly a terrible shame that he died so young - if he were alive today he would still be one of the few great comic performers of the world. He would also surely have one or two things incisive things to say about the current president of the USA.
But I don't think he would have wanted us to mourn too much over his loss - but to use his work as an inspiration for our own lives and work.
A true master.
0Comment|3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 28 February 2006
Bill Hicks is probabaly the funniest comedian I have ever seen. His comedy is intelligent, political and still very relevant more than a decade after his death.
This DVD shows Bill's last performance and he is in London on top form.
Two of my friends have this DVD already so I've seen it about a dozen times and after I've written this I'm going to buy it myself.
0Comment|12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 5 December 2002
If you have a favourite comedian (or Preacher, for that matter) be prepared to forget their entire existence. Bill will not only make you laugh, he will make you think about life in a way you never dreamed or thought possible. He will make you feel that you are looking at our world clearly for the very first time.
Bill Hicks was more than just an intelligent hilarious comedian, and this DVD not only gives a documentary but a live show of a man who's life has been cut tragically far too short.
WARNING - once you have watched Bill Hicks you life may never be the same again!!!
0Comment|11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.

Sponsored Links

  (What is this?)