Landmark grunge documentary ‘Hype!’ to be reissued

It’s been just over 20 years since Doug Pray’s documentary ‘Hype!’ was released in Nov. 1996, and now it’s coming out as a collector’s edition set for release this fall.

Capturing the story behind the organic rise of the influential movement that would come to be known as grunge, the film will finally get its first Blu-ray release, as well as an updated DVD format on Shout! Factory’s “Shout Select line, available Sept. 29.

The updated edition will include a new audio commentary with Pray, vintage Interviews and performances, Peter Bagge’s animated short “Hate,” outtakes, and a new featurette with interviews and insights from some of the original characters in ‘Hype!’ from today/

The Pacific Northwest in the early ’90s and was a vibrant underground music scene that exploded into a global media frenzy with the convenient tagline “grunge.” ‘Hype!’ follows the music from local bands playing for their friends, to Sub Pop Record’s brilliant exploitation of “the Seattle Sound,” to Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” hitting the top spot on the charts.


Questions of money, authenticity, and fame arise as grunge fashion hits the runways and a mass migration of wannabe Seattle bands saturate the city. Even though the film itself capitalizes on the movement, it’s also one of humor, loss, and epic irony.

‘Hype! [Collector’s Edition]’ showcases rare performance footage of Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Nirvana, including the first ever live performance of the latter’s global smash “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” Mudhoney, Supersuckers, Fastbacks, Seaweed, 7 Year Bitch, The Posies, The Gits and so many more other unheralded artists round out the documentary.

Through interviews with members of the likes of Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Mudhoney, Screaming Trees, Seven Year Bitch and Sub Pop Records co-founders Jonathan Poneman and Bruce Pavitt, K Records founder Calvin Johnson, Empty Records founder Blake Wright, Soundgarden/Alice In Chains manager Susan Silver, and many more, ‘Hype!’ delivers the definitive story of what is roundly considered to be the world’s last great local music scene.

Pray’s ‘Hype!’ was his first feature film, and it premiered in competition at the 1996 Sundance Film Festival, won Best Documentary at the Seattle International Film Festival and went on to receive wide critical acclaim and international theatrical distribution. It was given two thumbs up by Siskel & Ebert, listed at number 10 among the top 25 music DVDs of all time by Rolling Stone, and one of the top 50 best music documentaries of all time by Vulture.

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