[Docudrama] Soaked in Bleach (2015)

I have been on a Kurt Cobain film kick lately, but this is my last post for now. In case you missed my other three posts on Kurt films, check them out:

Kurt and Courtney

Last Days

Montage of Heck


Soaked in Bleach is a film I had never heard of until one day I was reading a thread on Reddit that talked about conspiracy flicks (that site is always a fun source…). I checked out the trailer and it sucked me in right away.

In the Spring of 1994, Tom Grant, a Private Investigator, was hired by Courtney Love to locate her husband, Kurt Cobain, who had gone missing shortly following his escape from a rehab centre he was in for heroin addiction. This film documents, in Grant’s own words, the play-by-play of his dealings with Courtney during this period, as well as Kurt’s best friend Dylan who helped Grant gain access to Kurt’s home to search for clues of Kurt’s whereabouts. The whole film seeks to prove that Kurt’s suicide was a murder, and tries mightily to implicate Courtney in the murder.

Soaked in Bleach is a docu-drama; real-life interviews are juxtaposed with lookalike actors used to reinact Grant’s experiences. Because Grant tape-recorded all his conversations with Courtney, the film was able to fashion a somewhat hokey, yet drama-filled story that reminded me of a TV movie. Let me tell you, this film is engrossing…For all the films I have watched on Kurt Cobain recently, and some addressing the possibility that Kurt’s suicide could have been a murder, Soaked in Bleach presents the strongest argument to that claim by picking apart the evidence at hand, including Kurt’s drug levels at death, the suicide note and even more morbid, looking into how Kurt was found holding the rifle he used to kill himself, complete with mockup and animation (not an easy watch). Grant has his own ideas of how things went down, and also a lot of questions that make him want someone in the Seattle Police Department to re-open the case. His questions are further supported by major strongholds in law enforcement and forensics, including the former SPD Police Chief, Norm Stamper, and high-profile Forensic Pathologist, Cyril Wecht.

Grant himself was once a very respected Los Angeles Police Officer, and later became a P.I., considered by many he worked with to have staunch integrity and a real nose for the truth. Grant comes off as egotistical, yet several character witnesses are interviewed in the film that corroborate his history and integrity. Of course, all this is used to bolster his case in an attempt to provide an impression that he is no flake.

But, I have to be honest here: although he brings up some interesting questions supporting his cause, I am not convinced Kurt was murdered, let alone by his wife. I only had to watch the way Grant told the story and how every actor on screen who was NOT Tom Grant acted guilty. No one person was above suspicion here – one might even think watching this film that Grant’s business partner murdered Cobain. At the same time, I have to remember, this story is being presented through the lens of a former police officer- an eye that naturally looks at everyone as suspicious from the start. If one were to listen to Courtney on those tapes, she sounds desperate, affected and coming down from a huge high. Was she able to plot a murder in that state? It’s possible, but in my opinion, doubtful. I have never been Courtney’s biggest fan, but being a drama queen does not a murderer make, and the evidence that attempts to implicate her just isn’t that strong, in my opinion.

The facts as we know them is that one of the most influencial musicians of the 20th Century is dead and the official word is suicide. Should Kurt Cobain’s case be re-opened? If there is any creedence to Grant’s suspicions, I think the truth has a way of worming out without Grant’s obvious witchhunt. Until then, I personally think we need to let Kurt rest in peace.

3.8 / 5

Soaked in Bleach
Dir. Benjamin Statler


  1. Smashin’. Nice write-up of the best of the Cobain flicks.

    I spent a whole load of time back in the late 90s on Tom Grant’s website reading his files on this, etc and have my own mixed opinions about Cobain’s death, but it was good to sit down and watch this one. Good to get some other opinions, too – like you say, Tom Grant clearly has his opinion and he’s well versed on a lot of the stuff, but it was good to hear some opinions on Tom and the suicide from other folks.

    The fact that he wasn’t making any cash from this for such a long time (and had to fight all sorts of battles – I think Courtney tried to have his licence taken off him at one point) really suggested that it didn’t sit right with him … I think that counted for something. I considered that he might be a nut, but I think his history means that he was connecting dots that others didn’t seem to care about.

    Anyhoo, there’s a whole load of things that don’t make sense, the folks in his life were acting a bit sketchy, and I think it’s clear that the Police wanted this one wrapped up quickly given how high profile it was We’ll never really know the truth, though.

    Again, nice one!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “Until then, I personally think we need to let Kurt rest in peace.”

    Nailed it.

    Good on you for watching all of these films, Sarca! Thats been quite a project! What’s next, all the books on the subject? ;).

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I completely lost interest in Nirvana from about ’95 – the release of You Know you’re right in the early 2000s. But now that it’s been 22 years, I’ve enjoyed this re-immersion on your site Sarca!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This looks like a good find! Not sure reinactors is the way to go but you need to find visuals from somewhere. I doubt Courtney has the mental capacity to pull a murder off, but I bet she could’ve been manipulated easily enough.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I find stuff like this so interesting, but sounds like a lot of this is very circumstantial in terms of evidence. I know a lot of Nirvana fans would like to think Kurt didn’t kill himself, but was murdered by “her”. It’s easier to think that, than your hero was a flawed human being just like the rest of us. I think he killed himself, but I think it’s really sad that Frances Bean and her mother aren’t speaking for whatever reasons.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can’t speak for them…only speculate. But, Courtney might think this is a private matter and no one’s business. The media has already blamed her…what would she say to convince them otherwise? She has been shifty with the press in the past and I can’t say I blame her. Her husband committed suicide and there is some real stigma that lives on, including quietly appointing blame on the spouse like they were somehow responsible…as for Frances… Poor Frances. This is likely a traumatic matter for her that she will forever have to relive and dig out from for her lifetime. It might take her years to talk about it.


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