Born "trailing clouds of glory" (to cite Wordsworth), and dying in 1971 in a blaze of whiskey, pills, cancelled shows and gunshots, Canada's greatest tunesmith returns from the dead after 30 years with a mysterious "new album" called Retribution Honkytonkus. The film is rounded out amid rare archival footage, mythology, and admiring testimonials from Kris Kristofferson
, Ronnie Hawkins
, Levon Helm
and Merle Haggard, the inescapable question begins to coalesce uncomfortably: Did Guy really die that fateful night as legend has it? Or is he actually still alive after all these years hiding out and strumming his guitar on some island paradise?
Guy Terrifico's life is a classic tale of passionate self-creation followed by desperate de-creation. He was raised in Alberta as Jim Jablowski, but claimed to have been born in Canton, Ohio on the same strip of road where Hank Williams died. His recording and hell-raising was financed by either God or the Devil, via a lottery jackpot in which the winning numbers were supposedly Dolly Parton's measurements.