Thursday, August 16, 2012

HARD ROCK ZOMBIES (1985)

"If you touch my hair, does that mean we're in love?"

See, the problem with b-movies that shirk the traditional b-movie lengths (70 minutes max) is that they can only be enjoyed if you are intoxicated enough.  But staying sufficiently drunk or high for over 90 minutes is more than any movie should demand of its viewers.  If you're going that long, you'd better make sure that you have enough quality content to make staying awake more appealing than passing out.  HARD ROCK ZOMBIES is frontloaded, like many hard rock albums.  It has some hilariously outrageous ideas, but blows through them, then just overstays its welcome.


Literally every rock band in a horror movie has concert scenes in front of crowds of 40 or so.  HARD ROCK ZOMBIES is no scofflaw, so we open with this hard rock band (and its singer with a long tail) hard rockin' in front of dozens.  They take a van to a town named Grand Guignol, which is mispronounced, so I am assuming it is in Kentucky.  This movie reminded me of how fervent bands used to be about not being labelled "heavy metal", like remember how adamant Cinderella or whatever was about being "a rock 'n' roll band", so that they could safely be "fun" and act like this:


And now those same bands raise the devil horns with one hand and demand nostalgia cash with the other!  How vexing!  Anyway, the Grand Guignolers are displeased about these longhairs coming to town, as happens in these films.  This one's a little different, though, and I won't spoil the surprise, but it involves immigrants and their pet midgets and is completely insane.  Like, if at this point, you don't realize that this is a purposeful comedy, you don't deserve to live on this world anymore.


That's the thing about HRZ—it has very fine mad ideas, it's just that there's a little too much of it!  Especially in the third act or so, the movie really falters and ditches the frantic choppy editing and hard rock of the first part for talking and walking scenes.  Granted, some of the walking is done by robotic hard rock zombies, but still.  


But the film makes a comeback the same way many hard rock bands don't!  With a hilarious scene in which zombies are repelled by cardboard cutouts of pop culture icons.  Overall, I'd say this warrants a watch, just make sure that you are drunk and watching it with other drunks (or whatever substance you choose, I'm sure it is incredible on bath salts).  I dug the pompous, ridiculously unaggressive synth-rock throughout the film and the batshit concepts...just wish this had been more Appetite for Destruction and less Use Your Illusion I and II.



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