Monday, August 27, 2012

ROCK 'N' ROLL NIGHTMARE (1987)

John Fasano would go on to direct perhaps the best heavy metal horror movie, BLACK ROSES, but first he made this, this ROCK 'N' ROLL NIGHTMARE, as some call it (it is also named THE EDGE OF HELL).  Fair warning, most of it hangs out in the Groan Zone, so I'm going to burn through the synopsis.  Prologue: a family with exceedingly small appliances is about to have breakfast.  Mom opens the wee refrigerator and is beset with red light, then screams.  Dad inexplicably looks in the small oven for mom and gets killed by the exceedingly goofy demon thing below.  


It is hard to rent or sell a house with a demon infestation and such tiny appliances.  So the dump sat vacant for a while, save for a comic-relief caretaker who will appear later.  Improbably, a hair metal band named Triton chooses this murder house to practice material for their upcoming album.  It takes them ten minutes to drive there and this is shown in real time, with loving shots of various angles of the van.  Almost like a film for van-fetishists.  Luckily for the viewer, the band waits until they're at the house to discuss why they're practicing at a murder house in Canada.  "Toronto's where it's happening, man!  The music...the film industry...the arts!"


That dialogue is pronounced by Jon-Mikl Thor, a bodybuilder/rock dude for whom this was a vanity project of sorts (he wrote it and plays the lead).  The rest of the band is basically what you'd expect.  There's an Australian drummer named Stig and I'm not sure if he's supposed to be really Australian or faking an accent like Madonna.  Also, the guitarist just got married, which leads to the fantastic line, "There's no place we'd rather spend our honeymoon than with the band!"


The boys in the band bring all their wives and sluts ("real" mature married relationships are actually part of the plot).  The dorky manager cooks for everybody, then there's GENDER DICHOTOMY happening because the boys go to rock out while the girls are expected to clean up with the eunuch manager.  "Only a bad girl doesn't clean up after dinner!"  This, despite one of the girls (above) being in the band.  Granted, keyboards are barely a real instrument, since they are mostly for girls, but still.  


How long have you been reading this?  Multiply that number by 160% and that is when things in this movie start happening, sort of.  Phil the manager disappears when he's fooled by a topless demon.  Randi, Thor's girlfriend, speculates that he probably just went into town to buy drumsticks (at 10pm?).  There is a lot of blue-lighted boring sex.  


MOST OF THIS MOVIE IS SO BORING YOU WILL DIE IF YOU WATCH IT.  The music isn't great, either.  :(


BUT some say the last 10-12 minutes of it are a redemption because the plot just goes completely the fuck off the rails.  Thor reveals himself as an angel (in a leather loincloth...you're welcome, ladies) and catches these plush demon starfish things, which he then holds onto his chest while trying to pretend he isn't and ACTS, HARD AND MANFULLY.  I can't recommend watching this entire thing, but fast-forwarding through everything until Thor gets near-naked is not the worst idea.  The ending really is spectacularly inane, the stuff of legends.  Overall, though, ROCK 'N' ROLL NIGHTMARE is pretty much the sucks.




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