Thursday, August 30, 2012

HEAVY MENTAL (2009)

Did yuo know that the ea$ie$t way to promote your product is to write gushing love-letter reviews of it on the Internet???  You made it, you KNOW how good it is, now sprinkle those five-star breathless raves all the fuck over Amazon and Netflix and IMDB!  I love fake reviews and the funniest one of HEAVY MENTAL exults, "Every time I watch it, I see something new!"  This fake person has obv never seen THE TOXIC AVENGER because HEAVY MENTAL is basically that movie with a new heavy metal skin and all the joy sucked out. 


Get this, comedy fans: teen Ace lives with his TWO DADS!  That's right, two people are his parents, but BOTH of them have penises!  You might think that this is 2012 and there would be a joking scenario beyond that, but nope, that's it!  I am the least homophobia-phobic person around, but I am supremely offended by laziness.  F-, movie.  Anyway, Ace is in a metal band who practices at his two dads' music store.  It's also his birthday and he receives from his god-hated fag-dads a transparent guitar once owned by Eddie Lee Stryker.  Said Eddie Lee allegedly murdered his bandmates. 


When you see "allegedly", you know to expect this: he didn't do it.  He was framed by the real murderers, henchpeople of the local gang boss, Mrs. Delicious.  BUT his spirit now inhabits the guitar and empowers Ace to become a sort of fat 80s pro wrestler in a chemo wig.  And vengeance is dished out, only it takes 90 minutes to happen.  JESUS CHRIST, STOP MAKING B-MOVIES THAT LAST FOREVER.  


Violent superhero movie with retardo comedy!  Sound like anything you know?  HEAVY MENTAL borrows a lot from existing Troma efforts, which makes it a really weird Troma pickup (and they are promoting the hell out of this, while my paens to THE TAINT go unheeded).  It also riffs from John Waters and whatever Thalidomide babies created names like "Balls McKinley" and "Cuntee McCunterson" and expected people to actually laugh.  (Note: funny names can be funny, like Dick Cox in GWAR's PHALLUS IN WONDERLAND, but lettuce be cereal).  Yeah, there's gore and girls (and they are oranger than any humans I have ever seen, which makes me think Detroit is the New Jersey of the rotting industrial Midwest, perhaps? IDK, I've only been to the airport there...), but it all just feels like a trip I've taken before.  Love, William Faulkner.


Worst of it, it's a heavy metal movie and the music sucks like a fuckity-suck.  I wish the people involved would have put as much effort into making their movie or at least its music as they have into vandalizing the net with starry-eyed rave-lies!  Man, I would rather watch the most crampy, estrogen-drippin' chick flick than have to sit through a "bad movie" that is so confident in its hilarity and so, so mistaken. 


Other perspectives from non-imaginary people:

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.




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.



Friday, August 3, 2012

ROCKTOBER BLOOD (1984)

"I want your hot steaming pussy blood all over my face!"

Well, yeah, it's a natural process.  Unfortunately for me, ROCKTOBER BLOOD has a big swath of boring between gems like the quote above.  I knew I was in trouble when this started off with a guy snapping, killing, then APPARENTLY dying.  "This had better not be a slasher," I says, but then "[x] YEARS LATER" appeared on the screen and I sighed.    Said guy is hard rocker Billy "Eye", who looks like the much-missed "Sweet and Sour" Larry Sweeney.  He kills everybody except Southern-twangin' Lynn, who I'm pretty sure uses "jacuzzi" as a verb at one point.  But then he dies!  Movie over, let's go home.



No such luck.  Lynn reunites Billy's cut-out-bin metal band Rocktoberblood (apparently it's all together, like Iwrestledabearonce).  They plan a tour and have a tour press party to prove it.


Guess what happens.  If you have seen a horror movie ever, you are probably correct!  People start dying in pretty pedestrian ways with the exception of this memorable moment--


Lynn starts seeing Billy everywhere, which leads her colleagues to suspect she's going crazy.  I will give the movie credit, I totally expected Billy to be all in her head and that Lynn was the real psycho killer.  I was wrong, but the straight-off-a-soap true explanation isn't a whole lot better.  ROCKTOBER doesn't diverge from slasher genre conventions all that much, so if you enjoy those, you'll probably dig it, but I was just waiting for it to be OVER.  I don't heart thrillers or mysteries all that much and I mostly watch movies to escape reality with aliens and Boggy Creek monsters or whatever.  So I'm probably not the ideal target audience here.


Positives: the music here is kick-ass and I would've loved more of it!  Also, aerobic-outfit framing with shadow, nummy.  


I'm probably going to end up Ranking the Heavy Metal Horror when I'm done with this spate of posts and ROCKTOBER BLOOD is probably going to end up in the middle near SHOCK 'EM DEAD.  It's not bad by any means, but it definitely doesn't hit the crazy highs of something like BLACK ROSES.