If you've been following my posts here on HorrorBid, you know I love '80s rock/metal. And, of course, I love horror movies, so when you combine the two, you get gold, right? Well, in the cases of Trick or Treat and Rocktober Blood, you bet! Those films expertly know both the horror genre and the rock/metal genre, so obviously, they succeeded in their ultimate goal of providing great entertainment. So for a horror movie to be produced, written, scored, and star cult rock icon Jon-Mikl Thor, it should be greatness committed to celluloid, right? Well, let me tell you right now that this is anything but a...
Rock n Roll Nightmare 1987 Review
In the pre-credits sequence, we see a typical family living in a farmhouse. The mother is cooking in the kitchen, the father is upstairs shaving, and their son is in his room playing. However, this peacefulness is interrupted when the mother opens the fridge and is attacked by a demon. The father comes downstairs and is attacked by a demon in an oven, while their son watches.
A while later, the rock group Thor and The Tritonz is heading up to the abandoned farmhouse to rehearse and get some downtime. But as they settle in, they fail to realize that the house is infested with demons that pick them off one by one until a final, epic confrontation between the forces of good and evil.
Directed by John Fasano (Black Roses) Rock 'n' Roll Nightmare is a very low-budget cult clasc whose sole reason for being remembered today is because of its "so-bad-you'll-laugh-your-ass-off" enjoyment value. The acting was bad for the most part, especially Jim Cirile as Stig, who manages to have the absolute worst Ause accent I have ever heard. However, the acting wasn't so bad I couldn't stand it, but no one in this movie is going to be winning any awards anytime soon (surpringly, Frank Dietz has gone on to be very successful in the animation department, with such credits as Tarzan, Mulan, and more under his belt). However, the real area where this movie shines (in a bad way) is the make-up/creature effects. Now, the effects range from fairly decent to god-awful, with the latter being used more often than the first. The devil's minions are literally rubber hand-puppets, and the fact that it's so obvious had me cracking up. And when the devil makes an appearance...well, let's just say he's less than frightening. There are also a lot of nude scenes that drag on for what seems like forever. I normally don't care about stuff loike that, but here, it just gets annoying and it's pretty obvious the makers were trying to pad the run time.
And, of course, how can you talk about Rock 'n' Roll Nightmare without discusng the final battle between Thor and Satan? I'm going to try and dive into the subject without giving spoilers, so here's what happened. This really tall and skinny animatronic Satan faces off against Thor, who is now shirtless, has heavy amounts of make-up on (OK, that's normal for him), and is wearing what appears to be a metal speedo.Satan begins throwing one-eyed, rubber starfish at him (that's what they appear to be), but Thor fights them off and begins getting in a fistfight with the devil. I'm not going to say who wins and who loses (you can probably guess anyway). To be honest, I haven't laughed this hard nce I went to go see A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas with a couple friends. If you think it sounds funny here, just wait till you see it for real. One good thing I must commend this film is the soundtrack. It's all made by Jon-Mikel Thor's group Thor, and there are some great rock numbers scattered throughout the flick, which adds to the already tremendous entertainment value this film brings forth.
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One thing that I have to mention is how egotistical this movie is towards Thor. It's pretty obvious he wrote the film, because who's the hero of the film? Thor. Who's the responble leader of the group? Thor. Who shows off his huge abs? Thor. Who has the really long shower sex scene? I think you can guess. Anyway, I found Rock 'n' Roll Nightmare to be a delightfully pleasurable movie in a really bad way. The acting is laughable, the creature effects are de-splitting, and the finale is one of the most epic sequences to ever grace the world of B-movie cinema. Mixed in with these uproarious scenes are some really great rock songs, which, surpringly, are available on a soundtrack CD that can be found new on most webtes that sell CDs. Synapse released a special edition of Rock 'n' Roll Nightmare way back in 2006, and it's packed with all kinds of bonus features, as well as a great new transfer and a Dolby Digital 5.1 audio remaster. Highly worth buying for the B-movie crowd. Even if you're not into B-movies, accept the challenge, and give it a spin.
The Verdict: Rock 'n' Roll Nightmare has more laughs up its sleeve than most comedies, and would make a fantastic movie to show at your next party, or even if you're just looking to have a great time by yourself.
Don't trust my judgment? Here's four other opinions:
Monster Chiller Horror Theatre
Monsters At Play