Sunday, 20 January 2013

5 Films about the Horrors of Rock N Roll!

Rock N Roll, the devils music.  For years and years, religious groups have tried to stop kids from listening to certain music because they believed it was created by the devil and is a gate way to hell.  This seemed to have started in the 50's with musicians like Little Richard, Buddy Holly and Elvis Presley.  They wouldn't film Elvis from the hips down because it was too suggestive.  Eventually, people adapted to these new sounds and the idea of music stealing people's souls or conjuring the devil were considered archaic.  Until the 80's, when heavy metal bands like Ozzy Osbourne, Iron Maiden and Judas Priest were vilified for their record covers on afternoon talk shows and on the evening news.  They also believed that these bands were putting in hidden messages that promoted suicide, violence and Satanic worship.  A warning label was slapped on these albums to prevent this kind of heathen degenerate music to fall into the hands of the youth.  Unfortunately, like the Video Nasties list, any album with the sticker seemed to entice people to buy these albums to see what all the fuss was about.

So, in the eyes of a film producer putting the two together, horror movies and rock n roll was like mixing chocolate and peanut butter.  It's an excellent synergy of art, with a terrifying horror movie and a killer soundtrack, you could make twice the money.  If only it was that easy.

Here are 5 Films about the Horrors of Rock N Roll!

5. Rock N Roll Nightmare (aka The Edge of Hell) (1987) - A family is killed by a monster in the first couple of minutes, then we are forced to watch a car driving for what seems like forever.  The car pulls up to the same house and the band, Triton gets out with their wives or girlfriends.  John Triton, the leader of the group, tells them that they've got to record 10 minutes of new material for their new album and their manager assures them that the 24 track studio in the barn is worth the stay.  He even drops, Alice Coopers' name when telling them of the many musicians who have recorded there.  Satisfied the group moves into the tiny house, has some dinner and then heads out to record or work on a song.  John shirtless and wearing a red sparkly tux jacket, gets the band to bang out a generic 80's metal tune.  After the song, the manager goes downstairs to find a set of drum sticks and is followed by who he thinks is the drummer's girlfriend.  She tries to seduce him and when he tries to say no, she becomes a demon and kills him.  The rest of evening, everyone is searching for the manager and one by one the demon starts taking out the rest of the band.  Can John make his wardrobe any creepier and stop this demon? You better watch and find out!  Canadian metal sensation Thor, not only stars in this but he wrote it too.  Lucky us!  Most of the "actors" were friends of his and that really shows in the end product.  The story is weak and the end is right out of left field.  There are some shitty puppets and some good puppets handled shittily.  The film goes from trying to be Evil Dead, to a 2nd rate music video to a softcore porn to a barbarian vs a puppet show (watch the trailer).  It is fucking UNBELIEVABLE how bad this movie is and that is why you should watch it.  You will be cracking up at the stupidity and shaking your head in no time, wondering what they're going to do next.  So bad it's good should be the tagline of this movie and it's worth seeing just for the end.  Chocolate milk will come out your nose.  I can't find a trailer so, this is what I could find.

4. Suck (2009) - The band, The Winners aren't having any luck playing their shitty rock at biker bars and goth clubs.  After their manager, Jeff quits, leader of the band, Joey considers throwing in the towel but a creepy bartender encourages him to keep going and they play another night.  After the show, the bass player and Joey's ex-girlfriend, Jennifer leaves the club with a creepy looking dude, Queenie and Joey is kind of choked.  Jennifer goes to Queenie's mansion, where she is surrounded by goths and sung into mystical trance, then turned into a vampire.  The next morning, the band and their roadie Hugo are fed up with Jennifer's shit and take off back to Toronto, leaving her behind in Montreal.  When they set up for their next gig, Jennifer returns and apologizes for all the shit and promises things will be different.  Joey and the band notice something different about Jennifer, but can't quite put their fingers on it.  Could it be the extra white skin or the glowing blue eyes?  Whatever it is, the crowd seems to dig it and after the show the band packs up and heads to the next town.  On the way to the next town, the band stops at a store to get some snacks.  Hugo goes for a piss, while Jennifer picks up the food for the rest of the band.  Unfortunately, Jennifer's snack is the cashier and when Hugo comes out of the bathroom, he finds Jennifer sucking on the cashier neck with a straw!  Jennifer begs Hugo to promise not to tell anybody and asks him to help her clean up the mess.  They get back into the van and Hugo is bloody but tells them that it was a nose bleed.  They get a great turn out at the next show, but all the focus seems to be on Jennifer.  After the show, the leader of the Secretaries of Steak, Beef Bellows tries to give Jennifer a hot beef injection but he's the one who gets turned into ground round.  Hugo heads over to help but the rest of the band comes too.  They find the body and freak out!  What are the gonna do? Jennifer is killing and eating people but their shows are finally doing well?  They decide to keep touring but can they keep their Vampire a secret and are they safe from her hunger pains?  There are a lot of cameos in this movie and it's probably the best part.  Alice Cooper, Henry Rollins, Alex Lifeson, Iggy Pop and a few other show up to make this horror comedy passable.  Also, Malcolm McDowell plays a forgettable vampire hunter called Eddie Van Helsing, who shows up now and then.  The story is good but the music isn't and I can understand why The Winners aren't getting anywhere.  That could be on purpose too, who knows.  There are some gory scenes that are pretty enjoyable and the Hugo character, played by Chris Ratz is the funniest person in the film.  I like the look of the vampires in this too, the eyes are pretty wild.  Good effort but it could have been a better film.  Worth a view, it doesn't totally Suck.

3.Wild Zero (1999) - Ace is going to see his favourite band, Guitar Wolf, when unknown to him and everybody else that aliens are attacking.  After the show, Guitar Wolf goes to talk to the club manager, Captain, who is a drug dealing pimp with a long time grudge against Guitar Wolf.  Captain and his thugs attack Guitar Wolf and Ace helps them in the melee.  Guitar Wolf, the leader of the band Guitar Wolf, makes Ace his blood brother and gives him a magic whistle.  He tells Ace to use the whistle if he is ever in serious trouble.  Guitar Wolf takes off, so does Ace and Captain vows to get revenge on Guitar Wolf, the band!  Ace winds up at a gas station with a girl named Tobio and are chased out of the station by zombies to an abandoned house.  Thinking their safe, Ace puts the moves on Tobio but he discovers that she is a he!  Grossed out, Ace takes off but realizes he loves Tobio, even though they just met and she's a dude, and he can't leave her in the zombie attack.  So, he drives back to save her but when he gets there she's gone and he has to fight more zombies!  Ace uses the magic whistle and Guitar Wolf, the band, jump into their vehicles to come and save him!  Unfortunately, zombies aren't the only ones after them and Captain is coming after them with ill intentions in mind.  Can Guitar Wolf save Ace and help him find his true love?  Can they stop the wicked promoter Captain? Can they stop the world for being taken over by alien zombies? Who the fuck knows?  It's pretty insane, this film and I don't know what to think.  There are some really cool parts to it but it drags and drags in other.  Guitar Wolf are awesome and really play up their image, it's like watching the Ramones take on aliens except their Japanese.  The soundtrack is phenomenal, if you like dirty garage rock, bands like the Devil Dogs, The Oblivians, Phantom Surfers, Guitar Wolf and tons of others will have you rockin out in seconds.  The zombies look good and there are a bunch of exploding head scenes.  The movie is funny at times and I don't know if it's intentional or not.  It also has the worse credits at the end, I've ever seen in my life.  It's worth watching and you'll probably be smiling by the end of the film.

2. Trick or Treat (1986) - Eddie Weinbauer is a teenage metal head and an outcast at his high school.  Everyday he gets picked on for being different and the only thing that gets him through the day is being able to come home and listen to his hero, Sammi Curr on his record player.  Unfortunately, Sammi gets killed in a hotel fire and Eddie's hopes for him playing a Halloween show in his town has been crushed.  Bummed out, Eddie visits his radio DJ friend, Nuke to share his sorrow.  Nuke has a surprise for him, it's a acetate copy of Sammi Curr's last record that he is going to play on Halloween at midnight.  Nuke's already dubbed it on his reel to reel player, so it's okay for Eddie to take the record. This was 1986 people.  Anyway, Eddie is totally jazzed, or metalled, and heads over to shitty school, only to get another surprise when Leslie, the girl he's in love with, asks him to come to a pool party.  Things are really looking up for Eddie, that is until he gets to the pool party and King Douche Bag, Tim Hainey throws Eddie in the pool with a weight in his backpack.  Luckily, Leslie jumps into the pool to save him just in time and a wet Eddie Weinbauer leaves the party once again humiliated and alone.  When he gets home, he puts on his new Sammi Curr album and stomps around his room.  He notices that some of the tracks are playing backwards and when he plays the album backwards, he can hear Sammi Curr telling him how to get revenge on Tim Hainey and all the other kids who have picked on him.  Will Eddie get his revenge with the help of Sammi Curr's evil spirit and if he does what kind of price will he have to pay?  I've always had a soft spot for this movie since I was a kid.  This is probably Marc Price's (Skippy from Family Ties) best movie and he does a convincing job as Eddie.  Blackie Lawless and Gene Simmons were both asked to play the role of Sammi Curr but the role went to Tony Fields, who was in a Chorus Line and could be seen on Solid Gold. Very Metal! Simmons does show up as the radio DJ Nuke, and Ozzy Osbourne has a little spot in the film as well as a TV Evangelist who is denouncing heavy metal and calling it evil.  The soundtrack is pretty good, all done by former Motorhead axeman, Fast Eddie Clark's group Fastway.  It's a fun movie without a lot of bloodshed, it's a good story and a little underrated in my opinion.

1. Phantom in the Paradise (1974) - Swan is the biggest music producer in the world and he is looking for music to open up his new concert hall "The Paradise".  He hears Winslow playing piano and realizes this is the music he was looking for.  Swan sends his right hand man, Philbin to talk with Winslow.  Philbin tells Winslow that Swan loves his music and wants to produce it and takes all the work that Winslow has so Swan can "review it".  After a week of not hearing from Swan, Winslow heads over to Swan's office at Death Records and is thrown out.  The next day, Winslow tries to sneak into Swan's mansion, Swanage, only to discover hordes of young ladies lined up, singing his song.  He asks one girl with an impressive voice, Phoenix, what is going on?  She tells him that Swan is holding auditions for his new rock opera based on the story of Faust. Winslow realizes that Swan has ripped him off and tries to storm his way into the room but is stopped by Swan's goons and beaten.  The police arrive and plant smack on Winslow, so Winslow is sent to prison.  In prison, Winslow is tormented by Swan mentally until he breaks down and escapes the prison.  He tries to destroy the record press but he trips and gets his face pressed! Ouch! Narrowly and in great pain from his burnt face, he escapes the clutches of Swan's henchman and he jumps into the East River.  Swan thinking that Winslow is dead, continues to rehearse acts for "The Paradise" concert hall but during one rehearsal, a bomb goes off in a prop car.  Swan finds Winslow and tells him if he stops attacking them, then he will allow Winslow to finish the Rock Opera and let Phoenix sing it.  Winslow signs a contract with Swan and starts rewriting the Opera for Phoenix.  Unfortunately, when Winslow finishes the piece, Swan double crosses winslow and bricks up the wall in Winslow's room, then gives Phoenix's role to his new rock prodigy, Beef!  Winslow bursts through the bricks with vengeance and now nothing will stop him from destroying Swan and his minions because he is the Phantom of the Paradise!  Director Brian DePalma puts together an interesting blend of music and horror together here.  "Flopping" after it's release 1974, the only people who seemed to enjoy it were people from Winnipeg, Manitoba, where it stayed in theaters for four months straight and was brought back a number of times until 1976.  Funny too, is that the soundtrack went gold in Canada because people in Winnipeg bought 20,000 copies of the album.  Another interesting thing is that Sissy Spacek was the Set Dressser on this film.  Anyhoo, the soundtrack was done by Paul Williams, who has written hits for Three Dog Night, Helen Reddy, The Carpenters and many other groups in the 70's.  Williams also stars as Swan and does an okay job as the sinister producer.  Long time friend of DePalma's, William Finley plays Winslow/The Phantom and is good with the scenes that he is given.  The movie is a hodge podge of Faust, Phantom of the Opera and a little bit of Doian Grey thrown at the end.  It took me forever to realize that Jessica Harper from Suspiria is Phoenix.  Not only can she dance but she also has a wonderful voice and lucky for her there are no witches here. It's not very bloody but the Phantom's burned face pretty cool.  The music is alright, it's just pop music from the 70's, nothing too crazy.  All in all, it's good film and if you like DePalma's work, I'm sure you'd want to see this!

Has the devil created rock n' roll? I doubt it but people, in general, have a fear of change and the unknown.  Tommy Dorsey was no Elvis Presley, Elvis was no Hendrix, Hendrix was no Iron Maiden and Maiden is no Marilyn Mason.  The idea of evil spirits in music is so antiquated but maybe the devils greatest trick is making us think he's not there at all.


  1. I was hoping Phantom would be in this and you put it at #1, awesome list!

    1. Thanks Pete! I glad you enjoyed the list. Which Phantom were you looking for? The Andrew Lloyd Webber version from 2004?