Thursday, September 16, 2010

Rock 'n' Roll Nightmare (1987)

Rock 'n' Roll Nightmare (1987)

My Synopsis: 80's hairband lead-singer takes on demon/alien/stop motion creatures and wins by slinging back his long blonde tresses and screaming in RATT falsetto.

Comments: Does anybody remember USA Up All Night ( )? It use to air on Friday and Saturday nights on, of all the networks, USA. Basically the whole point of the show was to pair unbelievable bad movies with unbelievably bad comedians Gilbert Gottfried or Rhonda Shear. Granted many of these movies were cult classics or best of the worst, you can read all about them on the link provided earlier and even see a list of what was aired during their reign. Anyway, Rhonda or Gilbert would say funny(?) things about the movie between commercial breaks while you watched the movie between Rhonda or Gilbert breaks. It was a great way to stay “Up All Night,” something I as fond of doing in the late 90's after my band got done with a gig. Unfortunately it usually lead me to “Sleep All Day” (see how I made an 80's music reference there? Brilliant! Doubtful it will happen again) but for some reason no matter how bad the movie, or the Rhonda and Gilbert, I didn't seem to mind. Well, getting to the point, 'Rock 'n' Roll Nightmare' was one of those movies I do remember seeing one sleepless night. I don't, however, remember if it was with Rhonda or Gilbert, but am pretty it didn't matter since both were equally annoying. Besides, the movie was enough of a distraction from them that I remembered everything about it, except the name, up until earlier today when I stumbled across it, and the cover photo reminded me.

In my defense, and in addition to an earlier statement that any movie about musicians would make me want to see it (and though this movie also has musicians they are really actors pretending to be the real musicians that recorded the music for the movie – not to mention the real band and fake band not only share names but the fake band even “plays” the songs in the movie), but it usually happened that any movie with any variation or promise of “Rock 'n' Roll” in the title usually pulled me in as well. I don't know, I though it worked out well with 'Rocka-doodle Doo.' Then of course who can blame me for enjoying in some 80's nostalgia and who doesn't love hair band guilty pleasuring. So once I was reunited with the film I couldn't resist in a repeat experience, without Rhonda or Gilbert, in the daytime (probably still should have been sleeping), over ten+ years later.

Rock 'n' Roll Nightmare is about a rock band who end up in the middle of a confrontation between Heaven and Hell. That is to say that their record producer tries to tuck them away into this old farm house (known to to have once belonged to a disappeared family) that has been converted into a recording studio in order to complete their eagerly anticipated album. As time progress the rockers and their girlfriends start acting strangely, and all but the lead singer become victims to hellish design. The singer turns out to be some kind of demon hunter called “The Interceptor” and a battle between heaven and hell ensues while behind them a hair growing soundtrack swells. This movie was made for $100,000 over seven days of shooting in Canada and was produced/written/starred/soundtrack by Jon Mickl Thor (front-man for the band Thor, who also starred in an MST3K featured film called 'Zombie Nightmare').

Sadly, that is about all there is to say about the movie, there's an obvious reason why it was good “Up All Night” film and it was mostly because Rhonda and Gilbert were almost welcome faces in the light in the film. Ok, no that's not true. This movie is a brilliant example of how cheap and easy it is to make an amazingly simply monster movie, using amazingly insane story elements. The monsters look more like aliens, one even looks like a spewing penis, and Thors metal god saving the world is both silly and amazingly fitting for the time period and the image he represented. Though the sex scenes were long, it was good to know that 80's boobs and ass look the same as today's. A lot of thought and attention was paid to Thor's image as a hair band front-man, it's probably best that he didn't have to stretch his acting abilities beyond becoming a warrior against evil (because everyone knows that metal musicians are 'for' not 'against' evil). The music was also fitting and beautifully cliché, the scenes of the band actually playing through a song, the drummer messing up, and ego's galore was both realistic and believable. While taking cost, source, and time period into consideration, this movie was perfect, for making fun of for all eternity. Indeed worthy of cult, Up All Night, and MST3K worship and for that I give it 3 power chords out of 5. The points are based on Thor did all the music, that its awesomely bad, and the penis monster. Not a serious horror flick, but seriously good for wasting a few sleepless hours on.

Apparently this movie earned serious cult status by spawning a sequel... 'Intercessor: Another Rock 'n' Roll Nightmare' (2005) according to Please, if anyone knows how I can acquire a copy, I am sadistic enough to want to know how an 80's hair band lead singer would fair in the 00's!

It actually reminded of a movie I use to watch every Halloween when all the festivities were over and I was good and drunk of the same type and period called 'Trick or Treat.' I will undoubtedly write about this Halloween so stay tuned or whatever! In the mean time, “keep one fist in the air and one foot in the gutter”

Farewell from the beast and I,

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Necessary Evil (2008)

Necessary Evil (2008)

FEARnet Plot Description: “An insane scientist is testing a deadly drug on helpless patients in an insane asylum. A hard-nosed cop and a novice journalist set out to investigate, but what horror they discover may cost them their lives.” Watch now for free

My Synopsis: Lance Henrickson uses demon DNA to take over the world!

Comments: For those of you don't know this, FEARnet is awesome. It's like an online version of SCIFI channel that only deals with horror. So basically every month they stream several B horror films that you might not otherwise hear about, and many you have. Currently they seem to have many of the AfterDark Horrorfest: 8 Films to Die For ( available. Which only makes sense since After Dark has become the source for the newest and greatest in upcoming horror directors/writers. 8 (yeah, really) new films are presented every year around Halloween. Does anybody remember Full Moon Features ( They were this awesome film company that cranked out the best/worst B stuff in the 90's with cheesy fx and even worse acting. Well After Dark is like that only more tech savvy. Anyway, I digress badly since the movie being reviewed isn't either an After Dark or Full Moon presentation. But I do promise to address films from both companies in the very near future. Where I was going with this is that FEARnet is awesome. Anything I review from their site is available for free viewing for a limited time and I highly suggest you do so. It's a great way to get your horror fix and watch, for free, entertaining schlock you would undoubtedly never pay for. If you have take note of how silly that was as you watch it again for free. The only thing you lose is time, which can be unforgiving so learn to be like me and multi-task, i.e. watch/listen to a movie while typing the review!

So 'Necessary Evil' boasts 2 very important actors to the genre. The first is Lance Henrickson, and you should know that if he is involved there are two things you can expect, that the movie is wonderfully horrible and that he will act the shit out of his role. In this case he is the evil scientist, even better! The second is Danny Trejo, again proof of the same first impressions without even seeing a minute of movie. In this one he is military muscle possessed, golden! It promises already to be both amazingly ridiculous! Now the only question left is whether or not that is good or bad because it obviously could be either. As the movie begins Danny is being a bad ass and Lance is being evil. Thus hopes were high, would reality bring them down?

Well, it started with a possession, then an abduction, then we got this investigative reporter (played by up and coming scream queen hottie Kathryn Fiore – 'Hatchet II') who wants do a report on the strange practices of a pharmaceutical conglomerate (run by mad scientist Henrickson of course) and is apparently going nuts, and tests are being done on this family that seems to be kind of demonic. As are Henrickson and his business partners. Danny Trejo kicks ass from the start but his position in all this unclear until much later in the movie. Henrickson doesn't begin as your standard insane scientist. Oh yeah, and there's a Jewish cop (Greg Collins – various TV appearances including 'True Blood') investigating the disappearance of the family who seems to know more about demons then he lets on. And were do cops find desserts at crime scenes? I must know!

A very slow moving film, but somehow the cops investigation leads to/coincides with the reporters actual demons are teased for awhile. The few sexually jokes are out of place and add nothing. But it's good to know that demon DNA can help create a race of powerful humans.

“Necessary Evil' has got be a SCFI channel movie. The acting is all sub-par except of course for Henrickson, Trejo's part is merely minutes long (2 at the beginning, a few more near the end, he's of course a ruthless henchman). Though the story is intriguing, it is that and Henrickson that really kept me watching, whenever the story lagged or he wasn't in the scene I started working on this review. The concepts of this movie weren't necessary or even really evil. That much said I give it 2 glowing syringes out of 5. Lance is totally worth the time wasted on watching this movie though, maybe I'll raise it 3 glow stick syringes. Nah, 2 ½ is about all I can give up. Maybe if you edit out all the stuff that is not “necessary” it would go up. Like all the Henrickson/Trejo scenes and the last 20 minute, beware of the tweest, but it's works! Maybe I'll upgrade it to 3 out of 5 just for that.

'Til next we bleed,

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Deadgirl (2008)

Deadgirl (2008)

My Synopsis: Joaquin Phoenix finds the secret to eternal youth, teams up with another punk kid to lay waste to an old asylum where they find a supposedly naked dead girl chained to a table. Instead she's a real naked living dead girl. The boys have there way with her, even though Joaquin has reservations, hilarity ensues!

Comments: There is no ending to the lengths that people will go through in order to find their niche or create a new angle in order to establish themselves as contenders to the zombie genre and this movie is no different. It's very much a 'West-side Story' with a zombie plaything. Ultimately, director Marcel Sarmeinto (this being her third independent project) and writer Trent Haaga (who has been all over the b-horror market in the last ten years, including the latest addition to the 'Toxic Avenger' franchise), seem to be taking 'Fido' to another level, the consequences are indeed different and far less comical, but definitely follow the same moral connections. That much said, lets really bite into this one...

In my defense, Shiloh Fernandez ('Jericho,' 'Cadillac Records') does look like a younger Joaquin Phoenix without the lip scar. Oh yeah, he plays the lead misfit (Ricky) with a conscience that discovers the living dead girl. Anyway, Ricky is a misfit because his mother is never around and her drunk boyfriend is, go figure. He also has the hots for the popular girl in school but not being a football player has slimmed his chances. His buddy J.T. (Noah Segan – 'Days of Our Lives,' 'Fanboys') is just a plain freak who see's a naked living dead girl as an opportunity for some fun. Ricky and J.T. don't really see eye to eye on how best to treat said naked living dead girl and the story unfolds from here.

JT and his buddies quickly get bored with just using her as a sex toy and start torturing her to alleviate stress as Ricky finally gets the balls to hit on his crush and her asshole boyfriend kicks his ass, showing off his true colors. Well as usual one of the misfits runs his mouth and they are forced to show the popular guys the girl. Asshole bf is peer pressured into mouth raping the living dead girl which ends in the only way possible. Unfortunately you don't see much and the guy apparently didn't lose anything. Instead he disfigures her face and runs away crying. The 'West-side Story' develops as expected.

This movie is a morality play for sure. JT is sick and twisted with what he wants to do too and with the living dead girl and doesn't seem to have an issue with her demonstrated interest in eating flesh (she also takes the chunk out of dog). Ricky seems to have an empathetic connect to her but is easily overpowered by JT and his preoccupation with the girl of his affections. Asshole boyfriend was bitten, I think we know what to expect. His character development is fairly limited. I don't really feel I am spoiling much, if you've ever seen a zombie movie there are certain things to expect.

'Deadgirl' is thankfully more a psychological horror that plays around with the a fore mentioned moralities and messed up values of today's teens. I say thankfully because you don't actually see the asshole bf get his johnson bit and all gore is pretty much limited to blood or quick flashes. Trust me that's all you need for the asshole bf in the bathroom scene. JT's downward spiral is complete by the end of the movie, upon realization that the girl is not just living dead but a traditional zombie he envisions a harem. The stalking of future living dead girls is an amazingly disturbing scene. The good news is that everyone gets what they deserve in the end. You have to see it to get what I mean. Although the twist is the only expected.

So to the judgment scale, I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 living dead girls based on originality, some interesting twists, and all in all a excellent addition to zombie-lore. It stands pretty strong as an independent film and definitely does an excellent job establishing the director and writer as an upcoming force. Where it falls flat is in its use of cliché teenage issues and characters. Though it would be hard to imagine it told from any other perspective. If you have no problem with teenage boys acting horrible, zombie girl torture, the occasional blood splatter, and an obvious ending, then this is a must to add to your collection.

'Til next we bleed,

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Vampires Suck (2010)

Vampires Suck (2010)

My Synopsis: Vampires suck... good. Team Jacob BITCH!

Comments: Yep, I admit I had to see this one. I mean, after all that Twilight, Eclipse, New Moon, Green Cheese, Man in the Moon stuff I was ready for it. And I was realistic about too, I know the possibility of yet another movie parody was likely to suck even worse then Date Movie and definitely more than Disaster Movie. The “Movie” franchise has been suffering greatly since the creators lost touch with their roots the “Scary”s. So I really did walk into this expecting, if nothing else, to at least be glad to see the Twilight world get kicked in the ass. Thankfully I wasn't let down.

Drawing entirely from Twilight, emo child Becca moves in with her father in a small town that also harbors vampires and werewolves, er, rather, were-dogs. Quickly she is drawn to Edward Sullen, the vampire boy of her dreams that is truly sullen. In the meantime, Jacob, a boy she use to play house with is pining after her. Sounds familiar right? So far pretty close, Becca is indeed having issues with the boys, digs the vampire even though he has a vow of chastity (promise ring and all) and finds herself stuck between Vamps and Weres. The differences are already starting to show, first Ed has a virginity thing going on while Becca just really wants to get laid. Very funny in the light of a Mormon woman wrote Twilight and that Edward is supposed to be every teenage girls dream. I kept remembering the Jonas Bros. South Park episode. Becca explains her infatuation well... Edward is the object of forbidden fruit which she can never have (yea! Like the apple! I get it! Jacob is right, very profound). Wereas Jacob is steadfast and loyal. That's mostly because he is a were-chihuahua.

This movie is apparently a spoof of both Twilight and Eclipse although I can embarrassingly only vouch for the first. But all the books make an appearance at one point. There are a few incidents in which the jokes or pratfalls seem to have nothing to do with the story but Buffy the Vampire Slayer makes an appearance which sort of makes up for it. This is par for the course when watching spoofs as random goofiness apparently makes a much funnier movie.

Things to look out for: Becca has the same annoying pushing-hair-behind-ear habit as Bella (priceless!), cat!, Edward and his segway, 10 minutes of screen time equal shirtless, The Black Eyed Peas, cat!, bling, family jewels, and so much more! CAT!

I'm going to give this one 4 out of 5 chipped fangs. Mostly because I was sick enough of the Twilight vampires to want to see them made fun of. I kept one point to myself because the random goofiness and prats got boring after a time and didn't hold up to the rest of the humor. I think I can go out on a limb and suggest this one to fans and non-fans of Twilight if only because it's a great reality check. Or lack of reality check. Really. Cat!

Becca Crane: So are we going to be uh, at the same school?
Jacob: I go to school at the reservation.
Becca Crane: Oh, it must be fun to gamble and drink all day.

Ten Little Zombies: A Love Story

Ten Little Zombies: A Love Story (July 28th, 2010)
By Andy Rash

My Synopsis: Even when cute little zombies attack the destroy reflex can't be ignored! But what if the love of your life becomes one of them!?

Comments: In a world inundated by zombie survival guides and tips of all kinds there comes this delightful little book! Presented as a children novel with silly drawings and words that flow easily to the ten little Indians song I couldn't help but read every page while standing at Borders. An excellent table book and companion to your zombie collection!

The Runaways (2010)

The Runaways (2010)

My Synopsis: Bella and Dakota have all but grown up and the only vampire is a record exec. No surprises.

Comments: I have always been a sucker for movies based on real life rock-stars. Maybe it's the historical elements, the nostalgia, the love of the music, the debauchery... you know I'm not really sure what it is but there's something about Val Kilmer's Jim ('The Doors' -1991- brilliant) and Mark Walberg's Ripper ('Rock Star' -2001- surprisingly awesome). It's even more brilliant when the lead actor takes it upon themselves to become their character and sing all the songs themselves (i.e. Kilmer and others), which is why I have actually been looking forward to a Janis Joplin movie starring Pink (who has proven she is a voice replica, i.e. So the idea of film based on the book written by first lady of punk Cherie Currie about the 1970's all girl band The Runaways I was more than interested. I mean, this is the band that spawned Joan Jett and Lita Ford. The baddest assed chicks of rock and roll! But as time progressed I was getting less and less interested upon discovering Kristin Stewart ('Twilight') and Dakota Fanning ('War of the Worlds' and, you guessed it 'Twilight') were playing the title roles (Joan and Cherie). Teenagers playing teenagers in the drug addled world of sex and rock and roll is one thing, but these two are the spokespeople for the vampire loving emo kids of America! Then, of course, the movie opened nearly no-where (granted, saved me a ten spot) and was impossible to find elsewhere. Until the other night of course, when I somehow managed to make it through all 106 minutes.

Plot: Greedy record exec brings four attention starved teenagers together into a punk rock band and pimps them out until they are used and abused beyond recognition.

Same old story, slightly different view. The only good things about this movie are the depictions of 70's rock and roll lifestyle (seen it) and that Dakota actually sings. Yes, this is good, she sounds really close to Cherie. Other than that this movie is about Joan Jett's drive for rock super stardom and Cherie Curries sinking into druggy depression. I was disappointed that Lita Ford wasn't really explored beyond her bad attitude. She was the maven of heavy metal after all. I had a hard time believing that Kristin or Dakota had a clue of what drugs even were much less how it felt to be on them and the sexual escapades were clumsy. All I really understood is that Joan Jett was gay. Surprise!

So I gave this one 3 out of 5 chords, allowing it one point for being musical, one for Dakota actually singing, and one for a hell of a choice in lead actors. Beyond that if you want to know anything about The Runaways I suggest checking out any of the links below and downloading their most popular song “Cherry Bomb.” If your whole goal is to see Kristin and Dakota in a pedophiles cross dressing dream maybe the movies for you. But, spoiler alert, there's nothing to see. Take that you sickos!

For more on The Runaways (the real band)