Saturday, February 8, 2014

Rock 'n' Roll Nightmare (1987)

The late 80's were an endearingly goofy time for the horror genre.  Most of the big franchises were either chugging along (Nightmare on Elm Street) or beginning to lag a bit (Halloween and Friday the 13th) and gradually, there came to be an influx of direct to video releases.  An offshoot of this was the Heavy Metal horror boom in the latter part of the decade that saw stuff like Trick or Treat and Black Roses getting released... Sometimes to theaters.

One of the worst (in the best way possible) was our subject today, a remarkably cheap and cheesy Canadian horror flick called Rock 'n' Roll Nightmare.  The story, what little there is of it, involves a cheesy hair metal band called The Tritonz that goes out to a secluded house in the middle of nowhere in Toronto to work on new material.  Turns out the house is haunted by demons and one by one they are picked off until a rather incredible twist ending where it turns out... Well, to reveal it this early in the review would be unconscionable.

The film was directed by John Fasano and written by the star, rock musician Jon Mikl Thor.  The team would also gift us with the MST3K target Zombie Nightmare, which is equally cheesy as hell.  Together, they make an endearingly cheap, amazingly cheesy movie that pretty much is, to me at least, the ultimate expression of late 80's crappy low budget horror.

The acting is bad, the characters are folks you really want to see get killed, the f/x are cheap (some of the demons are just finger puppets) and the ending has to be seen to be believed.  It turns out that not only is all the stuff in the house the work the devil, but the front man for the group (played by the hugely muscular writer and star), John Triton is actually the archangel Triton sent to lure Satan out of hiding and the entire band and crew was all an illusion.  The finale is really something to behold as a loud hair metal anthem plays while Triton "fights" a rigid Devil puppet while somebody off screen throws starfish at him.

Yes, that really happens and no, I am not on drugs.

Rock 'n' Roll Nightmare is the sort of fun, cheesy piece of garbage you would rent on a Friday night and get drunk while watching with your buddies.  Is it good?  Hell no!  But it is fun for all the wrong reasons.  Bad acting, a bizarre twist ending, cheap f/x... If you dig 80's crap, this is one you should seek out.

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About Me

I've been a huge fan of action, horror and comedy for as long as I can remember.