Thursday, February 2, 2012

Hard Rock Zombies (1985)

I might sound like the late Andy Rooney here, but I like a lot of things, but dislike a lot of things too. Also, I had an onion tied to my belt, which was the style at the time. Anyways, here's three things I do hate: Forced comedy, forced edginess, and forced merriment. "Hard Rock Zombies" combines all three with one of the most septic musical genres of all time-Hair Metal. However, I'm sure known hair metal haters Beavis and Butt-Head would have loved this movie simply for the fact that it has boobs.

A hard rock band of indeterminate status and no known name travels from town to town, landing gigs and getting groupies. They land in the town Grand Guignol (har har), which is ruled by hicks and rubes who hate that darn rock n' roll music don't ya know. They stay at a local house, and are killed off one by one. However, instead of ending there and putting us out of our misery, the band comes back as zombies thanks to a song that resurrects the dead, and kills off their murders one by one. Oh, I forgot to mention that said murderers are all Nazis, and their leader is none other than Hitler, and not Doug Hitler from that episode of "Happy Endings." Long story short, the band sadly still plays, the killers come back as zombies, and more zombies follow. Oh, and the singer is in love with a 14 year old named Cassie (Jennifer Coe.) Our hero the pedophile.

Everything about "Hard Rock Zombies" is forced, embarrassing and amateurish. Much of the movie feels like the world's worst music video (Okay, not really-that dishonor still and will forever go to Creed's "My Sacrifice") with it's awful songs that would make the likes of Kip Winger cringe. The humor is stuck between the worlds of "trying to hard" and "this isn't even worth any effort." Nothing in it makes any sense, and not in that amusingly wacky way of something like "Blood Diner" or artful ways of the likes of Argento and Bava. They make no sense in that the people behind it thought throwing random events and scenes that have no real connection together would somehow work. Even the anti-rock aspect is bad, as it's a sloppy commentary on how the likes of the PMRC were attempting to censor music.

Then there's the crush on Cassie. Maybe, just maybe the filmmakers were trying to do a commentary of rock music's objectification on underage girls (Motorhead's "Jail Bait" anyone?), and even if it is, the whole thing is incredibly creepy. It also doesn't help that nobody in the band-or in the movie for for that matter-is remotely likeable or interesting. When you find yourself rooting for Hitler to kill our protagonists, you know the movie's done something wrong.

The best way to describe "Hard Rock Zombies" would be "Imagine if the worst Hair Metal band ever made a B-Movie." Best left avoided, as I doubt even hardcore Poison fans will find anything to enjoy here.

Rating: 0/10

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