Thursday, August 25, 2011

Strange Killers: Black Roses

It's a nice day for some black roses.  The counterpoint to Rock & Roll Nightmare, today's film is also by John Fasano.  It features a rock & roll band that spreads the word of demonic possession and murder across the country.  Of course, this is a low-budget movie, so let's focus the plot on just one small town.  This creates an odd sort of plot inconsistency, but I'll get to that in a bit.  On the plus side, there is no Jon Mikl-Thor this time, either buff (and freezing) or paunchy (and silly-looking).  In his place, we have...nobody I have the slightest clue about.  Apparently the band in the film is a real rock band, but I'm too apathetic to look them up.  All you need to know is that this film is very '80s and takes a while to really get going.  To see the end result, read on.  If you're going to a Wedding, make sure you don't get the...
In the intro, a demonic rock band is playing a set in what appears to be New York City.  It makes you wonder what WASP was doing at their concerts, doesn't it?  A man- who is not important or ever mentioned again- tries to stop the show, but only succeeds in opening the door and being crushed by the fleeing mob.  This opening calls the entire plot into question, but it does at least give us some creature effects.  We don't get those for another thirty minutes or so.  The story changes to a small town in the middle of 'The Heart of America' which is featuring a concert series by the band from earlier.  The teens are all excited and the old people in town talk about Satan coming to town.  Yes, people were like this in the '80s.  Of course, people were like this in the '80s, making the film pretty-dated.  The main focus of the tale is on the Poetry Teacher, clearly the most important Teacher in the school.  Seriously- you're going with him?  Hey, it's your movie, fellas...
The band performs their show, managing to fool the old people in town with a fake-out opening performance, before going into their loud stuff.  Their whole plan hinges upon the people not forgetting their wallets/purses or possibly going back when they hear the loud music.  Anyways, the music begins to make the teens do bad things and progressively worse things.  How does it do that?  Good question, actually- the film never really answers it.  At one point, the kids just act mean.  Later on, they actually become demons that can morph to and from that shape.  I should also point out that the film's message is a bit skewed, since the 'demonic music' actually is a bit demonic in the first place...but I digress.  Things get more serious when murders start to occur, including one man killing his father and another killing their mother with a car.
Things are all building to a head and they continue to get sillier.  A sub-plot involving one girl being attracted to the Poetry Teacher builds up to her becoming a demon and killing the guy's girlfriend.  As bad luck would have it, the girlfriend is the Mayor's daughter.  This actually doesn't impact the plot all that much, so it makes you wonder why they included that.  She tries to seduce him at his home, but quickly abandons that plot and just turns into a giant puppet.  He kills her, only it wasn't her...sort of.  This movie's contradictions hurt my brain!  All of this builds up to the final concert- duh.  The band transforms on stage once again, leading to random shots of teens in the crowd also transforming.  John Fasano loves his awkward puppets, so they're in full-force here.  Confronted on stage by the band, our hero learns that they only played live once before (the intro) and things went badly.  How did the transformation and riot not make the News?  How are they not in jail?  In a lame conclusion, the stage is set on fire and the band flees, leaving the murdering teens to live with the guilt.  In the Epilogue, the band plays somewhere else...since the murders didn't make the News either.  The End.
Rock and roll truly is the Devil's music!  The plot of this movie has potential, but is mostly just silly.  The whole idea is full of ridiculous things, which is to be expected from a film like this.  The problem is that there is not a lot of internal logic for what happens.  A lot of '80s films are goofy (most are, to be honest) but there is usually some sort of explanation for what happens.  As silly as Neon Maniacs was, they bother to explain that the creatures have been hiding for years, thus explaining why they're an Urban Legend.  This movie...pretty much does nothing.  It just uses the all-purpose 'Satanic worshipper' trope and expect you to move on.  I'm a film critic- I don't just ignore shit like that.  Those gripes aside, the movie is kind of fun, but the pacing is a bit off.  It's pretty much the same case as Rock & Roll Nightmare- it's loaded on the back-end with silly effects.  The actual effects aren't quite as funny though, so the pay-off is not quite as even.  If you ever wanted a double-bill with Nightmare, choose this.  If you pick Intercessor, well, you always lose.  Take us away, conveniently-shot puppet..
Next up, a film so stupid that I almost feel ashamed talking about.  Of course, I gave up on my pride sometime around my second Nudist Camp Horror Film, so the fight goes on!  Stay tuned...

1 comment:

  1. kick-ass 80s trash with one of my favorite one-liners of all time:
    "Only two kinds of men wear earings: pirates and faggots... and I don't see no ship in our driveway." =D