Thursday, November 20, 2014

Rock Flix: Rock & Rule

Are you ready to Rock?!?  I can't hear you!  I can't he-ar you!  Oh right, this is text.  Today's Film is Rock & Rule, a 1983 Animated Film featuring a number of great Musicians and a strange Story.  Much like Interstella 5555, it is a Showcase for the Rock.  Unlike that Film, this has dialog and is not JUST Songs by the band.  This is more about highlighting some more, shall we say, hip rockers from this Era around a strange, strange tale.  You get Lou Reed, Blondie, Iggy Pop and more.  The Story involves an evil Musician trying to do something, well, evil.  He needs a special Singer (Debbie Harry) to make it work, so he has to do some sneaky stuff to get her.  Can her Band stop him?  Will he destroy society?  To find out, rock on...
They wanted to make a cartoon with weird, mutant people, so they just said 'Nuclear Apocalypse' and that's that.  After that, we get a general Plot Summary (that's my job!) by way of Star Wars-style text.
MOK shows up looking for his Singer.  He's scoured the World and found nobody.  Thankfully for him, this weasely-rat-guy was managing our heroes.
The band actually has two Singers, but they can't exactly agree on that.  You can just cut the sexual tension with a knife.
MOK makes his move and takes our heroine away, making the band follow in pursuit.  Ew.
He finds out a crypic prophecy- from his magic mirror-esque Computer-, but generally disregards it.
The band gets close to saving her, so MOK messes with their brains and dumps them back home.  Unfortunately for him, the Concert he must put on that town too.
While it doesn't affect the Plot too much, the villain's song- by Lou Reed- is good enough to mention.
Back in the Plot, the Climax involves the big Concert and the Ceremony to let loose a big demon.  Nice King Kong homage there, huh?
Ultimately, the Prophecy comes true as the two Singers perform together and send the creature back.  As a bonus, one of MOK's henchmen turns on him- since the creature killed his brother- and knocks him into the portal to Hell as well.

The band is now famous and all is well.  The End.
It is a bit short on Story, but not on Style.  The Story is, well, kind of odd.  A famous Musician/Producer needs a special Singer to do a ritual that summons a Demon?  That's...weird.  The Characters aren't exactly all that 3-dimensional either.  It was neat of them to give the lead Henchman a bit of an Arc.  Of course, that stands out in contrast to just about everyone else in the Film.  So if the Story is out there and the Characters aren't that deep, what makes the Film work?  The Style.  The Character Design doesn't blow you away, but it is solid.  The rotoscoped Animation is not for everyone, but I've always been a sucker for it.  It just looks more fluid to me.  Others may disagree, but it is my site after all.  The biggest draw here is obviously the music.  You get a couple great Lou Reed (R.I.P.) songs, some nice stuff from Blondie, a bit from Earth, Wind and Fire (given a special Guest Star Credit!) and even some Iggy Pop.  Naturally, your love of the Film may be depend on how you feel about the Artists in question.  Regardless, Rock & Rule is a fun, catchy Film which still stands up after 31 years.  As a bonus, the DVD Version on Netflix is the Restored Version (with the Print literally cleaned up at times).  On top of all that, we get the first appearance of 'You're Tearing Me Apart, Lisa!' circa 1983...
Next up, a 3-Part look at some similarly-titled Films.  First on the list, a Night with a monster in the woods.  Stay tuned...

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