Monday, November 3, 2014

Black Roses (1988)

In the 1980s Americans were afraid of everything: Russia, Dungeons & Dragons, clown vans, even hair metal. That's right, while hair bands were just trying to assure us that it was, in fact, still possible to rock in America, parents from coast to coast were flipping out, convinced that listening to W.A.S.P. would lead to suicide, murder, devil worship, and, worst of all, listening to more W.A.S.P. (Probably in the opposite order though.) Something clearly had to be done, so they arrested that guy from the Dead Kennedys and everyone was pretty much satisfied. Although this did lead to the Dead Kennedys guy inundating us with hundreds of spoken word albums bitching about the whole thing, so, ultimately, who are the real losers here?

Shut up shut up shut up shut up!
Well, in this movie all of Tipper Gore's nightmares come true (except that one where she actually enjoys sex). The band in this movie is so fucking evil that, in the very first scene, their live show turns the audience members into people wearing monster masks. Or possibly actual monsters, it was kind of hard to tell. Either way, they won't be playing that venue again, so they pack up and head for the sticks, where they deflect the adults with a little lite-rock dog & phony show, and then play a series of gigs that infects the town's teenagers with the latex-meets-spandex horror movie version of metal. Fistfights break out, classes are cut, a can of red paint is left in the street with the lid off and someone could have easily tripped over it, possibly ruining their shoes... It's some serious Hieronymus Bosch shit, and it only gets worse: stereos turn on by themselves, a copy of the Mentors' LP Up the Dose bubbles and melts right on the turntable (now no one will be able to listen to classic tracks like "Heterosexuals Have the Right to Rock"), a monster pops out of a speaker and eats a guy, and loitering runs rampant. Can cold-blooded murder be far behind? (Spoiler warning: nope.) Fortunately, there is one teacher who cares, man, so he just casually strolls into the next show with some gasoline and road flares and Great Whites the place. (To the band's credit, even with the venue burning down around them, they continue to rock.) The whole thing is unrepentantly goofy, but there's plenty of violence, some gore, cool rubber monsters, ample tits, a guy fighting a demon with a tennis racquet, and a demon reacting surprisingly poorly to being kicked in the balls when it clearly doesn't have any.

Remade in 2001 as Rock Star.
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