This week: ROCKTOBER BLOOD!!!
Much like the closely-related film Rock 'N' Roll Nightmare, 1984's Rocktober Blood manages to be an underwhelming sum of completely overwhelming parts. Watch this intro and then tell me that this ISN'T going to be the best movie ever. Go ahead.
You can tell this movie is going to rule from the get-go, by the way that "The Sebastian's" is unnecessarily punctuated on the second title shot. Any movie with such a flagrant disregard for proper grammar HAS to kick ass, right?
Well, the answer is yes AND no. Rocktober Blood, distributed, naturally, by the good folks at Vestron Video (International), is a movie best enjoyed with a large group of Bros and a shitload of frosty suds. That way, you can tune out during the really boring parts (there are A LOT), and then tune back in when cool shit happens. Often compared to such films as Black Roses and Hard Rock Zombies, Blood supplies plenty of footage of gore, badly-choreographed "rock" music, and leather-clad glam barbarians, but somehow manages to fall just shy of its ludicrous ambitions. But the highs are dizzying, as we are treated to several scenes of murder, mutilation, and metal, all slapped together in haphazard fashion by a cast of producers with NO sense of irony whatsoever. Which is a good thing. Consider the following clip:
Amazing. But the problem is that nothing of significant interest happens for approximately 20 minutes before that scene. Hence the Bros and suds.
The story here is actually pretty decent. Billy "Eye" Harper (played by Tray Loren - the dude supplying the rad metal screeching in the first clip) is the singer for a metal band that also features Lynn (Donna Scoggins) as a backup singer and on-again off-again love interest. For some reason, Billy goes nuts in the studio, murders the engineer (and assistant engineer), and then goes on a killing spree in which he takes out 25 of the band's fans.
Fast-forward to two tears in the future. Billy has been captured, tried, and executed, leaving Lynn to be the new head of the band, which has re-formed under the name Headmistress. Headmistress is doing pretty well for themselves, and are headed to some sort of "big gig" that will either make or break their career. But this is where the trouble starts.
It seems that Lynn is being stalked by a guy in a scary rubber mask, and she's absolutely sure it's Billy. After the guy in the mask kills a bunch of people (which no one but Lynn seems to notice), she decides to do a little investigative work. And by "investigative work", I mean she digs up Billy's grave to make sure he's really dead. Which he is.
So what the fuck? Is he a zombie? A ghost? No spoilers here, but in a completely unprecedented and unforeseeable plot twist, it turns out that Billy actually had a twin brother (John), who framed Billy for murder. So it's actually JOHN doing all the gory killing and stalking Lynn. Mind-blowing, I know.
The ending to the film is epic, as John kills and dismembers a bunch of people ONSTAGE during Headmistress' big gig, chucking their body parts out into the audience before finally being electrocuted to death by some sort of accident involving an (unplugged) electric guitar. So there's that.
What Blood DOES have is plenty of 80's-metal street cred. For example, the character "Chris" was played by Nigel Benjamin, an ACTUAL L.A. butt rocker who played in the band London (above, right) with a then-unknown bassist by the name of Nikki Sixx. But the true stars of this flick are the unbelievably awesome wizard-rock band Sorcery, who not only provide a killer soundtrack but portray the band members in the film.
Sorcery deserve a post all to themselves. These guys were a ridiculously theatric, frizzy-haired, NWOBHM-esque rock quartet who would appear onstage with both a dude dressed as Merlin and another dude dressed as the Devil. In addition to the Rocktober Blood soundtrack, they also recorded the music for the 1978 cheez-fest Stunt Rock, which you can get ahold of over at Cosmic Hearse. Unfortunately, most of Sorcery's music didn't see proper release until recently, on a re-issue titled 2 (below) which you can purchase here. Sorcery are simultaneously ridiculous and awesome, and bump Rocktober Blood up a notch, from ho-hum heavy metal splatterfest to totally rad ho-hum heavy metal splatterfest.
So go buy this movie. But only if you have a VCR. I'm pretty sure it never got proper DVD treatment and as a result you can't get it on Netflix. Weak.
Below: Rocktober Blood, AKA Rockill. Awesome.