Hair Band Horror: Hard Rock Zombies

To my knowledge, Hard Rock Zombies is the only film to ever feature a one-eyed Nazi midget zombie. That alone should be worth the price of admission.

A band called Holy Moses travels to the town of Grand Guignol to perform. Along the way they pick up a female hitchhiker who offers to let the band stay at her family’s home. The family includes a German grandfather and werewolf grandmother who let their grandchildren watch them have sex, a tattooed bald guy who chops the heads off chickens, a man who hides in the bushes and takes photos of everyone, and two midgets: one wears an eye-patch and the other looks like a melted ventriloquist dummy.

Little People
Midgets always get the best roles.

The band’s lead singer, Jesse, meets a girl in town named Cassie. Cassie’s age is never given, but at one point she is called a “little girl” and Jesse writes a love song for her in which he says she is “too young”. The whole thing smells of pedophilia.

Jesse the Pedo
Yep, he’s a pedo.

At night, the family starts killing the band. Jesse is killed with a weedwacker, two guys are murdered by grandma werewolf, and one guy is stabbed while having sex with the hitchhiker in the shower. Somehow she managed to conceal a switchblade on her naked body. Afterwards, the family sits down to dinner with the town sheriff and the band’s manager, where grandpa reveals himself to be…


Cassie visits the band’s graves and plays one of their tapes. The song happens to contain a medieval bass line that resurrects the dead. The band has no problem rising from their graves because they were buried under two inches of dirt and without coffins.

Shallow Graves
This must have been the cheapest funeral ever.

The zombies avenge their own deaths by killing Hitler and his family. Of course, as we all learned in Living Dead 101, a person killed by a zombie will inevitably become one. That means zombie Hitler and zombie werewolf Ava Braun are now on the loose.

One-eyed zombie midget Nazi

The townspeople decide to tie the virgin Cassie to a tree and let the zombies rape her to death. Somehow this is supposed to get rid of the undead plague. Instead, the band lures the other zombies into Hitler’s gas chamber where they are all disposed of.

Reasons to Watch:

  • Skinny dipping
  • Band member autographs a girl’s ass
  • Fast motion montage
  • Nazis
  • Electrocution
  • Old man talking about bestiality
  • Some guy gropes dead Ava Braun
  • Zombie midget eats own body
  • Age of consent?
  • Zombies hate heads

Hair Band Horror: Paganini Horror

Nicolo Paganini was an Italian violinist, widely considered to be the greatest of all time. Paganini’s compositions were so celebrated that speculation arose that he had entered into a pact with the Devil. People who attended his performances claimed to have seen Satan appear at Paganini’s side, guiding his fingers as he played. Others declared that Paganini’s violin emulated the sound of weeping. Rumors began to circulate that he had trapped his wife’s soul in his violin and used her intestines to make its strings. When Paganini died, his compositions were hidden away.

No one expects the Spanish Inquisition.

An unnamed, mostly female band is having trouble writing a hit song for their new album. The only male member buys an unreleased Paganini song from a mysterious man named Mr. Picket, played by Donald Pleasence. The band reworks Paganini’s melody into their new song, and hires a famed horror director to shoot their “video clip” in the mansion where Paganini killed his wife.

Devil mask
I’m simultaneously aroused and disturbed by this image.

When the girls perform the song, Paganini appears and starts stabbing people with a dagger hidden in his violin. They try to escape, but are prevented by one of those underground electric fences.

This electrocution effect is overused throughout the film.

The guitarist is found covered in blood and green slime. The women deduce that she was obviously killed by a wood fungus found on logs floating in certain European rivers. I’m not making that up. The band’s manager is crushed by an invisible wall until her head explodes.

“Your head a splode.”

When the sun rises, Paganini turns into a pile of dust. So I guess he was a vampire?

Reasons to Watch:

  • Bathtub electrocution
  • Hot guitarist
  • Hotter bass player
  • Donald Pleasence tossing cash off of a roof
  • Calculus graffiti
  • The invisible barrier

Hair Band Horror: Rock 'n' Roll Nightmare

Rock ‘n’ Roll Nightmare, a.k.a. The Edge of Hell, was directed by the same guy who directed Black Roses, and was written and produced by Canadian body-builder/rock star Jon-Mikl Thor. Of course Thor also stars as the lead.


A band called The Tritonz visits a farmhouse/recording studio to cut their new album. The house has a haunted oven and a bed that looks like a piano. At least we’re lead to believe there is a piano bed. We never really get to see it.

Death Oven
Dinner’s Ready

The movie follows the traditional formula: a group arrives at a remote location and get killed off one by one. The band members are so annoying that you want them all to die. The drummer’s accent changes between Australian and British. Halfway through the film he becomes possessed and reverts to an American accent. The rest of the band doesn’t seem to notice. Later, a hand bursts from his chest and grabs a girl’s boob.

Chest Hand
Not quite up to par with the FX in Alien

Cyclops monster puppets show up occasionally to smoke cigarettes and hock loogies in people’s coffee. I assume that their penile appearance was unintentional.

Cock Monster

The last ten minutes of this film are inexplicable. I honestly can’t tell if Thor was unable to think of a way to end this thing or if he actually thought he wrote a clever twist ending. Turns out that everyone we just saw get killed were illusions created by Thor, who is really an archangel attempting to draw Satan out of hiding. Clad in a cape and metal thong, Thor challenges the Devil to a wrestling match. Satan summons some demon starfish to attack Thor, whose only defense is to catch the starfish and hold them against his chest.

The final battle

Believe it or not, this movie spawned a sequel 18 years later, Intercessor: Another Rock ‘n’ Roll Nightmare.

Reasons to Watch:

  • Thor!
  • Dish washing
  • Topless demon chick
  • Groupies
  • Chest hand boob grab
  • Thor’s 30 minute shower sex scene
  • Possessed chicken
  • Product placement
  • Thor’s uncanny ducking abilities

Hair Band Horror: Black Roses

If a movie could be judged by its first three minutes, this film would win the Academy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Awesomeness. A band of demons performs Lizzy Borden’s Me Against the World before a crowd of teenagers who suddenly turn into zombies and trample and old dude. Unfortunately, the remaining 80 minutes are full of cheese and bad acting.

Rock On
Rock On

Popular metal band Black Roses has chosen to open their first ever national tour in the sleepy little town of Mill Basin. Frightened parents, convinced that their children will be brainwashed by satanic lyrics, form a committee to prevent the band from putting on a show in the high school auditorium. The band is allowed to perform with the parents in attendance. Black Roses take the stage with an opening number that you would hear on any crappy radio station in the 80s. The adults, thinking they have misjudged the band, get up and leave. As soon as they are gone, lead singer Damian rips off his clothes and commences to rock.

Tame Damian Rock Damian
Damian before and after

The band turns some of the kids into zombies with gaping mouths. Others are influenced to kill their parents or even worse, destroy collectible action figures…

I have that same Aquaman figure sitting on my desk.

One of the kids, Tony, is listening to the latest Black Roses album. His dad, Big Pussy, notices that Tony’s ear is pierced. Big Pussy says that earrings are only for “pirates and faggots”. Afterwards a huge insect-creature pops out of the speaker, grabs Big Pussy’s face, and pulls him back into the speaker.

Big Pussy
Big Pussy gets whacked

The film’s hero is teacher Matthew Moorhouse, the Jaime Escalante of American Lit. He reminds me a lot of one of my college professors, both in manner of dress and mustache style. When confronted by monsters, Matt defends himself with an arsenal of terrible weapons, such as tennis balls and bass drum mallets.


Tennis Mallet
Deadly weapons

We see what are supposed to be the female lead’s bare breasts on two separate occasions. Body doubles are used instead. For some reason the same girl wasn’t used for both scenes, so the boobs look completely different each time.

And at the end of the movie, Tony’s arm catches on fire.

Is he calling his arm a “son of a bitch”?

Reasons to Watch:

  • Julie’s creepy step dad
  • Forum!
  • Naked demon chick
  • Justice League versus the fireplace
  • Strip gin
  • Boob fondling by candlelight
  • $0.46 for a gallon of gas

Hair Band Horror: Rocktober Blood

The combined popularity of MTV and slasher movies gave birth to a horror subgenre exclusive to the 1980s, Hair Band Horror. I’ll be discussing a few of these movies this month, beginning with the aptly titled Rocktober Blood.

The movie opens at a recording session, where Billy Eye, lead singer (and lead asshole) of the band Rocktober Blood is laying down the his vocal track. Try to ignore the fact that the lyrics to the song summarize the movie’s plot line. He leaves the studio for two minutes and returns with a pair of aviator sunglasses and the impulse to kill everyone in sight. Billy is about to kill Lynn, the band’s backup vocalist, when he is interrupted by a security guard.

Billy has the best rock scream in the biz.

Fast forward two years. Billy has been executed for the murders of 25 people, although we saw him only kill two. The remaining members of the band reunite under the new name Head Mistress. Lynn, whose testimonial sent Billy to the chair, has taken over duties as lead singer. The other band members (played by real metal band, Sorcery) are unimportant. They get very little screen time, except for Frankie whose apparent role is to wear a Halloween mask and do a pantomime/breakdancing routine.

Frankie the Mime
I’ll never get tired of that trapped-in-the-box gag.

Head Mistress is about to kick off a world tour, when Lynn has a run in with a guy who looks a lot like Billy Eye. Convinced that Billy isn’t dead, she gets some friends to help dig up his grave. Billy’s flesh has completely rotted away, but his eyeballs are perfectly intact and floating in the sockets. The prop guy wanted to remind you that Billy was a rock star, so he wrapped a bandanna around his bleached white skull.

Worm Food
Live fast, die young, and leave a good looking corpse.

If there’s one thing Billy likes more than killing, it’s taking the stairs. The director subjects us to an excessive amount of close up shots on Billy’s boots as he walks up and down step after step.

Boot-Step Compilation

During a concert, Billy sneaks on to the stage wearing Frankie’s mask. The band isn’t phased when “Frankie” grabs the mic and starts singing exactly like Billy Eye. During the performance, Billy kills some chicks who are chained to the stage and tosses their internal organs and a severed head into the crowd. This also fails to alarm anyone. Once Billy reveals himself, band manager Chris breaks the neck of a spare guitar over Billy’s shoulder. Billy manages to finish his song even though he is being electrocuted (by an unplugged guitar?) and bleeding profusely from the forehead and ears.

El Kabong!

Reasons to Watch:

  • Pinball
  • Naked hot tub
  • Naked bath tub
  • On stage nipple slips
  • Rick Righteous
  • Menstrual blood crank call
  • Iron to the throat
  • Weak plot twist
  • Microphone disembowelment