I’m sure many of you are aware of my continuing quest to find the Greatest/worst movie ever put on film. Like Indiana Jones searching for the Lost Ark, I’m seeking that which cannot be viewed. I’m convinced that looking directly at the movie may cause my face to melt off. A weapon such as this cannot fall into Nazi hands or those of a big movie studio, as a remake would surely bring about the end of the world. I’ve only just discovered that I’m digging in the right spot when I unearthed little treasures like “Gymkata”, “Starcrash”, and recently “Troll 2.” “Troll 2” set the bar pretty low, and I thought no other filmmaker would dare match its level of awfulness. It’s like a late 70’s bloated Elvis of bad movies: tacky and greasy, yet still highly entertaining. Well, Elvis, put down that side of ham because here come the Beatles…in the form of a little piece of cinema excrement called “Hard Rock Zombies”, the most vile, horrible excuse for a film to be burned into my retinas. It’s just the sort of movie you want to take a shower after watching from the greasy stain it leaves on your soul. It’s the devil’s armpit of filmmaking for which no wipe-on deodorant could ever mask its vile odor, and yet it’s one of the most entertaining bad films I’ve ever seen.
The film revolves around an un-named rock band, which is preparing for stardom. They have a plan and a van, and that’s all any hard rockin’ musicians with big hair ever really need. After a hard rockin’ night at their big concert, to which maybe a total of 10 people showed, including the trashy groupies, they head to the small, hick town of Grand Guignol. They plan to have another fan-lite concert, despite the warnings of a bushy-eyebrowed under-age girl who has a crush on the lead singer. Along the way they encounter a somewhat limber and very trashy hitchhiker, who just recently offed some guys in a Firebird (deservingly so, just for being “those guys in a Firebird”). She convinces the band into staying at her family mansion near the edge of town instead of a hotel, making the killing that much more convenient. Sort of like Chili’s Car-side to go…of death.
The inhabitants consist of mutant dwarfs, a snuff photographer in a leisure suit, a crazy grandfather who is actually Hitler in disguise, and a werewolf grandma in a wheelchair. By today’s standards, a pretty normal suburban family. The townsfolk aren’t as upset with the Manson family living down the street as they are with having a big hair band in their quiet town, especially one that rides skateboards and do the rope mime act. These are acts punishable by up to a whole day in a makeshift barn jail, according to town law. After making “bale”– which was probably paid in bottle returns–the rockers are killed-off one-by-one and buried in shallow graves in the backyard of the mansion. Cassie, the bushy-eyebrowed jailbait mourns their loss and plays a recording of one of their songs next to their graves. The side-effect is its power to bring them back from the dead. I’ve known songs by Wham that could slowly and painfully kill people, but not resurrect them.
The zombified band, now looking like the members of Kiss, goes on a revenge spree at the mansion, killing all the residents in various horrific ways and still finding time to put on a concert later that night. The victims then return from the dead as blood-thirsty zombies and proceed to attack the nearby townsfolk. It’s the standard Amway pyramid scheme of zombification. Some of the survivors in town decide the best defense is to hide behind giant cut-outs of famous people like Marilyn Monroe and Elvis, while sneaking through the zombie-infested streets. Not surprisingly, the Union picket line fails and they’re eaten alive. Great plan, people. The back-up plan is much better, which is to offer up Cassie as a virgin sacrifice to the undead on a nearby mountain. Ron, the one surviving member of the band, convinces his zombified friends to help rescue Cassie, and lures them into a Nazi-approved gas chamber via some of their hard-rocking Gregorian hits. Portable amps and long extension cords must be a-plenty in this town.
Definitely a must-see for you bad B-movie fans out there. The only film to include both Hitler and a werewolf grandma in a wheelchair. Now that’s something you won’t see on the History Channel.
Keep an eye out for...
- homocidal swimming lessons
- grandma werewolves in wheelchairs
- Nazi weed-wacking
- Amish barn prisons
- Resurrected flies and spiders
- Zombie music auditions
- Das Fuhrer of the undead
- Self eating mutant Nazi dwarfs
- Extreme eyebrows
- Record smashin’
- Multiple neck chompings
“Raise the dead for what?” “Probably to mop your floors and paint your house.”
rated 9.4 out of 10 for the movie
Check out the trailer for Hard Rock Zombies