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Tagline: Their beat and music knocked them dead!!
Year: 1985 Runtime: 81 min
Director: Mats Helge (as Mike Jackson)
Writer: Mats Helge (as Mike Jackson) & Anna Wolf
Starring: Jeff Harding, Michael Fitzpatrick, Naomi Kaneda
When will stupid kids learn, huh? Hopefully never, right? If teenagers/twenty-somethings ever got a clue it would absolutely devastate the horror genre. What the genre can do without is the perpetuation of the stereotype of the violent drunk hillbilly that lives down by the rail road tracks. I mean, everyone comes from a family of 6 + young ‘uns. And yeah, Pa likes him some drinkin’, and fightin’, but when Ma comes out of the coma Pa gives her some sweet lovin’. It ain’t all bad.
So, just ‘cos yer Ma dun killed yer Pa after that one fight where he tried to slit her throat, that don’t mean you’re gonna end up hiding from society for 40 years in an abandoned factory. Come on, Sweden (where the film was made), it’s 2013 for Christ’s sake. Can’t we all just get along? You know, like back WWII when the Nazi’s came with all that gold. And even though this film came out in 1985… well, erhm…
So, 40 years later along comes this band, Solid Gold, with their spandex pants, leopard print shirts, lace bandanas, and big Aqua Net™ hair and an entourage of bimbos looking for a place to shoot their next video. We’re talking 80’s Hair Metal, so what could possibly be better than at a desolate mountain cabin? A desolate mountain cabin with a condemned factory within walking distance—that just happens to be home to a mess of Oberen Schweizer Alpen Mountain Folk, or Play-Doh Faced Hillbillies™ in the common vernacular.
Confronted with sinners and heathens of this magnitude what’s a mess of Play-Doh Faced Hillbillies™ to do? Kill ‘em all, of course!
Quick Explanatory Note: I call them Play-Doh Faced Hillbillies™ because they all look like they’ve been caked with Play-Doh. One has a Neanderthal brow, one looks like like Freddy Krueger, another looks like a pepperoni pizza, and one looks like Ben Grimm. Funny thing is they all start off looking normal; grimy, but normal. As the movie progresses they get worse, which is strange because the movie takes place over one day.
The story plays out like this: There’s the obligatory video shoot, which makes for the LAMEST. VIDEO. EVAR. Even for Swede Glam Rock. There’s an avalanche, which cuts the shoot short. Then some gratuitous partying and hanging out. Another avalanche, which cuts a backseat jam session short. Then dinner is served. At this point, just like the audience, Dave, the sound guy, gets bored with the filler. He decides to prod along the plot by going out to capture some of the sounds of the avalanche. Hours AFTER they’ve happened. In the spooky, abandoned factory. In the dark. Without a flashlight.
Guess what happens?
Good thing his girl follows. Well, not so good for him, but good for the tape deck he’s carrying. That was some expensive equipment. Plus it’s an important plot device. When they play back the recording they hear him being attacked. This rallies the troops to mount a rescue. Considering the quality of the men in the posse, I think he would be better off if the bimbos went looking for him.
One bimbo and Kee Marcello (yes, famed guitarist of Europe) are too busy making out to keep up with the search party. I can’t blame them it was only the sound guy, but because of this guess who life is on The Final Countdown? It’s sad because the bimbo dies before her time. By “her time” I mean before she got naked. She does die via an elaborate trap, something similar to Rube Goldberg machines the villains used against Batman and Robin in the 60’s TV series. I couldn’t quite make it out though. Something with a rope, pulleys, and a couple 50 gallon barrels. It splattered blood all over Bob the director’s face (and ONLY his face) so it must have been sweet!
The murders continue on the the usual slasher-hunting-down-the-idiot-kids-one-at-a-time way. Because of the size of the band (five members), the groupies (six bimbos), the hair dresser, and the film crew (three: director, camera man and sound man), there were lots of death scenes. Unfortunately the film was lit by a couple bic lighters, so you have to use your imagination. From the moans and groans it sounded like the victims were passing kidney stones. Having suffered through them myself, all I can say is, “Yee-ouch!”
During all this hilarity, the “real” rescue team can’t make it out to the cabin. Hero Guy, Steve or Bob or Fred—I get them confused because they all had unbelievable names—has to go through all kinds of hell to track down a snowmobile, which I guess is a rare in Sweden in the winter. Even more so when there’s an emergency. Thing is, the roads he takes on the snowmobile would easily have allowed for a bigger vehicle. What’s more there’s no storm, so visibility is good. Plus there’s no cross winds to thwart the choppa, so there’s no reason why he couldn’t just fly up. Oh. Right. It’s not in the script. Well, at least not until everyone who needs to die is dead.
At the climax Elder Brother (hillbilly) pleads with the kidnapped bimbos to stop all the killing. Uhm, up to this point it was your crazy family, which you admitted were animals, who were doing all the killings. Maybe you should take this up with them, hoss.
Finally there’s the unnecessary injustice. Hero Guy blows off Elder Brother’s arm. Elder Brother was just grabbing Final Girl’s ankle from under the stairs ‘cos he didn’t want her to go off without her cross necklace. Sheesh! Overreact much?
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Watch the trailer for “Blood Tracks”