Director: John Fasano
Cast: Jon Mikl Thor, Jillian Peri, Frank Dietz
Production Company: Thunder Films Inc.
Runtime: 84 minutes
People turn to movies for reasons that range from emotional engagement to deep understanding. Movies can touch your heart and stimulate your mind. Rock ‘n’ Roll Nightmare (1987) isn’t about any of that. It’s about having fun, and that’s noble enough for me.
In the movie, a rock band moves into an old farmhouse with a recording studio in the barn. They want to focus on rehearsals, and writing new music for an upcoming album. Their plans are soon overturned by strange supernatural creatures that desire their total destruction.
Rock ‘n’ Roll Nightmare is a Canadian horror movie that was filmed, and firmly set, in the 1980s. The wardrobe is totally tubular, and makes this movie a time capsule of 80s extravagance. This film has a similar feel to Class of Nuke ‘Em High (1986) or any other early Troma movie.
There’s lots of sex and rock ‘n’ roll in the film, but not much in the way of drugs. There’s some beer drinking, but that’s about it. You may feel like you’re on drugs during certain segments of the film, so there’s that at least. Thankfully, violence fills the void left behind by the lack of stimulants!
The makeup effects, and the creatures created for this film are very cool. There are some really gnarly face masks, and some radical puppets that are grody to the max! Treat this movie like a music video from that same time period. It won’t make a lot of sense, but it is entertaining.
The movie bounces back and forth between heavy metal music videos, and sexual encounters among members of the band. Just when you think you understand the flow of the movie, things change in a most unexpected way. You will not see the twist ending coming! Mostly because it goes somewhere completely illogical. That’s okay. It’s still awesome…
You have to just go with this movie, and throw logic to the wind. Don’t worry about why things are happening, and simply enjoy the events as they unfold. It’s a wild roller coaster ride with lots of twists and turns to thrill and amaze you.
John Mikl Thor plays John Triton in the movie, and deserves a lot of credit for making it so excellent. Thor is a rock singer who uses theatrics and costumes to create a grandiose persona, like so many other 70s performers. Recently, a documentary emerged about his life as a musician and body-builder entitled, I Am Thor (2015). I strongly recommend you watch this documentary.
If you liked Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959) or Troll 2 (1990), you’ll love this movie. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying this movie is so bad that it’s good. I’m saying that like those other films, Rock ‘n’ Roll Nightmare is wildly entertaining and worth watching.
– John Migliore
For more information on the film, check out the links below…