Wicked Wednesday: Rock ‘n’ Roll Nightmare (1987)

After finishing my viewing of Uninvited last week, I told my husband that there was no way I’d be able to top that delightful film. But by pure chance, I randomly chose the majestic greatness that is Rock ‘n’ Roll Nightmare. And the mission was accomplished.

A few months back, I watched the 80s satanic panic film Black Roses directed by John Fasano. It was a pretty fun movie. Demonic metal bands? What more could you want? But turns out Fasano helmed an even more crazy (and wonderful) film.

Rock ‘n’ Roll Nightmare (titled The Edge of Hell here in the UK) is a perfect storm of bad movie tropes: puppets made at a child’s craft time, a lead actor who is both a bodybuilding champion AND a heavy metal singer, great cheesy songs, questionable fake accents, wild twists that make no sense, and lots and lots of man butt. Everything you could ask for.

When metal band Triton and their partners arrive at a Canadian farmhouse in the countryside, they’re less than impressed with that they find. But their manager is insistent that it’s the perfect place to practice and prepare for their next album. It’s the seclusion they need for creativity.

Triton seem to at the farm for a few minutes before they start getting killed off by demons. Some are baby cyclopses others are in the form of ladies who have the special ability to grow a mouthful of fangs. Plus a demon in the oven!

Eventually (spoiler), only lead singer John is left. He’s seemingly the only person immune to the demon’s tricks. But he’s forced to acknowledge it when it appears in its true form of Beelzebub in front of him. But – what’s that? John is INTERCESSORRRRRR! – an archangel. Finally facing each other, a final battle between good and evil ensues.

Oh, and second plot twist: John’s bandmates were just visions of people. Because why not? You’d think demons would be able to tell the difference, but I guess I never thought to ask one.

This movie tickled me so much. No, this is not a well-made movie. The plot is fairly nonsensical and was seemingly written in a stream of conciseness. But it is wildly entertaining and great for a laugh. It might have one of the best ending fight scenes ever for a movie that I wasn’t expecting should have an ending fight scene. This is the type of movie that I will be telling everyone to watch.

In fact, I was so taken with this movie that I immediately watched the documentary I am Thor, which follows actor/bodybuilder/screenwriter/musician/cult hero Jon Milk Thor’s comeback in the mid-2010s. Admittedly, I thought the documentary lost steam about halfway through, but it was fascinating to learn about this magnetic frontman.

Rock ‘n’ Roll Nightmare was such a bright spot this week. If you adore cheesy movies, you must watch (or rewatch) it soon.

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