Hard Rock Zombies
Reviewed by Jason Coffman
Rating: 10 Beans
t has been some time since I saw a movie that had my jaw dropped wide open in disbelief of what was happening on-screen for nearly a full half hour. It takes a very special film to do that. The last was probably "Breakin' 2," which held me in that magical state for its entire running time. The most recent film to completely floor me is "Hard Rock Zombies."
There's this band, see, and they have a show scheduled in a town called Grand Guignol (get it?). Some of the residents of the town don't want them playing there, because they play hard rock music. One concerned citizen tells the city council that "(rock musicians) can't play a note unless they eat drugs first!" How did they get a show scheduled in this town? What is the name of the band? Who cares? Eventually, the band is killed by a mock-"Texas Chainsaw Massacre" family and return from the dead to claim vengeance.
For the first ten minutes or so, chances are you'll be saying to yourself "What the hell?" over and over again, completely flabbergasted. It's amazing. Not five minutes in, this guy takes pictures of a woman drowning two guys in a lake while a couple of dwarves (one of them horribly misshapen and obviously plastic) run around his legs. I am not making this up. This is the most bizarre movie I have seen in a good long while. Only Peter Jackson's "Dead Alive" has a more labyrinthine plot, but only because that plot makes sense when you think about it. Plus, the romantic subplot of this film is characterized by lines such as "You're neat."
I don't want to talk about much that happens in the film except to say that you will be surprised. I personally guarantee it. "Hard Rock Zombies" is a classic of terrible American cinema of the mid-1980s. It features hard rock, zombies, and a Nazi plot that comes completely out of nowhere. In fact, if you're not watching and listening very closely, you may miss its entrance into the action of the film entirely.
"Hard Rock Zombies" is more than highly recommended. It shouldn't even exist. It is a crime against nature. But it's also one of the best terrible movies I have ever seen, mixing inept filmmaking, terrible music, and a seemingly random system of editing that makes long stretches of the film truly surrealistic. Not to be missed at any cost.
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