I pose a question to you, dear readers: What comes to mind when you hear the name Thor? For many of you I’m sure images of a mighty hammer wielding warrior battling all manner of fantastic villains and creatures fill your heads, brought to vivid life from the pencils of master illustrators such as Jack Kirby or Walt Simonson. For me though, no such mythological adventures can trespass into my psyche, forced out as they are by a different set of images. Hairspray addicted metal warriors wielding electric guitars, instead of a mighty stone hammer, dance across my subconscious, garbed in neon spandex and shirts that are just a tad on the small side. Why do these phantasms vex ol’ Th1rte3n so? There is but one answer my friend…The 1987 masterpiece of horror Rock N’ Roll Nightmare!
When last we spoke, I recounted my dealings with the nefarious Hard Rock Zombies, and much like that film, Rock n’ Roll Nightmare concerns a group of heavy metal warriors encountering the supernatural, but that is where the similarities end.
Our tale begins with a woman getting eaten by a stove, and really why wouldn’t it? This is followed by a minimum of ten dialogue-less minutes devoted to a van. This sweet chariot proceeds to cruise around accompanied by a symphony of metal provided by our heroes, The Tritons who are lead by none other than Canadian metal legend Jon Mikl Thor who has a propensity to wear shiny shirts that are two-sizes smaller than he requires. After what seems an eternity, the band arrives at an isolated farmhouse (the same house with the mom chomping stove). Upon exiting the band, Thor gives a speech that seems to be included in the film for the sole purpose of getting a tax break from the Canadian government’s tourism division, before being met by the farm’s name-dropping creepy handyman. As we learn the farm contains a state of the art recording facility, as all rural farms do, and that The Tritons are there to reignite their creative spark. But, alas, the farm is located right next door to Hell! Over the next 83 minutes, we are treated to three separate scenes of characters doing dishes, an accent that seems to come and go at will, questionably shaped puppets, unbelievable amounts of product placement (I could go for a nice, cold Coke right about now…),an actress that committed to a nude scene and changes her mind half way through at a “secluded” lake twenty feet from the house, and multiple musical numbers, all of which transpire as the band is picked off one by one by the supernatural entities that call the farm home.
And then there’s the finale. Thor, as the last survivor of the Tritons, goes head to head with Satan himself. In an amazing twist, Thor reveals his true identity as an archangel, which in and of itself would be out of left field, but the visuals of his archangel attire overshadow any revelations the movie could make. Hair sprayed and teased to the max, eyes encircled by a miasma of mascara, wearing only a cape and studded codpiece Thor proceeds to do battle with rubber starfish (that are clearly thrown to him) before engaging the dark lord in stiffly choreographed battle.
This film is, all joking aside, an incredibly enjoyable film. While technically inept on some levels, the film has its heart in the right place, and is the type of film that can make a movie night something to remember. The film is available in an excellent special edition, loaded with extras, from Synapse and can be purchased right here!