98 min., 1986
Written by Rhet Topham/Michael S. Murphey/Joel Soisson
Directed by Charles Martin Smith
My rating: ★★★
I forgot how much fun (and lame) this movie is.
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Eddie Weinbauer (Marc Price) is a young high school metal head who is constantly picked on at school, especially by Tim (Doug Savant), and the girl of his dreams, Leslie (Lisa Orgolini) doesn’t even know that he exists, but when he gets home metal music is his only real escape. After a really bad day at school he finds out that his metal god, Sammi Gurr (Tony Fields) has just died in a hotel fire. He gets really depressed and goes to the local radio station where his friend, Nuke (Gene Simmons) the DJ, works. Nuke hands him the last demo that was made by Sammi Gurr and tells him that he is going to play it at midnight on Halloween. Nuke gives him the original since he already made a copy for himself. Eddie goes home and listens to it until he hears some strange sounds. He decides to play it backwards and he hears Sammi talking to him about getting back at the people who have been treating him bad. It works great, but then Sammi starts doing things that are a bit too much for Eddie, but Sammi doesn’t want to stop.
The big surprise to me was the acting on the part of Marc Price. He does a great job throughout the movie. My favorite is where he is freaking out over what Sammi is doing and then he has to switch to perfectly calm and happy child when talking to his mother, Angie (Elaine Joyce). He does it so well that I almost have to laugh at how many times I had to do the same type of switch-a-roo with my parents. Doug Savant plays a great high school bully that makes me think back to the days of high school and having to deal with the same types of kids. Just some really good acting all-round.
The effects are what you should expect from 1986. Does it make them bad? Well, yeah it really does. Okay, so they aren’t that bad. Then again they didn’t try for too many hard effects and went for a lot of little ones. The makeup effects for Sammi are pretty good when they are kept mostly in the shadows, but when it’s shown in full view, it really looks silly. Most of the other effects are just simple electric bolts and electricity affecting Sammi, so you are going to get exactly what you expect.
So why do I like this movie as much as I do? Because I’m a big metal head myself. Was I very obsessed like Eddie? No, but having to deal with other kids who would pick on me for liking metal and wanting like hell to get back at them, is something that I actually connected with. Did I ever get any form of revenge like Eddie does (and I’m not talking about the “demon” aspect)? Nope. I took my punches, went about my day and let the metal “heal” my wounds. But seeing someone get back at their bullies is very satisfying (at least for me) to see. Other than that, the movie is just okay. Nothing really special, but at the same time, nothing really terrible (okay maybe terrible). Watch at your own risk. Also, keep your eyes peeled for Ozzy Osbourne appearing as Rev. Gilstrom. It’s priceless.Have You Read...?