98 min., 1985
Written by David Ball/Krishna Shah
Directed by Krishna Shah
My rating: ★★★
Mutant Midget Nazi Zombies! Need I say more?
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The movie starts with some cheesy rock music playing and a hitchhiker gets picked up by a guy. The hitchhiker then decides to go skinny dipping and convinces her driver to join. While in the water she ends up drowning him (but somehow blood starts coming from under the water) and her and three others mock the dead person. We then switch to a band, , who are performing. After the performance they go backstage where they are talking about groupies and the like. Lead singer Jessie (E.J. Curcio) is pretty much done with the whole stardom thing so he decides to leave backstage. While leaving he meets a girl named Cassie (Jennifer Coe) who forewarns him to not do his next gig in her hometown. The band ends up going anyway and once they get there (and after a music video montage) they are already in trouble and tossed in jail. The town doesn’t look very kindly toward rock music and they try their hardest to stop them from playing. After getting out of jail Jessie talks with Cassie again and they start to form a connection, but she warns him again. The band ends up staying with the same hitchhiker that was show earlier in the movie and her family. All of them seem to be a bit off kilter, but amongst them is a midget (or dwarf, correct me if I’m wrong) named Mickey (Phil Fondacaro), Elsa (Lisa Toothman) who is an older woman that can turn into a werewolf, and an old man (Jack Bliesener) that has a strange reveal in the middle of the movie. As the band practices they are almost killed by being electrocuted, but after that they are actually killed. Can the song that Jesse was working earlier, that kept bringing a spider back to life, bring the band back to life?
What can I say about the acting in this movie beside stiff? Throughout the whole movie it seems to have a vibe of parody. There are numerous scenes where the movie isn’t taking itself serious, but most of the actors seem to not let go and have fun. It’s like they thought that a movie called Hard Rock Zombies was going to launch them into stardom. Now E.J. Curcio is one of the few that actually seemed to get what was going on. When his character was supposed to be serious, he tried with all his might, then it came to the band performing and he had no problem playing that straight, but then came his zombie form (which was just silly) and he seemed to have some fun with it. Now Jennifer Coe was one of the strangest actors in the movie. She always looked like she was going to cry or it was like she had something to hide. I could never trust her and I just don’t know why. My favorite had to be Jack Bliesener who played the old man. He was really funny and then he made his change and holy shit it was even funnier. He took his role on with complete conviction and he seemed to have a blast with it. One of the best this bizarre movie has to offer.
The effects of the movie are just terrible, but then again I really don’t think that they were really going for anything great. The zombie makeup was a joke, the bizarre mutant midget’s makeup was extremely cheap (to the point that he really wasn’t able to do anything but stand around), and all of the kills are pretty much done entirely off screen. Now as terrible as the effects are they still seems to fit. The whole movie seems to be a giant circus of freaks that had nothing better to do for the weekend. So terrible effects in this movie are okay in my book, because the whole movie has that feel of terrible for the sake of having fun and that’s exactly what you should expect.
Why do I love this movie as much as I do? I could easily say that I don’t know, but then I’d be lying to you and I can’t do that. Is it the acting? The terrible effects? The fact that there are mutant midget Nazi zombies? Actually it’s all of that and more. Now I could sit here and lie to you all day telling you that if you look past the bad acting, terrible effects and strange story you will find a truly great movie. But the fact is that this movie is just bizarre and that’s why I love it. There are so may strange things that happen and most of the time they don’t even bother to explain anything to you. You are just forced to sit there and watch this train wreck of a movie unfold, then refold, then twist and turn and eventually take a dump on you and there is really nothing you can do about it. Of course you can turn it off, but there is a side of most people that what to know exactly what is going on and how much further they will go. This is one of the strangest movies that I have ever seen and I won’t lie to you. Most people will hate it, ignore it and play Plants Versus Zombies (ha ha ha) or turn it off after the second music number that you are assaulted with, but if you can stick it out you will be surprised by what you watch (and not really in a good way). I just hope that at some point and time a DVD distribution company will recognize the genius (okay that’s really a lie) behind this movie and we can finally get a cleaned up version of it instead of the bad VHS transfer that is available. Lastly Cassie’s Song is really an awesome song.Have You Read...?