Horror Movies and Heavy Metal: Hard Rock Zombies

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Horror may be the only film genre where bad movies are just as beloved as the good ones.

Hard Rock Zombies

Rock and Roll will never die.

Oh sure, there’s a few terrible Sci-Fi movies out there that are loved (thanks to Mystery Science Theater 3000), but not on the same level as horror. Genres like romance, western, war, thriller and the like don’t have the same affinity for terrible movies. Why horror? I suppose if you like the genre, you already have a bit of a warped sense of humor as compared to the mainstream. Of course, it’s important to know the difference between “it’s so bad, it’s good” and “it’s so bad I want to pull my eyeballs out with an ice cream scoop”.

Hard Rock Zombies is a 1985 zombie movie E.J. Curse (Bones, Rules of Engagement) as Jessie, the lead singer of an up-and-coming hair metal band. The band travels to the small coastal town of Grand Guignol to play a concert for a record producer. Along the way, they pick up a beautiful hitchhiker named Elsa (Eyes of the Serpent, Molested) who invites them to stay at her family’s mansion. The family consists of Elsa, her elderly grandparents, her brother (it’s not clear), a groundskeeper, and two “little people”, one with an eye patch and one suffering some sort of unexplained deformity. Unbeknownst to the band, Elsa recently drowned two men while her family members watched with glee. While in town, the band’s antics, which includes skateboarding and miming (seriously), raises the ire of the locals. Enraged by these events, the town bans the band from playing. Meanwhile, Jessie starts to fall for a young girl of indeterminate age from town named Cassie (Jennifer Coe) who had originally warned him not to come to Grand Guignol. Instead of playing in town, the band performs at the mansion for the sadistic family. The band is electrocuted mid-set, but survives. Later that night, the family murders each member of the band, leaving only their manager alive who was in town trying to secure a venue for the band. When he returns, the grandfather reveals himself to actually be Hitler (yes, really) who is still bent on world destruction. Cassie resurrects the band, turning them into the living dead, who quickly gain revenge on the murderous Nazi family. Unfortunately, the family is also turned into zombies who begin to wreak havoc on the townspeople. How will the hard rock zombies be able to stop the zombie Nazis and what will happen when the record producer comes to see their show?

hrz4

Y-M-C-BRAAAAAIIINNNNSSSSS!

Does that sound like a good movie to you? No. Of course not. Does it sound like a movie “so bad, it’s good”. Don’t say “yes” because it wasn’t. The entire film is a comedy of errors. From a technical standpoint, many scenes are too dark, the music is occasionally so loud that it drowns out dialogue, mics creep into shots, the inexplicable scenes of the band cavorting around town like extras from a Dexys Midnight Runners video and the even more inexplicable scenes of Elsa dancing. The exclamation point comes when writer/director Krishna Shah’s (American Drive-In, Shalimar) name is spelled incorrectly in the credits.

hrz2

Yep. That’s a mic at the top of the frame.

Of course, the technical errors can’t even compare to this viral outbreak of story. I wasn’t trying to be lazy or vague in my rundown of the movie above. I genuinely couldn’t remember characters names or even the name of the band. It doesn’t really matter. It’s not like it had much of an impact on the story.

hrz

Not pictured: Story

Speaking of story, I have eight words: who, where, when, why, and what the fuck? With bad horror movies, you can usually see a kernel of a good idea hidden beneath the layers of garbage. I couldn’t find that kernel in Hard Rock Zombies. It’s as if someone had an idea board and threw three darts that happened to land on “zombies” “music” and “Hitler”. And to make things worse, all three of those things are executed poorly.

When the band becomes zombies, the do this herky-jerky walk-dance that looks like a cross between The Robot and rigor mortis setting in. And they can still do normal everyday things like drive and play their instruments. Sure. Why not? In terms of music, “hard rock” is a huge misnomer. The band’s songs are the musical equivalent of marshmallows. Yeah, it’s catchy, but so is the flu. And Hitler? This came from out of nowhere and managed to make a story about musician zombies even stupider. And why did he reveal himself? And what’s the deal with the deformed little person? And is Eva Braun a werewolf or does she just wear a werewolf mask? Nothing is particularly clear and just when you think things get weirder, things get weirder. All of this makes me want to curl up in a ball under the kitchen table, eating nothing but sugar packets until my arteries caramelize.

hrz1

Sadly, the Hair Metal Helmet never took off.

One would think that the basis of the movie would be the band gaining revenge on the family. That makes sense, right? Well, making sense took a vacation with this movie. The family is killed in less than ten minutes of the bands’ demise. Why not have that be the rest of the film? Maybe you think I’m being too hard on this movie, but you didn’t have to sit through it. I’m definitely stupider for having done so. If it was supposed to be a straight horror film, it failed. If it was supposed to be a comedy film, it failed.

People that like this movie dress up their kids as Ash from Army of Darkness. People that like this movie then tweet those pictures to Bruce Campbell for his approval. People that like this movie see nothing wrong with the insanity of the “ghost rape” storyline in American Horror Story. People that like this movie invite dates over to watch Human Centipede. People that like this movie get hot dogs at the movie theater. People that like this movie use the bathroom stall next to you even though there’s a bunch open. People that like this movie own a “Keep Calm” shirt. People that like this movie take a full shopping cart to the self-checkout line. People that like this movie use Uber just because it’s raining. People that like this movie really want you to read Ron Paul’s books. People that like this movie get lunch from Dunkin Donuts every day.

(If any of that offended you, please leave lots of rage comments and post a link to this review everywhere. We get more hits that way.)

hrz3

“Ssssssssmmmoooookin!”

The story is bad, the acting is bad, the humor is bad, and the music is bad. What I’m really trying to say is that Hard Rock Zombies is bad and now I feel bad for having watched it. It’s not bad in a good way. It’s just plain bad.

Hard Rock Zombies is available in it’s entirety on Youtube (but you shouldn’t watch it).

  • Edward Meehan

    I would like to be able to watch a few films from this series, these (the reviews) have all been very interesting so far.

    • All three I’ve done so far are on Youtube. I’ve even provided links to them at the bottom of each review 😉

  • This is becoming one of my favorite segments. Also, died at “not pictured: story.”

    • Y-M-C-BRAIIIINS destroyed me

      • Janitor Jim Dvggan

        I died at that line as well.

  • That 2nd to last paragraph is one of the most SAVAGE things I’ve ever read. FUCK.

    • “People that like this movie get hot dogs at the movie theater”

      …Dammit.

    • Read it while this plays in the background for maximum effect.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5RimEGS5XCs

      • crazytaco_12

        Yeah dude, had that same “this is just fucking bad” experience with “The Gingerdead Man” and “House at the Edge of the Park”. Mind you, I was sort of asking for it with the Gingerdead Man.

    • Rarely does one see such malicious vitriol in so few words

    • Janitor Jim Dvggan

      If you think that’s savage you should read my review of the Motley Crue self titled album from 20 years ago. The singer on the album John Corabi is going to be doing a 20th anniversary show for the album at the venue near me. I am going to go because I want to hope the songs are better live.

  • Tyree

    I’ve never heard of this movie. I’m very much intrigued by the cheese factor though.

  • Tyree
    • Me 20 seconds ago: “haha, gore is funny, I love when people’s arms and legs and stuff get chopped off, this will be fun!”

      I quit at 17 seconds, can’t do it

    • frozengoatsheadupanunsarse

      I recognised a surprisingly poor few of those. Gives me a great yen to stick Ichi the Killer on after my curry (mmmm, Goan fish!!!) though. Love that film, gets the balance of comedy splatter and wince making sadism just queasily perfect and the psychosexual substance underneath all the surface shock is just as twisted and interesting/fun. Maybe my second fave Miike after Dead or Alive 2.

  • Beunhaas

    That was really funny. I needed that.

    https://i.chzbgr.com/maxW500/8346929920/h269ED825/

  • Rebecca Blvck

    Not as good as my single “Friday”! But pretty good!

  • Howard Dean

    Just on the screencaps alone, this movie seems like it has a very “Manos: The Hands of Fate” amateurism and shittiness to it.

    • It’s pretty close. I think Manos has it beaten by a hair. Mostly because of the little girl’s creepily dubbed voice.

      • frozengoatsheadupanunsarse

        Manos is also a solid 8/10.

  • Death

    Bad horror movies are something that I can watch without shitting myself.
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=cdTBIQDPZt4

  • CyberneticOrganism

    Ha ha ha ha what a header image

  • Tyree
    • That’s a BANGER.

      • i’d like to BANGER her… if you catch my drift.

        • CyberneticOrganism

          You want to sausage her?

          Oh I get it.

          • Tyree

            Bacon up that sausage son.

          • CyberneticOrganism

            *wraps bacon on genitals*

          • now THAT’s what i call bangers ‘n mash.

          • DRAW THY SWORD

          • CyberneticOrganism

            BACON THY SWORD

          • FEEL AS THE GREASE DRIPS DOWN YOUR LONG BLADE AND OTHERS GLARE IN JEALOUSY

          • we bacon weave a bacon dream

    • Janitor Jim Dvggan

      This woman is attractive. She’s not as attractive as this person who I saw who works at the Men’s Wearhouse in my mall. I didn’t really have a chance to talk to her but I know I should have. I couldn’t tell if it was my friend who worked at the bigger Men’s Wearhouse across from the mall. It probably wasn’t.

      • So the attractive chick you saw at the Men’s Wearhouse could potentially be a friend of yours?

        • Stephen Colbert’s Publicist

          It’s not her. I would have commented from my other account but it got blocked for some reason.

          • Not sure if that’s a good or bad thing, but I still say you should go say hi to her and make like you’re looking at suits.

          • Stephen Colbert’s Publicist

            I would have but I left soon after I saw her and forgot to say hi. I had something I had to do and I couldn’t be late to it.

          • Damn, missed opportunity, but there are more out there!!

  • “People that like this movie own a “Keep Calm” shirt.”
    but… but… i think you offended the bro’s over at BDubs who are wearing Chive shirts.

    • CyberneticOrganism

      CHIVE ON, BRO!
      *slaps chive sticker on F-150*
      *starts fight at Tilted Kilt*

      • Kinda wanna start a blog war with the Chive.

        • I think we trolled the Chive once or twice..

          • All in good fun. But I want WAR.

          • WE WILL PILLAGE THEIR HOMES AND SUBSEQUENTLY BURN THEM TO THE GROUND.

            http://www.mwctoys.com/images/review_berserker_large.jpg

          • We should plan out an attack soon, another coordinated effort. That shit was fuuuuuuuun.

          • Cock ov Steele

            Also the Daily Caller trolling, I think someone needs to make a Stephen Colbert novelty account for maximum lolbuttz.

          • Daily Caller trolling was great! I wish I had links to all of the trollposts.

          • Cock ov Steele

            The Coal Roll and Obamaque trollings still give me a good laugh.

          • Janitor Jim Dvggan

            I shall do that.

          • Stephen Colbert’s Publicist

            You called? I told you that I went ahead and did it.

          • Janitor Jim Dvggan

            Count me in. I retooled my other Disqus for this attack. The name of it is now Stephen Colbert’s Publicist.

          • KJM

            I must, at least, witness this bloodbath.

        • their comments section… it’s kinda like BDubs Bros, but authentic.
          perfect for a good coal rollin’

          • Cock ov Steele

            It’s a perfect breeding ground for those who can’t think of clever responses beyond “Yeah well, ur gay”

          • OMG, I FUCKIN’ LOVE BILL MURRAY DUDE. AND BACON? HAVE YOU EVER HAD BACON?

          • Cock ov Steele

            DUDE LIKE CROSSFIT MAN, DO YOU EVEN WOD?

          • Cock ov Steele

            They did do a page talking about how awesome Navy Divers are so I can’t hate them too much.

          • yeah, it’s difficult to hate too much on a site with articles titled “girls with future lower back problems”.

        • Gurp

          What the hell IS the Chive? I heard it mentioned over on r/NeckbeardStories, but it just kinda looks like a douchey FunnyJunk.

          • It’s where humor goes to die. Then get drunk and possibly roofie a woman.

          • Gurp

            Ew. So, like the Bro Bible, then.

          • The official Brommunity of the interwebz.

          • JWG

            The repeated use of the word ‘Bro” here makes me think this ‘Chive’ is some sort of a mirror site for BroMyGod. Or at least a part of the same blog network.

            How close am I?

          • do you encounter bro’s on a daily basis with “KEEP CALM AND CHIVE ON” shirts? you’re gonna be real sad when you find out what it is…

          • Gurp

            No, luckily I haven’t seen any of that in real life.

          • oh! also, there’s a Chive brand beer now. if people at the grocery store see you purchasing a six-pack, you get mad respek.

          • Gurp

            Undoubtedly in the same vaunted league as PBR, Natty Light, and Keystone Light.

          • whoa there bub, there’s a few fans of cheap beer in the tarlet

          • Gurp

            Bro, cheap beer is all I get at shows. We know what cheap beer is and what its good for. We don’t revere it like some BDubs Bro trying very hard to be like everyone else.

          • those bros like Bud Light because sports.

          • Gurp

            Exactly. Broful Bros living the Bro dream doing Bro things.

          • Janitor Jim Dvggan

            That sounds fucking stupid. Who would buy beer based on a website?

          • that’s the problem

          • crazytaco_12

            I too am curious…

      • I’ve missed these.

        • CyberneticOrganism

          Halloween Bro episode coming up soon

          • BDubs Bros dressed up as Zoltan and all your favorite FFDP characters!

          • CyberneticOrganism

            *dresses up as buffalo wing*
            *asks girls all night to sample his saucy meat*

          • KJM

            HAHAHAHAHA!!!

          • you just made my day.

          • Gurp

            PLS?

    • Howard Dean

      I feel like this could be a Malevolent Creation shirt.

      http://sd.keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk/i/smoke-meth-and-hail-satan-14.png

  • CyberneticOrganism

    Wait, is this the movie where the guy discovers that bass riff that brings things back to life?

    • Yeah. I didn’t mention it because it seemed kind of minor compared to the rest of the ridiculous things in the movie.

      • CyberneticOrganism

        That guy’s hair brought back the memory randomly

      • IronLawnmower

        Why? That’s probably the dumbest part of the movie. Also the fact that the love interest appears to be 12 years old.

        • A bass line bringing the dead back to life makes far more sense than a 90+ year old Hitler that somehow hasn’t aged casting off his hidden identity for no discernible reason. Or an Eva Braun that may or may not be a werewolf. Or a band playing a showcase in the middle of nowhere in a town that doesn’t want to see them.

          In the grand scheme of things, zombie bass line sounds downright poetic in comparison.

          • CyberneticOrganism

            Well-put, it actually makes the most sense.

  • IronLawnmower

    This is the first of these movies I’ve seen beforehand. I thought it was kinda funny but also completely fucking stupid. You forgot the mention the bass line of raising the dead.

    • CyberneticOrganism

      So it IS that movie with the magic bass riff! I still know how to play that.

      • IronLawnmower

        Go to your local cemetary and play it. Tell us the results if you survive.

        • CyberneticOrganism

          Ok, leaving work now

  • frozengoatsheadupanunsarse

    This movie is so awesome that any attempt to describe it as bad and then itemise said badness only ends up describing how awesome it is. Also, while you probably shouldn’t use either Human Centipede film as date material despite both being great (not first at any rate, not enough romance, go for Nekromantik instead), I once wooed a perfectly lovely girl through discussion of Ed Gein and the delights of vintage rape-revenge exploitation.

    • KJM

      My ex was way into books about Albert Fish.

      • Now that guy was fucked.

        • KJM

          I only heard the highlights from her. That was all I needed.

          • If you feel compelled to make your way further down the rabbit hole known as Netflix, I watched a documentary on there about him… and then the rabbit hole know as Netflix suggestions stole the next 9 hours of my life with more sick and twisted documentaries.

    • crazytaco_12

      Dude, I’m not shitting you, my buddy was talking to a girl online and was on house arrest at the time. First time they meet, she goes to his house (obviously), and he puts on the second August Underground movie. She started crying watching it. Somehow, they’ve been together for like 4 years since.

      • frozengoatsheadupanunsarse

        That’s pretty awesome. I’d never have the stones to go that far on a first meeting but it makes a sort of sense, its always either going to be a quick and painless end to the situation or its an immediate interesting talking point whichever way it goes.

        • crazytaco_12

          Yeah dude, to this day I still wonder how she didn’t just call the cops or book out of the house that night hahaha. Not recommended, but shit, I guess it worked out for my friend

  • Gurp

    I can feel your pain through the screen.

  • KJM

    “People that like this movie really want you to read Ron Paul’s books.”

    You now have a friend in me for life. I was stupid enough to vote for that carny barker back in the 80s, then I grew up.

  • zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    i;m jesus christ!!

    new times…

    gradual rise..of the new beasts

    internet war—911 truth

    stagnation subsides—-a royal internet army—-music for the internet shills/libtard cyber concentration camps/re-education chive farms —-to bring wisdom

    cyber satanic baroque hologram —-king david and theunrighteous and uncounted —towards freedom —

    ————

    (watch/llisten to all 3–full vol)

    http://youtu.be/L1-XdIaSc9U

    http://youtu.be/LLWD2WIvRQk

    http://youtu.be/M0D1YTqlVOI

    • KJM

      Dildonicus Et Saturnum Est!

      Join us…

      • zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

        the saturn dildo cult….the true center of libtardiasm

        watch this eric clapton interview—he can barely sit still—the tension from his removal from his dildo stimuli/”magic suitcase”–is pretty palpable—

        the very act of conversation–an obstacle—so that when the interviewer leaves…clapton can “go to town”—-

        sympathy

        other dildo cult devotees include bill clinton–people are gradually learning

        the saturn dildo cult

        http://youtu.be/5QsfRSC8qn0

        • KJM

          Excellent!

          I love his work with Cream, but Clapton is a racist fucknozzle.

          However, I think he was looking to “go to town” on some white powder rather than a sex toy.

          • crazytaco_12

            Woah, never knew that shit about Eric Clapton, what a douche

          • KJM

            Didja look it up? The crap he said onstage during that concert was almost Nugent-esque.

          • crazytaco_12

            Yeah dude, couldn’t believe it. Weird that him saying stuff like that never really followed him as much as it has guys like Nugent.

          • KJM

            That’s probably because either he realized he’d fucked up and kept low key from that point, or his “people” told him there would be trouble if he kept it up. I don’t know the facts about that either way.

          • KJM

            Also, when it comes to racism, homophobia, and war mongering, Ted Nugent is really the gift that keeps on giving.

  • CONANtheMotherFuckin’KING

    friday movie treat – send the wife and kid’s to grandma’s house. Nasty naked asian nuns, perverse and blasphemous, enjoy ! School of the holy beast ! – 1974 –

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i0HWIHA6PyQ

  • JWG

    …I own a “Keep Calm” shirt, but considering that it was a gift for my support *of* indie horror films (one in particular), I think I should get a pass on being judged poorly for it:

    https://img1.etsystatic.com/038/0/9943407/il_570xN.648081227_fafs.jpg

    It’s from this: http://www.thechairhorror.com/

  • Nordling Rites Ov Karhu

    You pretty much described in that “People that like this movie…” paragraph. Maybe I should get this.

  • J.R.

    My girlfriend and I made a blanket fort and watched Human Centipede 2 on valentines day. It was very romantic. (Your comment about “people who like this movie invite dates to Human Centipede” prompted me to share.)

    Shes pretty metal