If you were following last year and caught Halloween Shindig’s 31 days of Halloween Horror, then you’re no doubt familiar with the bit of Samhain Horror goodness called Hack-O-Lantern (aka Halloween Night aka The Damning aka Death Mask aka The Most Awesomely Titled Movie With This Many Awesome Alternate Titles)
Unlike some other Rock ‘N Roll Horror outings claiming association with then Eve of All Saints, this one actually delivers the goods, and then some.
A perfect selection for an October night of drinking and buffoonery, Hack-O-Lantern is an absolutely ridiculous mess of low-rent satanism, Halloween madness and Rock ‘N Roll attitude.
What more do you want?
Skin? Got it.
Weird murders? Got that too.
Someone in a mask doing the murdering? Yup.
Pumpkins? By the truckload.
Halloween decorations? Indeed.
A Halloween party? Totally.
Graveyard goings-ons? Ya know, murder. Sex. Kids Trick or Treating.
A Rock ‘N Roll video posing as a dream sequence? You know it.
Eye lasers which produce shrunken heads from drum equipment? Check that shit out.
More eyes laser that turn guitars into tridents? Only here.
Completely impromptu, unfunny and non-sequitor stand-up routines? Yeah, that’s there too for some reason.
Nonsensical theatrics and bizarre scripting? Boy howdy.
Easily accessible on YouTube, this one should not go unwatched by anyone this Halloween. And if your buddy pops over with Rocktober Blood, up the ante with this actual Halloween horror gem.
So here’s Tommy, pretending to know how to use a guitar with D.C. Lacroix, performing the certified Shindigger The Devil’s Son.
One of the earliest and perhaps least applicable Rock ‘N Roll Horror entries, I toss New Year’s Evil into the mix for a couple different reasons.
While a band or singer is not at the forefront on New Year’s Evil (admittedly the most overriding prerequisite for a RNRH) you’ll get to see a lot of band action, notably for our #96 ‘diggers Shadow. This is more than you’ll even get from such “certified” Rock ‘N Roll Horror entries as Dead Girls or the wildly mislabeled Slaughterhouse Rock, so fuck it!
Our protagonist and final “girl” is a Disc Jockey named Blaze, and the whole plot revolves around her New Year’s Rock ‘N Roll countdown aptly titled New Year’s Evil. That’s gotta count for something, right?
Plus, I like New Year’s Evil, which is more than can say for a lot of the other duds this category has to offer.
And what’s more, it doesn’t disappoint in the soundtrack department. It even goes so far as throw down an awesome Title Track. Now you’re talking language of this playlist.
However, as a rule, The Shindig avoids Christmas-themed horror music. Christmas already encroaches enough on Halloween without it invading the fucking Shindig to boot. So, if it seems a bit strange to include such a non-Halloween holiday song, consider this: Samhain was New Years Eve to the Celts. So there’s that. It’s clearly not the same New Year Blaze and “Evil” are ringing in, but what the hell huh?
I’d be remiss to leave if off the list. I’d be even more remiss to cut it from The Shindig.
Here’s Shadow with another glorious Title Track, 1980’s New Year’s Evil.
Ah, Rocktober Blood. 2 little words that promise so many things.
3 things, to be more precise. But 3 big ones: rocking, blood, and Halloweeniness.
I’d normally say 2 out of 3 ain’t bad, but when the 3rd is Halloween and the other 2 are mildly coughed up, consolation is a tough commodity.
Alas, the broken promises that are Rocktober Blood remain.
One guy mentions Halloween one time in passing. You could sneeze and miss it. There’s that I guess.
He could have said anything though, that’s how completely fucking throwaway his statement is to what’s happening. It bears no importance on the plot, or even what he’s talking about. He could have just as easily said “by the end of the month” or “by Arbor Day” or by fucking anything other than Halloween.
It’s almost more upsetting that he even mentions Halloween at all, and that the rest of Rocktober Blood proceeds to laugh directly in your presupposing mug. Never assume is the lesson here, I’ll wager.
But no! Fuck that! Cause you named your goddamn movie Rocktober Blood and then didn’t even deliver 1 fucking pumpkin. Why is the movie even called this? Oh, cause that’s the bands name? Well, then why is the fucking band even called that? Oh, cause they’re all spooky and into horror? Cause homeboy wears a mask onstage? Gimmie a break, fellas. Could have been any name. Fuck, Sorcery (the actual band providing the music) is a better and more appropriate title for this band.
It’s all just disappointing in it’s abject mockery.
Alright. Well, that’s been buried deep within my heart for years. Feels good to let it out. Now lets take an objective look at Rocktober Blood, which despite the whole absence of Halloween debacle, is probably one of the better Rock ‘N Roll Horror efforts this category serves up. That ought to give you an idea of the ways this genre drops the ball.
It starts out really promising, immediately getting straight into the rock. We witness Billy Eye, lead singer, writer and all around genius behind Rocktober Blood, laying down the vocal track to his prophetic anthem and certified Shindigger I’m Back.
After which he goes on a rampage, killing some audio techs and torturing his former girlfriend and back up singer Lynn. The kills are fun. Guy gets his face smashed into a pinball machine, and this chick gets impaled on a wall. Solid stuff. I’m pumped already.
After a feeble security guard catches Billy in the act and hilariously chokes out “uh….you’re arrested,” Billy chases after him and the film bizarrely fades out.
Flash forward 2 years – Billy’s dead, apparently captured and given the death penalty for his crimes (which included prior murders we didn’t get to see) and Lynn has inherited Rocktober Blood. She has renamed it “Headmistress” (a great chick-fronted metal band name if I ever heard one) and their playing all Billy’s old music. They’re at a pre-tour party. There’s schmoozing, coke blastin’ MTV knock-offs, and a general air of Rock ‘N Roll awesomeness. Still pumped.
These first 20 minutes or so are great. You’re getting 1 ass, 2 tits, 2 solid kills and 1 great Shindiggin’ tune straight out the gate. Then a little Rock ‘N Roll downtime. You feel like you’ve died and gone to Shindig heaven.
Then boom! The next hour hits and all your dreams are dashed. You sit idly by, awaiting more Rock or Blood or October. You get none.
What you do get is Lynn at a lakeside retreat, aerobicizing, bathing, getting prank phone calls, seeing Billy places and generally acting like a nutjob. There’s some skin, a bizarre clothes iron attack, a scary jacuzzi attack, oh and Lynn digging up Billy’s grave. That’s a somewhat interesting part. It sounds great on paper, and with some editing and a little bit of sack, maybe it could have been. Unfortunately, it’s plodding and frustrating the way it plays out. Is Billy alive? Is he stalking her at the house? Is Lynn imagining all this? Who cares, where’s the fucking Rocktobering?
When the film decides to make good on 2 of its promises, it’s great. Bookended nicely as it is with adequate amounts of both blood and rocking. At least it ends strong, I’ll give it that, rockin’ you’re pants off with a 3 song death-concert that makes the rest of the stuff a little more forgivable. I just wish it wasn’t such a chore to get there.
It really could have been the single greatest thing approached by this playlist. It could have been its Holy Grail, sitting on high, looking down at all the would-bes, coulda-beens and wanna-bes. Hell, Billy even utters the phrase Rock N Roll Horror for Christ’s sake.
Instead, it shuffles solemnly into its contented position somewhere at the bottom of the respectable 3rd of the list. Still, in its defense, it’s bringing the rock a lot harder than a good amount of these turkey’s, and for that it should be commended. But best Rock ‘N Roll Horror film of all time?
Nay, Rocktober Blood! Knell to your lord and master, Trick or Treat, a film which delivers on both the rock and the October. It even delivers on the supernatural level that you approach and then sidestep for some convoluted, Scooby-Doo like stiff arm that de-awesomes the proceedings almost as much as your lack of pumpkins.
At least it has a decent soundtrack, one of a couple aspects giving it a leg up against the likes of Hard Rock Zombies or Terror On Tour, which both offer way more rocking, just with way shittier soundtracks.
Here’s the best thing about Rocktober Blood, and it’s literally the first 5 minutes of the film. It’s Billy Eyes bar setting resurrection anthem I’m Backby Sorcery.