Title: Rock’N’Roll Nightmare (1987)
Summary: At a farmhouse in the middle of nowhere, a hopeful hair-metal band seeking inspiration to record their upcoming new LP will soon find themselves in a furious confrontation against the Prince of Darkness himself! (Thanks, some IMDb user who wrote this! It actually makes the movie sound far cooler then reality!)
Tagline: When you raise Hell … the Devil must be paid – in full! (Does the Devil take payments via Klarna?) [Wing: The tagline on the on the version I watched was When the band starts to rock … heads start to roll. Which is slightly less terrible.]
Notes: Originally entitled “Edge of Hell”, the producers changed the name so it would sell more copies, being this was released direct-to-video. Which, back in the day, was kind of a sure way of saying “we know this is shitty, please rent it anyway?” Also, the run time post edit was short by ten minutes, so they tacked on a VERY LONG cold opening sequence to make up the difference. WTAF.
THIS. FUCKING. MOVIE.
Back around the turn of the millennium, or thereabouts, it’s been a while, okay, I was recommended the 1986 film Trick or Treat, which stars Marc Price aka Skippy from Family Ties, along side cameos by Ozzy Osbourne and Gene Simmons. Of course, being I was certain I could remember the title and the fact it starred fucking Skippy, I didn’t write it down.
A while later – months, maybe, who knows – a friend and I went looking for a copy at Hollywood Video – a chain of home movie rental stores that were most common in the PNW (I worked at one for a hot minute, though that was later) that were competitive with Blockbuster Video. I stood around trying to remember the film title and only succeeding in remembering the damn part about Skippy. Apparently I did not remember the part about Ozzy or Simmons, as wandering through the HORROR section, I happened upon the case for this particular film.
What the hell, it’s got rock and roll and the Devil, right? Close enough!
Fuck me, I was totally wrong.
I don’t want to talk about my initial reaction to this film, partly because it spoils the fun to come and partly because I FUCKING BLACKED MOST OF IT OUT. It was that bad. Like, so bad. My friend could not believe I made her watch this. We never spoke of it again and for 20+ years I tried to keep it blocked out of my brain. [Wing: And yet you convinced more friends to watch it. No one learned their lesson here.] [bat: Nope. No one’s learned to say, ‘NO BAT I WILL NOT WATCH!’ yet.]
But one particular image seared itself in there and has haunted me to this day. So I finally set out to try and see if Google could help me figure out the puzzle, since I’d forgotten the title and the year of release and certainly couldn’t tell you who starred in this disaster. Thankfully, that’s why Firefox has private browsing windows, because if I tell you how I found this film… I’ll say that at the end. Because it’s all sorts of hilarious.
Since I already have a reputation for making fellow recappers sit through terrible films – My Demon Lover was our first attempt, check it out – I figured Rock’N’Roll Nightmare was our next flick. Because who else would be better to share the misery with than JC, Jude, Dove, and Wing?
[JC: Hollywood Video was also a major fixture in the midwest! Well, Wichita, KS, anyway. It was far superior to our local Blockbusters. So uh yeah, this movie, huh? bat kept the title a secret from us until she was finished with this recap and ready for comments, but from the vague things she’d said when proposing it, I somehow had Trick or Treat in my head as being the movie she might have accidentally watched. I’m pleased to be so close, yet so far in my guess. There were a lot of “rock & roll & the devil” movies in the 80s. I’m convinced this one borrows ridiculously heavily from Monster Dog, not Wing’s pet, but the 1984 werewolf movie starring Alice
Hooper Cooper. Except that movie is hilariously bad all the way through. This one is boring and baffling until the end, where I finally started laughing uncontrollably and screeching, “What? What?! What the FUCK?!”]
[Raven: When I was eleven, the only video store within wandering distance was part off licence, part post office, part newsagent, and part video rental. They was one small alcove-like “room” that had one video a-frame stand with maybe one hundred films, none of which were particularly new or exciting. But it was here I discovered my love for shitty movies. My favourite film back then, and even a little bit now? The Last Dragon, a Berry Gordy Mowtown blaxploitation kung fu pastiche that chronicles the adventures of Bruce Leroy. When I say I like terrible movies, I mean it. So I went into this movie with hopes. Not high hopes, but hopes nontheless.]
[Dove: Unlike the others, I actually enjoyed My Demon Lover. I suspect anything that has a Lin Shaye cameo gets a free pass from me. So I went into this hopeful that yet again bat would find a weird fucking movie filled with lulzy joy.]
[Jude: We had two Hollywood Videos near where I lived, one in the Bay Plaza shopping area and the other next to National Wholesale Liquidators. I practically cried the day they got rid of their vast video selection for DVDs. …I’M OLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLD!!!]
[Wing: Small-town Missouri had a Blockbuster when I was growing up and a local store not a part of a chain. (It had a lot of train themed decorations, I think, and possibly the building was in part shaped like a train? For some reason I’m picturing that.) Later, we had a Family Video, even after Blockbuster closed, and by later I mean up until late last year or earlier this year it was still open. I saw Hollywood Video growing up, though Blockbuster was far more common where I went.]
For anyone wondering, I eventually did figure out I was looking for Trick or Treat and went to rent it… only to discover the single copy at Hollywood Video had been checked out and never “returned” (some punk ass stole it) so I found sort of pricey DVD copy online and bought it. Some day I will recap it. Because, really, that movie is fun. In a good way. Still terrible, but way better than this! [Wing: I’ve never seen that one, either, and I really haven’t yet learned my lesson, because I’ll watch and comment when you do.] [bat: That one is MUCH BETTER.]
WHOA-OH, WE’RE HALF WAY THERE, WHOA-OH, ROCK’N’ROLL NIGHTMARE!
Whoa, we actually start with a real abrupt SMASH CUT opening that is a panning shot of a farm house with a giant red tractor in front of it. Huh? More random footage of the farm house and yard. What the fuck, “artsy” footage of a string of light bulbs dancing in the breeze? IS THIS SOME SORT OF ART COLLAGE SHORT FILM?
Inside, in the kitchen, Mother cooks breakfast on the stove. In a bedroom, Son reads comic books. Father is in the bathroom, shaving. Ha ha, this is so old, that electric razor has a cord attached. REMEMBER THAT?
Plodding electronic beats begin to play, as Mother calls Son to breakfast. Father continues to shave. Mother… looks around? WTF? Outside, the camera does that weird pan out thing as the music takes on an eerie quality. Mother can’t figure out what she’s sensing or looking for, so she goes back to cooking and mumbling. Wow, the audio on this is horrible. [Raven: THIS. THIS. THIS-THIS-THIS-THIS-THIS. THIIIIIIIIIIS.] Mother opens the fridge door… [Dove: All the while the score is basically ripping off Jaws, and implying that this is a HIGH-TENSION MOMENT, all the while nothing interesting happens. And this is the start of my #1 issue with this movie. The score. The sound overall is terrible, but goddamn, the score. Over the past few years, I have realised just how highly I value a good score (Candyman (1992) is pretty much the pinnacle, fight me). This abomination is literally the worst-scored piece of media in existence.]
[Wing: To add to the music weirdness of this movie, sometimes the closed caption picks up the lyrics of the background music and sometimes it doesn’t, which annoys me to no end. Be consistent!]
In the bathroom, Father is rinsing his face when he hears Mother screaming and odd noises coming from downstairs. He’s not exactly running downstairs; I mean, he’s moving at a quick pace but if you heard your wife or SO screaming, you might move faster? Father reaches the kitchen but Mother is missing. The door on the oven is wobbling, though. (Seriously, the audio is SO BAD I thought he was calling for Clara or Carole, this is going to suck.) [JC: I’m pretty sure it was Carol? She also mutters her own name to herself when she’s looking at the eggs in the pan and I guess looking for the spatula she “misplaced.” I suppose the POV rat demon stole it, but who the fuck would be expected to notice that it was even missing? The bored-ass viewers?]
Father notices the oven door and yanks it open. Out pops… hm. Well, it’s papier-mâché and its little eyeballs roll around in their sockets and I think it’s a skeleton but probably “more than” just a skeleton and it’s making noises and reaching for Father.
On the staircase, Son watches his father be… taken? Devoured? Something? while whimpering before screaming in terror. Huh? Back to the outside of the farm house. APPARENTLY THIS IS THE AMMITYVILLE FARM HOUSE??
[Jude: There hasn’t yet been an AMITYVILLE FARM HOUSE movie and I don’t know whether to be disappointed or amazed by the lack of restraint.]
SMASH CUT to a black screen with white text: SHAPIRO ENTERTAINMENT CORPORATION PRESENTS A THUNDER FILMS INC. PRODUCTION. [Raven: This was the only well-framed shot in the entire film.] [Wing: The writer is Jon Mikl Thor, and the Thor + Thunder Films combo is by far the most interesting part for me. That part I love.]
Now we’re on the ground but moving around unsteadily, as if we’re doing real bad POV from something that’s maybe 5 inches tall? [JC: But it’ll lie to you and tell you it’s 8 inches.] It’s running through the farm house, up the stairs (Wing, you might want to skip this, because shaking like whoa) [Wing: I appreciate the warning.] all the while real bad electronic synth music plays. Is it the oven skeleton? Nope? We never see it. Whatever it is, it enters a room and the title card appears:
THE EDGE OF HELL
Yep. No one got the memo about the name change until after the fact?
Back to more shitty shakey POV footage of the thing scuttling across the hallway to another room. Lord.
More credits. I wonder if ANYONE from this film actually admits to being in this. [Raven: Upon checking IMDB in the post-coital afterwatch glow, only three of the cast actually have images for their personal IMDB page. And the majority of the cast never acted before (clearly) or since (thankfully).] Now, I’m pretty certain the star does, but I’ll get into that later. As the credits continue, we get more creature POV footage (just fast forward, Wing!) until… c’mon, get somewhere already, damn it. [Wing: I skipped so much of the opening because I tend to watch and comment at the same time, and these warnings really helped.]
We’re are like five minutes into this and NOTHING. OKAY there was the papier-mâché oven creature but we’ve got zero context and a title card that says this is the edge of hell. [JC: LIES. This movie is clearly the as-yet-undiscovered 10th circle of Hell, and we are being punished in it.] I WANT ANSWERS.
After one last LITERAL spin around the living room floor, the creature POV dives under the couch and we SMASH CUT to a street, the pavement rolling past under the camera, as a heavy guitar-driven metal song plays. Oh boy.
We cut to the front of a vehicle that has an ONTARIO license plate – that reads DUCKER – above one of those fake vanity plates that reads USA-1. Oh no, CANADA AGAIN. WHY CAN I NOT ESCAPE CANADIANS??
(Seriously, though, I have lovely Canadian friends; it just seems all movies shot in Canada and Canadian actors haunt me.)
Oh man, the vehicle is one of those tricked out late 80s vans! Red plush velvet on the dashboard, a pair of steel handcuffs hanging from the rear view. (My elementary school friend would have wanted this SO BAD, he was weird.) This is a LOT of footage of that van. [Jude: Is the inspiration for Van-Pires I wonder? It’s exactly what it sounds like.]
Moving inside, we see the first occupant, the driver! A massive mop of bleached blond hair, the man driving changes the music. He nods to the unseen occupant of the passenger side, making the international “rock on” fist as well as nodding his head to the beat. How old is this dude?? [Raven: This guy had TOTAL Spinal Tap David St Hubbins Muchaek McKean vibes.]
Okay, before we go further, this is Jon David Mikl, also known as Jon-Mikl Thor! A Vancouver, BC, born Canadian bodybuilder slash musician slash actor, who has won over 40 titles including Mr Canada and Mr USA. Dude was probably in his early 30s when he made this movie but dude looks way older. Could be the tanning. Probably was the tanning. Anyway. Dude is also very much into hockey. Canadians! [Raven: Okay. So. Thor, at least the musical version, is not unknown to me. Back in the late Nineties, when I worked for Sony as a Games Designer, Thor’s video of his Live in London concert from the mid Eighties was a constant delight to the more ferrous subset of my friends and colleagues. As a metaller since my very first album, I counted myself as a definite lover of this musical masterpiece. For the wrong reasons, of course. It was camp, it was overblown, it was appaling. It was gloriously mockable, and performed for a crowd of thirty-odd wildly disinterested people. At one point, Thor bent a steel bar with his teeth. At another point, he blew up a hot water bottle like a balloon. My friends and I still quote the more ludicrous lines from this concert video to this day. When I actually twigged that this guy was also that guy, my hopes were raised a touch. But not for long.] [bat: Oh. My. God. RAVEN KNOWS WHO THOR IS!??! Unexpected commenting plot twist!]
Driver is John Triton, front man of (wait for it) the Tritonz, a band. Yeah. We still don’t see any of the rest of said band; it cuts back to a long shot of the van cresting a hill, driving the long highway. Okay. This must be all that ADDITIONAL FOOTAGE shot to fill out the runtime.
Oh, a bird flew past! That was exciting! Because otherwise this long shot just never ends. Because it switches to POV from inside of the van, watching the barren, snow-covered Canadian landscape pass by the windscreen. Oh, back outside! MORE IMPORTANT VAN DRIVING FOOTAGE. LONG SHOTS. TIGHT SHOTS. CLOSEUPS. ALL IMPORTANT VAN DRIVING! THIS IS SO IMPORTANT! OH NOW IT’S THE BACK OF THE VAN DRIVING OFF INTO THE DISTANCE! [Dove: You readers are not getting it. This goes on for hours, with long, lingering shots of the road, the tires, the dashboard… and nothing happens. This movie needed an editor badly. A sound department first, but then an editor.]
OH NOW IT’S A SLOW PAN RIGHT TO SHOW THE VAN COMING AROUND A CURVE IN THE ROAD! THIS IS STUNNING, GUYS. ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!
[JC: But why is the van driving at 3mph? Like, I’m pretty sure I could get out and walk faster than this van is traveling, and I am not a fast walker.]
Do you all hate me yet?
I should note, the sun is setting.
BACK at ye old edge of hell house, the camera pans up the leaf-strewn grass as weird chanting sounds play? But who cares because HERE’S MORE VAN FOOTAGE! INTER-SPLICED WITH HOUSE FOOTAGE! LIKE THIS GOES ON FOR ALMOST FOUR MINUTES.
Even I hate me right now for picking this film.
THANK YOU JEBUS the van finally arrives, rolling slowly along the gravel drive [Raven: Did it? When I close my eyes, I can still see it moving]. It pulls into the yard / parking area? but we need three different shots from various angles to cover this important plot development! [Dove: My favourite was the three-minute shot of the exhaust pipe after the vehicle had stopped moving. There’s nothing more interesting than an exhaust pipe juxtaposed against some grass. A+. The sad thing is, if this was an Isuzu Trooper, I’d have forgiven everything.] And some random shots of the van turning off, John looking in the rear view mirror, and finally, feet climbing out of the van.
God this is just awful. And I remember shit we made in high school video productions class.
I think we’re up to five pairs of boots on the ground before the camera pans up to show John Triton and his glorious mullet. Wow. Just wow. [JC: Are we calling this a mullet? I see no business in the front, I only see party every day.] [Raven: I’d call it a wayward Prince Adam.]
“Okay people, here’s your home for the next five weeks!” He announces, as we watch several unenthusiastic new wave-looking persons wander past the camera. Jon hugs a redhead who smiles. The brunette whips off her sunglasses. “It’s a goddamn farm!”
John asks if it’s really true no one has lived there in ten years. A Duckie-looking hat-wearing dude mentions something about why would he pick a loser and to relax. Yeah. Sure. I count NINE people standing around. How the fuck did they all fit in that van? I know it’s plausible but that means there isn’t seats or benches, just… the floor?
I fully expect one of you to explain to me how this works, because that’s usually how this goes. [Dove: Um, the end of the movie explains this. Literally nothing else, but definitely this.] [Wing: Not that far yet, but my pre-end of the movie explanation is that it either (a) had no seats and people sat on the floor, which I’ve seen, or (b) it had squished bucket seats that are pains for tall people, which I’ve also seen. Or I suppose (c) there were no seats and they were in a big fuck pile the entire ride.]
So… wait… whatever happened to that family happened… at least ten years prior to the POWERFUL DRIVING MONTAGE? But… they looked like they might be in the 50s? I AM CONFUSED. [JC: I fully looked at Mom and said, “Wow, hello 80s hair!” but if that was supposed to be ten years earlier, aka the 70s, then I am also confused.] [Dove: I just assumed that the driving montage started during the mom-death, and they’d been on the road for a decade. We know this because they used every fucking moment of that decade in the previous scenes.]
Anyway. Manager Duckie, since I don’t know his name yet, explains sternly that all convinces have been turned on – gas, power, do the toilets work? – but there is no phone or television because that’s A DISTRACTION! Everyone groans on cue. How… odd.
“You guys never let me get to the but!” Buh, what? Oh, manager dude reveals a 24-track recording studio has been built in the conveniently located across the yard barn! Yay? God, why is this film so DARK? Like LITERALLY it’s dark, they’re shooting post-sunset and clearly did not have lighting.
Thor, er, John Triton sums it up that they’re going to get a lot of work done and there’s plenty of rooms so everyone has a “little privacy!” His ginger girlfriend is all up on him at that. Lord help us. [Raven: Okay, I realise there’s a need for some form of plot exposition, but this is SO FUCKING CLUNKY. They’ve just been together, in a van, driving for six hours (or that’s how long the montage felt), and they choose the moment they arrive and exit the van before discussing anything at all about their upcoming plans? I call bullshit. If this is true, what the fuck did they talk about in the van? The price of fucking figs?] [Dove: I read that as “flags” and then I started wondering how much the average person would pay for a flag. And that’s boring thought is far more interesting than this movie.] [Wing: I can’t give you an answer to that but my random fact of the moment is that in the small, small town where I used to work (less than 5k small), there were two flag stores practically across the street from each other.]
Oh no. Ohhhhh no. If that’s supposed to be a British and/or Australian accent coming out of that dude’s mouth, Dove is going to critique it. Because no. Oh, he said MATE so Australian [Dove: JC, wanna step in?] [JC: Not unless you’re prepared to explain the “JC is Australian” joke to everyone again.] [bat: PUT ANOTHER SHRIMP ON THE BARBIE, JC!]. Guess Dove can stand down. Fake Aussie wants to know what the fuck (I’m paraphrasing here) they’re supposed to be doing. “REHEARSE, lame brain!” John yells. Because ACTING. [Raven: By the way, as someone with some acting training and experience, you can generally spot a bad actor if they have no clue what to do with their hands. Everyone in this scene? Hands in pockets or held stiffly in unnatural positions. Busted!] [JC: . . . I have no clue what to do with my hands in real life. Confirmed, I am bad at real life.]
Dude. We aren’t even ten minutes into this and I am regretting the decision to recap this. [JC: It wouldn’t be a bat recap otherwise.] [bat: Witness my recap regret in ten minutes or less, or your whole recap is free!]
OH! OH! THE SHADE! JOHN JUST TOTALLY SHADED FAKE AUSSIE DUDE! He claims Aussie dude wasn’t even playing the same song as the rest of the band at their last gig and the city made him soft! WHOA! Um, Aussie dude just awkwardly smiles and doesn’t fight back? WUSS!!
Okay, basically the band better record a new album or they lose their advance. Who or what label gave these people money? John announcers they have a month to come up with “Ten minutes of new material!” Uhhhhhhhh HOW SHORT ARE THESE SONGS GOING TO BE? [Dove: See? Thanks to the godawful audio, I missed this. I assumed they had to do an entire album. Jeez, guys, you need a retreat for 10 minutes of audio?] [Wing: Maybe they’ll try to be Meatloaf and one song will be 10 minutes.]
“Great. BUT WHY CANADA?” Aussie guy is my new best friend.
Apparently Toronto is where it’s “happening”. I mean… okay. I don’t know, I was young, so plausible? Anyway, John wants to lock his band in a cheap, possibly haunted, farm house so they have no distractions and will play/write music. Bitchy Brunette complains there’s no hot tubs or Dynasty. Blond business mullet thinks of this as a vacation and whole-heartedly endorses the plan! Oh, his name is Roger. Apparently Roger and Aussie dude get into it, though Roger seems to be pretty beta about it. Roger’s wife decides they need to go find a clean room!
Fake Duckie says they’re going to have dinner at 6pm, a quickie band meeting, then rehearsal! I’m… so confused. Are they there to write an album or rehearse old material or ALL OF THE ABOVE?
OH THE PLOT THICKENS! Bitchy Brunette complains that Duckie wouldn’t hire a roady so they have to bring in their own luggage like poor people and now they have to eat Duckie’s cooking?! “Stevie baby why couldn’t you become a coke dealer or something sensible!”
So this bitch is totally just the fake Australian’s side piece. She’s not even part of the band?!
Upon looking at the credits, his name is Stig. Not Steve. The fact she botched that line so bad and they left it in without doing a better take says volumes about the quality of this masterpiece of film. [JC: She called him Stiggy, which I totally heard as “Sticky.” The audio in this movie is the worst I’ve experienced in a very long time.]
In the background, some hick-looking dude with a bowl-cut mullet (that’s a description) is wandering round with a wheelbarrow. Duckie calls him over and says this is Karl, who made this ALL POSSIBLE! THANKS SO MUCH, KARL.
Wow. That hair.
Duckie leads Karl off to speak privately. We have a random insert shot of blonde woman looking suggestively at badly bleached dye job dude wearing Army surplus covered in enamel pins. Wow, aren’t pins supposed to be kind of randomly spread out, not in OCD-esque straight rows? What?
Then back to Duckie and Karl, where in a conversation is had but the audio is awful and the script writing is about on par with Lucas. Wow. Karl has the keys to the place but he tells Duckie that RCA came by and something about Alice Hooper (Cooper) and that this isn’t the first band to come here. [JC: IS THIS THE SAME PLACE ALICE COOPER’S BAND STAYED IN MONSTER DOG? IS IT?! (No, it is not. But these filmmakers (ha) have absolutely seen that movie, and nothing will convince me otherwise.)] [Dove: The Alice Cooper line just made me sad that I wasn’t watching Prince of Darkness. I’m totally recapping that at some point.] Did anybody get anything out of that? Because I didn’t. Duckie is an asshole, pestering Karl for the keys repeatedly.
Karl then (literally) points out there’s a room with a “piano” bed and I’m like if this is supposedly to be comedy, someone shoot the writer. Duckie again asks for the keys and Karl’s like “why didn’t you ask?” and hands them over.
SEVENTY MORE MINUTES OF THIS TO SLOG THROUGH.
Duckie takes off with the keys, and Karl makes an ominous comment. [Raven: Such a wasted scene. It should have been your stock “Local Character Provides Forboding And Dread” offering, but the audio is so atrocious that it’s all lost in the mix, and what was there to begin with was pretty damn shitty anyway.]
So, the four couples – how many of which are actual band members TBA – wander towards the farm house. This just… continues on and on. For zero reason. I have adjusted the brightness of my screen several times now and I still can barely see shit. Oh, there goes Karl with his wheelbarrow. Now Duckie is struggling to carry multiple guitar cases. Wow. This is the world’s most boring non-time lapse.
John leads everyone in the house, asking how everyone feels about this boring basic AF farm house. Then he explains Randy and he are in the master bedroom (my god, his hair is its own entity, I cannot look away) and Roger and Mary have the smaller bedroom. Brunette immediately complains. Mary points out she and Roger are married. Brunette retorts, “Get a load of the child bride!” Um. Hardly. [JC: She’s thirty-five if she’s a day.] [Dove: Also, when I think of the wife of a glam rock star in the 80s, a prissy Karen in an Oxford shirt and pearls is not my first thought.]
Randy interjects that Stig and Brunette are in the guest room. Then there’s a lot of awkward glances and stares. This is a travesty of editing and acting and script writing.
Oh lord. Max is in the office, and Dee Dee is on a cot… somewhere in a den on the second floor. Clearly they only have eyes for one another. She wants to organize his sweet, sweet enamel pin collection. Duckie is on the couch in the living room, which he shouts about from way over somewhere. Everything I learned in video production is making me cry because this is awful, production-wise.
John announces he’s off to lock up the van! BECAUSE THAT PRECIOUS VAN MUST BE PROTECTED AT ALL COSTS. We might have to shoot more footage of it being driven to fill time!
Oh so Stig is a drummer? There’s a bad drummer joke. Brunette is displeased with their accommodations. Big surprise. Will she be the first to die? Place your bets now!
Did… did Stig just call her SWEET KNEES??? [Raven: I caught about two words in five throughout this entire shitshow.]
John is outside locking up the precious van, the brutal Canadian winds blowing his glorious mullet every which way. Upstairs, in the curtained window, we see something moving. An ominous music cue plays. John looks up at it, concerned(?) but the curtain gets pulled back and it’s just Randy! Ha ha, fake out! She waves and John laughs and yells, “Okay honey! I’m just locking up the van, I’ll be up in a minute, okay!” And I keep thinking of Tommy Wiseau. Randy, who cannot hear him but apparently can read lips, smiles and makes a point of squeezing her boobs? Before she pulls the curtain back into place.
John finally manages to lock the van, because clearly that is a very difficult task, and heads inside. We then get some ominous shots of the moon and another of the sky above the farm house? And the tree branch? And the house with the trees from a different angle? And more trees! AND NOW THE LAST OF THE SUNSET? WITH TREES? AND NOW CLOUDS MOVING RAPIDLY ACROSS THE SKY WITH THE SUNSET??? AND NOW THE SUNSET FROM A DIFFERENT LOWER ANGLE BUT THE CLOUDS ARE DARK AND MOVING ACROSS THE HORIZON AND THERE’S TREES IN THE DISTANCE???? OH MY GOD NOW THERE’S TIME LAPSE OF THE FARM HOUSE WITH THE TREES BLOWING IN THE WINDOW MY FUCKING GOD THIS WHOLE MONTAGE IS A MOOD!
I couldn’t make any of that up if I tried.
Oh great, we’re back to shitty creature POV, scuttling across the floor. I will give kudos for not showing the… villain? ala Jaws but this is ridiculous. In the living room, everyone’s sitting on the floor around a large coffee table, except John and Randy because clearly they are MOST IMPORTANT. Duckie is sporting a paper hat ala some greasy spoon line cook and has fixed dinner, which I guess they’re finished with? He carts off a platter of what looks like uneaten roast chickens?
“You’ve outdone yourself, Phil!” John announces, before going right into announcing a toast. Seriously, TOMMY WISEAU VIBES. I cannot be the only one. [JC: I did not hit her, I didn’t, it’s bullshit! Oh, hai, Mark.] The toast is to Roger and Mary, who started off “Triton’s biggest year by tying the knot!” I’ve watched enough Behind the Music episodes to know that’s not always a good thing [Raven: This Is Spinal Tap is also precient here]. We get cheers and a Mazel Tov thrown in, before the married couple chastely kiss. Stig downs more beer while Brunette announces he has a toast. The fact she keeps calling him STIGGY…
Also, slightly unrelated, but I keep thinking of Metalocalypse here but it’s a sad, unfunny version and I don’t think this band is anything or near as talented as Dethklock. I think the fact the way she keeps saying Stiggy makes me think of Skwisgaar? I don’t know. I NEED CLOSURE ON METALOCALYPSE, OKAY.
Stig is shocked and Brunette tells him to make up something, so he toasts Phil for the food. Wow, the accent. Can’t maintain it. Can’t tell what the fuck it’s supposed to be, either. John puts down his beer and asks how everyone likes their rooms. As you do. Mary is enthusiastic about theirs. Roger is so stoked to spend his HONEYMOON with the band. Again, this will probably prove to be disastrous.
Randy takes Mary by the hand and says she feels like she’s welcomed her into the family. Buh. Dee Dee chimes in, looking totally stoned, that her room is fine but empty, pointedly looking at Max. Max looks like he’s a knock off stand-in for Duran Duran. SHE JUST WANTS YOU FOR YOUR BODY AND YOUR ENAMEL PINS, MAX!
Phil pops in and says something garbled about music. John nods. “Let’s tune our weapons!” Randy points out the women have dish duty. Brunette says she doesn’t “do” dishes because she’s not a housewife. She then storms off. Roger starts to complain but Mary elbows him. Phil says only a bad cook doesn’t clean up after dinner. “Okay girls, let’s go cut some grease!” [Dove: Um, why do the women have dish duty? I think Phil cooked, so anyone else should on the washing-up rota. And at least one of the women is actually in the band if that’s an excuse not to, so… gender roles? Fuck off.]
I have a list of whom I want to see die and Phil is rapidly putting himself at the top, just above Brunette. THERE IS LIKE AN HOUR LEFT OF THIS MOVIE TO RECAP. SOMEONE NEEDS TO DIE AND SOON.
“LET’S ROCK AND ROLL!” Someone yells and the group gets up and files out of the room. Because if this movie is anything, it’s fucking awkward.
OOOO OUTDOOR NIGHT TIME ESTABLISHING SHOT OF THE VAN! And the sound of the cold winds of the North blowing upon… outside of Toronto.
Back inside, in the kitchen, Phil leads the ladies in washing dishes. If this place was theoretically uninhabited for ten years, where’d all the modern kitchen gadgets come from? Phil packed all these? RCA dropped them off? KARL???
I wish I could explain this scene but all that happens is Phil tossing bowls to Rudy and Mary to be dried, while all four kind of half bop around to music. No lie. It’s boring and does nothing to further the plot. [JC: I just wonder what kind of music the director told them would be playing over this scene, because their half-bopping does not match what we’re hearing at all.] [Dove: ARE YOU SAYING THE MUSIC DOESN’T MATCH THE SCENE? OMG! WHAT A SHOCKER. #StillBitter]
Oh my god.
Out in the barn, John appears in a get up that vampire Paul would kill for: black leather pants and a tuxes-style jacket with tails made out of silver metallic fabric with a jaguar spot pattern. Shirtless underneath. [JC: Does this man own any shirts? Should we take up a collection for this poor, shirtless man?] Like, it is so encapsulating of the 80s, it should be enshrined. Like he looks like a bootleg version of David Lee Roth that isn’t just quite right but my god. John yells for Dee Dee, who ditches the other women and Phil to finish cleaning. I mean, she is in the band.
Wait, hold up, Phil decides to suspend clean up and lend “moral support” to their men. WHAT.
You know when you can tell this was just a bunch of random people who had little-to-no acting talent thrown into a film that had little-to-no actual script writing being directed by someone who has little-to-no directing experience? Yeah. That’s this movie. [Raven: Also, when they leave, you realise they’re washing dishes without any water in the fucking sink.] [Dove: Actually, you realise there is nothing in the sink.]
OH GOODIE ANOTHER OUTDOOR NIGHTTIME ESTABLISHING SHOT OF THE VAN PARKED OUTSIDE THE FARM HOUSE. EVERYBODY START DOING A SHOTS ANY TIME THE VAN SHOWS UP I’LL MAKE A DRINKING GAME OUT OF THIS YET. [JC: No, bat, you will kill us all.] [Future bat: Yeah, once I finally settled on the drinking game aspect, yes, it will kill anyone who participates. Oops.]
The “moral support” team stroll across the yard but I’ll be damned if you can see anyone, it’s so fucking dark. Next we get more shots of trees. Because TREES. Hard guitar licks and riffs kick in and we enter the barn slash “recording” slash “rehearsal” studio where clearly ALL OF THE FUCKING MOVIE BUDGET WENT because it’s set up to look like a late 1980s music video. I kid you not.
Wow, we can’t even lip sync our own song properly. Wow. [Dove: Also, what’s up with the camera angles? They’re shoddy throughout, but why so many shots of people’s backs and empty space? Maybe the crew were playing bat’s drinking game too?]
Mary’s over in the corner, sewing her husband’s clothes? Huh? I mean, I guess it’s better than showing her snorting from a pile of cocaine but I’m beginning to think this band doesn’t exactly partake. Beer was one thing but if they’re supposed to be isolated from distractions and think TELEVISION is too much of a distraction… let alone TELEPHONES… I’m guessing hard drugs aren’t a problem for them?
Randy and Mary are totally bopping along to their mens’ song, while Brunette stares in a different direction and files her nails. We get a shot of Stig playing drums but I’m, again, pretty certain he cannot play. I honestly don’t see power cords plugged into anything, except John’s microphone. “We live for rock!”, indeed, gentlemen. [JC: John/Thor is like what would happen if David Lee Roth and Dee Snider had a child together, but the child inherited none of the talent of either and was very boring.] [Raven: This isn’t a recording session. It is, at best, a rehearsal, which is fine. So why the hell are they giving it pure rock balls, with wide stances and clenched fists and costumes and aviator shades? They’re in a fucking barn, not on the main stage of Lollapalooza.]
Randy is like the most tame groupie slash girlfriend ever. Uh oh, Brunette’s got an idea. She turns and faces the band, licking her lips in a suggestive manner at Stig, who is… not playing those drums. I don’t know if this is on purpose; the copy I’m watching could be damaged, but for some reason everything just slowed down and got all distorted real bad and I DON’T KNOW IF THAT’S ON PURPOSE OR NOT. [JC: I’m pretty sure that was supposed to be ominous, but nobody in the band noticed anything out of the ordinary? These are the stupidest people on Earth.] [Wing: It’s on purpose. Pretty sure it’s meant to show us that Brunette, maybe, has something weird going on with her.]
Oh great, we’re back to weird ass creature POV shit. Something is very much spying on the band. In the control booth, Phil is jamming out, drinking coffee, and dancing. As you do. And then it begins.
Next to Phil’s coffee cup… a thing appears. A thing that looks like a sentient penis with a cyclopean eye and a wrinkled mouth. I SHIT YOU NOT. It inspects the cup before… and this is just fucking gross, be warned, it attempts to hock up some spit to dribble in the cup. WHICH IT DOES. I WISH I WAS MAKING THIS UP. THIS HAS SEARED INTO MY BRAIN AND I CAN NEVER GET IT OUT.
IT GIGGLES AND DISAPPEARS, MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! [Raven: The tragic part? This is the best model / special effect in the entire film.]
Phil, unaware and totally rocking out while the 24 track board records this song even though I’m pretty certain this is not how “recording” an album works, grabs his cup and sips, rearing back at the taste for a second. He shrugs and finishes drinking, before returning to what every masterful and accomplished producer does during record recording: playing air guitar. [JC: I also could not figure out what they’re doing. This is absolutely not how you would record a track. I suppose it’s rehearsal . . . ? Fuck, I don’t think the filmmakers (ha!) know, either.] [Dove: But the “actors” are actual musicians. You’d think at least one of them might know. *headtilt*]
Yay this stupid song is over! Stig brings his drum stick down on a cymbal and it makes an off-key clang sound. Immediately the band complains and Roger calls him a “wonder wallaby”. John intercedes and announces they’ll get home another one. Another what? Stick? Cymbal? You can’t buy him talent, John. He has zero.
The band takes five. Everyone runs off to make out with their respective partners. Brunette tells Stig she gets him so excited (?? no.) when he’s forceful, but it’s a fake out and she laughs and leaves. John and Randy kiss but John is too busy yelling for Phil to get Stig new drum sticks. Phil comes downstairs, saying he’s got a whole box for “Mad Max”.
“Yeah, it’s a wonder he’s our manager!”
OH MY GOD THE MOVIE KNOWS HOW AWFUL IT IS. IT’S BECOME AWARE.
Ominous music cue (DRINK!) plays as Phil enters the basement (??? It’s next door to the studio room?? HOW IS THIS A BASEMENT??) and begins to rifle through boxes, wishing he knew where he put the extra drum sticks. Suddenly Brunette appears. Phil starts and falls back into boxes. “Lou Ann, you scared me!” LOU ANN????
What follows is a pain scene of interaction by two people who cannot act. Lou Ann says something about how Phil isn’t like the others, they’re all about music, and he’s different. (??????) She says he knows about the finer things in life and what appeals to a woman. (????????????) [JC: ???????????????????] Phil, like me, is completely dumbfounded and not sure where she got this info. He says maybe she should go back upstairs, even though she is clearly advancing on him. He points out that Stig will wonder what happened. And Lou Ann begins to undress, grabbing Phil’s hands and trying to put them on her breasts. He pulls away but Lou Ann begins to unbutton his shirt (that is a guitar print, lord) and barely puts up a fight, before they’re kissing. Uh huh. Staying true to Stig, aren’t you.
“How about those Mets, huh?” Phil stammers as Lou Ann sucks on his neck. The scene is so dark, I can only really make out Lou Ann’s head bobbing as she works on Phil’s neck. Suddenly she lifts her head and IT’S NOT LOU ANN! It’s a creepy rubber mask with huge teeth and cavernous eye sockets and the sound effects of a creature’s mouth ripping into human flesh while Phil yells do not match remotely what is taking place on screen. [Raven: I mean, I guess this counts as a fakeout, albeit a ham-fisted one. I was sure the rubber cock spittle in the manager’s sippy cup would be the catalyst for his heel turn, but no. It looks liked the Brunette was possessed when she nipped off to escape the dishes.]
Not Lou Ann’s head comes up and chunks of lunch meat fall out of the mask’s mouth, implying she ripped a part of Phil off his body. Uh huh.
The rest of the gang suddenly hear the screams and look in the same direction. Funny enough, Lou Ann is sitting with Stig. I WONDER WHAT THAT FAKE LOU ANN COULD BE?? [Dove: *blinks* Was she? I totally missed that. Then again, if I had noticed, I’d wonder if it was a continuity error rather than a supernatural occurrence in this movie.] “That was Phil!” “COME ON!” John roars and runs towards the screams. I gotta give him an A for effort. [JC: I didn’t even realize Lou Ann was sitting there, because I don’t care enough to try to tell any of these people apart.] [Wing: I didn’t notice either. Clearly this movie is doing its job well.]
In the not basement, everyone yells for Phil and combs through the room but can’t find him. John announces that Phil is irresponsible but not to this level. WHAT THE FUCK MAN. Lou Ann complains that Phil’s probably pulling a joke like the time he booked them in a single room for the entire band and their partners in Boston [Raven: “I wouldn’t worry about Boston, it’s not a big college town”]. Huh? THAT JUST SOUNDS LIKE GROSS INCOMPETENCE AND POOR MANAGEMENT SKILLS AND NOT A JOKE. [JC: No, no, that was for the orgy.] [Wing: Exactly what I was going to say, JC. That’s not an accident or incompetence, that’s pushing for an orgy.]
Everyone wants to go look upstairs but John insists that the screams came from the not basement. But in half a breath he decides everyone else is right and they all head upstairs. I… I cannot. I am questioning my own sanity for choosing this film to recap. Everyone files out of the not basement.
I guess there’s a time jump? A weird establishing shot and suddenly we’re back in the barn and John is there with Randy before everyone else wanders in. They’ve been searching for Phil but to no avail, there’s no sign of him in the house or in the barn. Or the yard. Or the van, probably.
OH SHIT I SPOKE TOO SOON!
Roger and Mary come in, announcing THE PRECIOUS VAN IS GONE! PHIL HAS STOLEN THE VAN AND VAMOOSED! [Raven: Van-oosed!] Lou Ann runs to the window in the barn (???) and looks out. Sure enough, the van is GONE! RIP VAN! (Did anyone else see the headlights driving TOWARDS the property and think, hey wait, Phil’s coming back! but it was clearly not supposed to be in the shot??)
Lou Ann goes back in and reams the others, having assumed that Phil’s gone into town to get plastered, stranding them at a farm house that has NO PHONE. Dee Dee tells everyone to call it a night. Everyone files out except Randy and John. Randy laughs it off, saying there’s no mystery! Phil just went to town! Ha ha! John wants to know why. “Drum sticks!” Uh huh, totally, I’m sure there’s some 24 hour music supply warehouse in town!
Randy then tells John to come with her, BIG FELLA, that his singing has let out the beast in her, RUFF. [JC: NO.] (Oh. My. God. Someone wrote that in the script. [Raven: Thor. Thor wrote that in the script.]) John indulgently tells her to go on ahead. She keeps doing this same two finger kiss blowing thing that is just wrong. John stays behind, heading back into the not basement.
Risking life and mullet, John returns to look through the same three boxes Phil did. He finds a single pair of drum sticks. Perplexed, John looks around and half backs, half jumps out of the not basement. What?
NIGHTTIME OUTDOOR ESTABLISHING SHOT. DRINK!
SHOT OF THE MOON AS CLOUDS SCUTTLE BY. DRINK!
We’re upstairs in the master bedroom. John and Randy lay in bed, but why does the bed look like a giant coffin box lined with fleece??? [Wing: Wait, is that the piano bed? Made from an actual piano frame, maybe? Or something.] Randy’s wearing her best lingerie and John is reading a fucking script! Oh my god. Randy reminds him they’re on a sort of vacation and doesn’t he feel romantic? He’s oblivious, his single brain cell focused on reading the script. He’s also upset about Phil, since this behavior isn’t like him. YOU COULD HAVE FOOLED ME WITH ALL THE SHIT YOU SAID ABOUT HIM IN PREVIOUS SCENES.
Oh, so Phil is so stupid he got lost in the Vatican and ended up in the bathroom of the Pope’s private chambers? Right. SURE SURE SURE SURE.
Randy is doing her dead level best to get sexy with John but dude is just engrossed with that script. Like, what the ever living fuck, movie. And end scene. Wow.
OVER IN THE OFFICE, Max is shirtless but wearing pants and playing guitar. Of course Dee Dee, wearing just a poorly buttoned dress shirt, wanders in, and this is like so fucking awkward and almost like homemade porn, you know, that tried to have a “script” but the “cast” keep talking over each other. Lord save me. SO. Dee Dee is a’scared since Phil’s mysterious disappearance and can’t sleep alone. She wants to “sit and talk” but Max tells her he’s totally wiped out and wouldn’t be good company. [JC: Dee Dee: That’s okay, baby, you just lie there and I’ll do all the work!* *how I expected the scene to go.] [bat: This movie defies any viewers’ expectations.]
Dee Dee pulls the fake leaving card and Max instantly stops her and says he’ll just listen. Uh huh. AND END SCENE WHAT THE FUCK.
I don’t know if this is an establishing shot or just some random shot stuck in to make the movie reach its needed length but it’s stupid artsy. Blue light illuminating the newel post. Oh, wait, it was just an interlude before cutting to the HONEYMOON SUITE, where Roger and Mary are totally making the most of this… work trip slash vacation slash honeymoon.
They lovingly call each other Mr and Mrs Eburt and talk about “married life” and Mary cracks jokes about being married to the band, because clearly that’s what she said ‘I do’ to. Roger apologizes and asks if she’d rather be somewhere “exciting” and “romantic”, like “Hawaii or someplace”. Gee, Roger, Hawaii is gorgeous and all, Wing will attest, but do you not know other places also exist on this planet? Mary cracks another joke that it doesn’t matter, the view would be the same. [JC: The ceiling? Because these people only have missionary in their sexual repertoire? Also, are we just going to gloss over the fact that this dude’s name is Roger Eburt? God, the writer (ha!) thought he was clever, huh?]
Ha. Ha ha. Bleh.
And back to the weird blue light with staircase shot. We get some weird laughter and then rock music cuts in, before we see Stig hardly working it with the sheet decidedly pulled practically up to his neck. Not even six seconds pass by in the film before he grunts and groans overly loud to act out climax. Dude is WEARING HIS FUCKING SUNGLASSES. Stig rolls off Lou Ann and announces that as usual, the best! Oh my god. I can hear the comments from the rest of you now.
I really hope that’s the fake Lou Ann but the fact she didn’t, you know, actually murder him during the six second act, I’m sure it’s the real version. She looks so pissed as she fixes her hair. [Raven: I got so bloody confused about who was who in this movie, without the added intrigue of real-person and demon-person. Like, I thought Lou Ann was actually possessed when “she” ate the manager, but it seems like that Lou Ann was a fake one. Roger and Max appear to be the same person too.] [Dove: I’m with JC. I could barely follow this stupid movie. When everyone has gigantic hair, you can’t hear what anyone is saying, and the plot is somewhere between not-there and incomprehensible, it’s really hard to figure out what’s going on.]
Stig removes his sunglasses and announces he’s off to shake the monkey. What the fuck. I know what he’s implying but I have never heard that phrase in relation to peeing. Drain the dragon, okay, sure. But still. Stig stops to climb back into his tighty whities oh god before doing a shit Terminator impression. Because that… was not a thing yet. Uh. This came out before Terminator 2. Yikes. [Raven: The Terminator came out before Terminator 2. I dunno, you kids today, think that nothing existed before Fortnite.] [Dove: Yep, the “I’ll be back” in T2 was a callback to the infamous police scene in the original movie. *shakes head*] [bat: I barely know what Fortnite is.] [Wing: The tighty whities are killing me.]
I hope the toilet eats Stig.
Lou Ann rolls her eyes and says aloud, “the one minute wonder”. Um. Oh honey. I doubt it was even that long.
Ah, the spooky electronic music cue indicates we have returned to creature POV! Something peers out between the balusters, but before it really goes anywhere, we return to Dee Dee and Max. Dee Dee is still sitting on the end of the bed but Max is unconscious. Dee Dee has been telling Max how she knew when music was going to be a part of her life. She’s opened up her soul to him. Uh huh. Oblivious and self centered. Oh, never mind, she finally turned around and found out he’s asleep. I’m sorry, the dude fairly warned her he was tired. Dee Dee mutters something about the chair being comfortable before moving off the bed.
BUT NONE OF THAT MATTERS BECAUSE WE’RE BACK TO CRAZY CREATURE POV!
Pretty sure penis demon thing is back. Can’t really see it but now it sort of talks? Or makes talking-like noises? It stops just outside the bathroom door.
In the bathroom, Stig is washing his face and checking for zits in the mirror. Okay. Scratching his manly chest, he says Lou Ann is a lucky girl. Okay, Stig has just vaulted over Phil and Lou Ann to the top of the list of characters I want to see die. I mean, I guess Phil is technically dead; we didn’t see a body but we did see a hunk of flesh ripped out of his body. [JC: I’m pretty sure Sticky has turned me off men forever. Good thing I’m attracted to other genders as well.]
Stig flexes and poses and I get it now, he’s copping lines from the original Terminator film, though I don’t know if I remember “I’ll be back.” being in that movie? Look, I’ve watched it all of once. I prefer the second film. ANYWAY. [Raven: Yep. It was in the police station scene. Arnie tells the cop on the front desk that he’ll be back, and “returns” by crashing a car through the wall and into the station. This was actually the first time the phrase was used, and it was this use (and film) that made it famous.] [Dove: Before T2 came out, many people (including a US President, I think), asked Arnie, “Will you be back?” in reference to the scene and the strong desire for a sequel. But yeah, T2 is my favourite too.] [bat: Like I said, in my own defense, only seen it once. Still VERY ANGRY ABOUT THE ABANDONED IGUANA.]
Stig turns and suddenly there’s a busty blonde in some… crocheted lingerie? Anyway, she reaches out a hand to Stig, which he reaches back for, but… through poor movie magic and real bad editing, the hand turns gross and rotted, oozing slime, before we cut to another shot where the busty blonde is now a rotting corpse. Uh huh. Oh my bad, it’s a demon? It vomits a blood like substance before slapping that rotting hand over Stig’s mouth. Stig doesn’t even try to scream. That would require knowing how to act. The hand continues to squeeze but the screen goes black.
Back to the weird blue lit hallway. I’m guessing this is still creature POV but it’s grown taller, so we’re not scuttling across the floor. Lou Ann is primping her hair in bed, using a hand mirror. The door opens and Stig walks back in, acting more odd than usual, even for him. Lou Ann doesn’t even notice. When she’s finally done with her hair, she asks him what’s wrong. Wow.
Not actually Stig, because let’s be real, we know it’s the penis demon thing pretending, says nothing. Actual Stig would be saying bullshit in his fake accent. Lou Ann is put out, asking what he wants. Not Stig launches himself on her, pulling up the covers to access her body.
BUT THAT DOESN’T MATTER BECAUSE WE ABRUPTLY SMASH CUT OVER TO THE HONEYMOON SUITE, where Mary is placing chaste kisses along Roger’s torso. You know, I’m suddenly missing the real weird “let’s all have sex in a furniture store!” craziness in Chopping Mall. This is so incoherent, even though it’s obvious the penis demon is using its ability to… spit in cups and take on human forms to seduce the band members before killing them… My brain hurts.
Apparently the newlyweds have finished? Or done something else? Because they’re cuddling while we hear Lou Ann shouting, losing her mind because Stig is suddenly a sex demon who knows how to fuck. Wow, what an educational trip to the bathroom. How in the world could she not know something was wrong if he went from a one minute wonder to Casanova? [Raven: Little blue pill?]
While Lou Ann moans, Roger chuckles and says to Mary that Stig must be in rare form. No shit, Sherlock. They laugh themselves sick at the implication that this could ever be a thing. Clearly they know Stig sucks all-round, so wouldn’t you immediately wonder what the fuck is wrong? I WOULD.
OUTSIDE NIGHTTIME ESTABLISHING SHOT. DRINK!
Uhhh… what a weird shot. It turns into car headlights illuminating the darkness, as a vehicle pulls in to the yard. Sadly, it is not the van. Also, the fact there are car headlights passing by behind the farm house basically tells me they are indeed NOT AS CUT OFF as viewers are told. [JC: Were we told they were cut off? Did that happen sometime during the twenty minutes of real-time driving 3 mph?]
Four figures exit the vehicle. All women. One asks Cindy if she is sure this is the place. Oh god, an infestation of groupies! They have sniffed out the location of the band’s rehearsal space! Apparently Cindy’s mother works in the real estate office that has been trying to sell this property for a decade. Oh lord help us. FAR OUT INDEED.
They all decide it’s totally okay to A) invade privacy, B) show up uninvited in the MIDDLE OF THE FUCKING NIGHT, and C) wake up the band. Folks, don’t do this. Like, seriously. Interrupting people who are “famous” when they’re trying to work or you know eat or do normal every day shit is a huge pet peeve of mine. [JC: God, especially when that person then turns around and complains all over the internet about what a rude asshole said famous person is. Like, no shit, jackass, you followed them to the bathroom to harass them while they were trying to pee? Learn some fucking manners.] [Dove: I remember Wynona Ryder saying one time she was peeing in a public bathroom and someone pushed a notepad and pen under the door, and she desperately tried to be polite and came out with, “Now’s not really the best time.” or something like that. My response would have been far more offensive.]
Is anyone else getting weird pseudo Exorcist vibes off that music cue? Or is it just me?
YEP. LET’S FILM WOMEN WALKING INTO THE HOUSE USING NO LIGHTS BECAUSE WE HAVE ZERO BUDGET AND WHO NEEDS LIGHTING!
And like that, the pseudo groupies just pop out of the darkness! Lord. Save me.
Cindy and co make it to the porch but one of them decides this isn’t a great idea and they should come back in the morning. (Me: “OR NEVER AT ALL!”) [Raven: Literally getting all the way to the front door before deciding not to bother? Weak. Do or do not, there is no try (copyright karateyoda 1984).] One of the other three stops her and pushes her into the door, saying she should knock. Doesn’t need to. The lights come on in the house and the door opens. Uhhhhh I think that’s supposed to be Phil??? It’s the same horrendous guitar print shirt but no hat or glasses and far calmer. Cindy introduces herself as president of the Mississauga (?) Chapter of the Triton fan club. (It’s like two in the morning, why is no one calling the cops on them?!) She asks if the band is there?
Penis demon, er, “Phil” calls them attractive and invites them in. Wow. Like, he’s much calmer and slightly more articulate then the real Phil was, so it’s a dead giveaway this is the penis demon. The girls file on inside, and we get weird shots of “Phil” shutting the door and closing the curtain over it but not actually locking the front door.
One of the girls asks if they are in the right house. “Phil” says sure, the band’s just upstairs, “all that cocaine and stuff. Sex and drugs really knocks you out.”. WHAT THE FUCK. I’m just going to say SIX DRUGS and leave it at that, because that is the epitome of summing up that old adage.
“Phil” goes on to ogle the girls while announces that he’s the band manager and “procurer”. Uh huh. It’s also 2am. (SEE I WAS RIGHT!) But the “band will be down in twenty minutes”. “Phil” then proceeds to tell them to, quote “WHIP OUT THOSE BREASTS, GIRLS.”
The girls are immediately taken aback and all start yelling “WHAT?!” aloud.
“Phil” says he thought they were here for the “jobs”. Four openings for ROAD GROUPIES. Okay, um, dear penis demon, this isn’t a band on the road, this is a band on a working “vacation”, so wow. Secondly, I guess what else could one expect from a penis demon working on limited knowledge and using the body/brain of a complete idiot.
Apparently, according to the penis demon, road groupies travel on the road with the band and grind the cocaine, scream / faint in the audience, and MOST IMPORTANTLY: keep the costumes pressed.
I can’t stop laughing. Seriously. I must remember this forever now. LET ME JUST GRIND YOU UP SOME COCAINE. (DID NO ONE INVOLVED IN THIS FILM KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT ACTUAL DRUGS??) [Raven: Heh, I read this as “take lots of” rather than “prepare”, as in “I’m going to demolish the free buffet”. Yours makes more sense.] [Dove: I just assumed he meant they were responsible for actually making the cocaine, because why not? Why buy when you can make? Like etsy, only far more illegal. I assumed that grinding it to powder was part of the process. I know fuck all about drugs. Maybe even as little as Phil.] [JC: I assumed “cocaine” was already referring to the powder form, and we were just dealing with another Fuckwit Phil.]
Phil is getting real touchy with the woman closest to him, saying he hasn’t all night, on with that bazooms! And his hand is practically pulling her shirt open. Said woman actually starts looking at her chest and contemplating opening her shirt, when one of the others says don’t! YEAH, DON’T. Cindy interjects but “Phil” cuts her off, so she apologizes again to “Mr Phil” and that this wasn’t what they expected.
Penis demon loses its grip (SNORT) and the voice comes out weird but he also asks a valid question that I also have: WHAT THE FUCK DID THESE WOMEN EXPECT? ARE THEY NOT GROUPIES? DO THEY NOT LIKE GRINDING COCAINE?? DO THEY NOT KEEP COSTUMES PRESSED???
I’m never letting that one go.
“You’re going to play with grown ups, you’re going to play grown up games!” Sure, “Phil”. He insists he has four positions to fill and instead of the girls LEAVING VIA THE UNLOCKED FRONT DOOR, they go into the basement where they are herded. Ugh. [JC: Also, at one point “Phil” calls them teenagers. Excuse you, sir, the oldest one there is clearly the grandma of the other three. The youngest is probably thirty.]
OUTDOOR NIGHTTIME ESTABLISHING SHOT! DRINK!
For some reason, to show the audience what they already know, we return to “Phil”, who is sporting that corpse-like zombie hand. Duh. Strange demonic laughter plays.
SMASH CUT TO DAY TIME OUTDOOR ESTABLISHING SHOT! DRINK!
In the kitchen, Mary and Randy are doing the dishes. Because… they didn’t get finished last night? Or are these from breakfast? [Dove: That sponge is completely dry. They’re washing nothing. If anything, they’re buffing clean plates with a dry sponge.] Has no one noticed the random car on the lawn? Did the penis demon take that for a joyride like the stolen van? Has no one been to the basement or heard the four women imprisoned in it??
Mary says Phil can’t be dead or something, he would have called. [Dove: Why is “dead” the first place to jump to to explain his absence? In town would be the natural assumption.] Uh huh. Randy tells another of the thousand and one “Phil being a clumsy idiot!” stories this band seems to have about their manager. This one involves name dropping MICK AND BIANCA JAGGER but not the Jagger part. SURE SURE SURE.
Roger runs in and grabs Mary, who jokes she’s afraid she’s married an octopus. Hardly. I didn’t see dude doing shit last night, especially compared to “Stig”. WAIT HAS ANYONE CHECKED ON LOU ANN???
Roger offers to finish the dishes for Randy, who awkwardly pauses to prove she’s caught on that he just wants alone time to paw his bride. She warns them they’ll be ready to play any minute! YOU’RE NOT IN THE BAND, RANDY.
WAIT HOLD UP, I HAVE TO REPLAY THIS SO I CAN HEAR THIS LINE ROGER JUST SAID.
“WHEN EVER I SEE YOU DOING SOMETHING SO DOMESTIC, MY BONER CAN’T HELP ITSELF.”
Wow. I find myself speechless. [JC: Roger just wants to fuck the garbage disposal. Or maybe I just want him to. While it’s running.] [Wing: Best use of the horror movie trope of a body part ending up in the garbage disposal.]
Mary tells Roger to grab a towel from the cupboard and help her finish drying. Is… is she serious? [Dove: Can’t be. None of the dishes have touched water.] He turns on the radio and… leaves? But not before threatening that now they’re married he’ll just hire someone to do this. Um. When Mary is joking about her being the hired help and not looking, Roger is yanked off-screen by a black hand. IS IT ONE OF THE COCAINE GRINDING GROUPIES???
Nope, it’s the penis demon’s zombie hand, because it comes back while making a bunch of groaning growl sounds and clearly eyeing Mary to be yeeted as well. Ooo, we get a mulleted head of hair in frame, before Mary complains about not getting her towel. Penis demon puts its grotesque hand on Mary’s hip before yanking her away from the sink and out of frame. WOW THEY’RE DROPPING LIKE FLIES SUDDENLY! [Raven: Thank fuck.]
I was trying to figure out why the radio was always playing Triton’s music but it’s, in fact, a cassette tape player as well, so yeah. Penis demon’s hand reaches in and turns it off. THIS IS POINTLESS FORESHADOWING FOR FUN AND PROFIT BUT I CAN’T TELL YOU WHY YET ALL WILL BE REVEALED. [Raven: Also, DEMONS CAN OPERATE BOOMBOXES.]
DAYTIME OUTDOOR ESTABLISHING SHOT. DRINK!
John and Max are readying to play. John wants to know where Roger is. Randy interrupts, saying he’s inside with Mary and to let him sit this one out. “Let’s rock one for the newlyweds!” Um, John, have you noticed you’re down a drummer? And a guitarist? Wait, you noticed the guitarist at least. Or is Roger the bassist? WHATEVER.
John starts the song, Randy blowing her shitty air kisses and Lou Ann pretty upbeat and rocking out, before we pan over to show Stig behind the drum kit. I GUESS “STIG” IS IN ATTENDANCE, TOO. Wow, the lyrics to “Energy” are so positive! AGAIN, POINTLESS FORESHADOWING FOR FUN AND PROFIT.
Y’know, I get we’re doing a “live performance” sequence, but the RIDICULOUSLY OVERLONG OVERHEAD SHOT of Randy and Lou Ann bouncing around to the music is dumb. Also note the lack of power cords to the instruments, yet again. [JC: No power cords, but plenty of power chords, amirite? Oh, fuck it, I’ll show myself out.] [Wing: Take me with you.] Oh wait, we need a brief interlude where the music volume drops so Randy can tell Lou Ann that Stig is totally rocking. Lou Ann alludes to how amazing he was in bed last night. CLEARLY FORGETTING THE ONE MINUTE WONDER PART.
I just noticed that Animal, the Muppet, is painted on Stig’s drum kit. HOW DID THEY GET AWAY WITH THAT?? [Dove: The same way Escape from Tomorrow got away with filming in Disney without permission. By being so shit and irrelevant that it wasn’t worth the lawsuit. (Don’t worry, it’s a Jenny Nicholson link, not a link to the assholes who made the movie.)]
This whole sequence is embarrassing and boring.
Once finished, John and Max compliment Stig, John saying this vacation was what they needed. Stig replies in a flat, fake accent-less monotone that he’s a changed man. [Raven: I’d be down for a film where the demon possesses Stig and makes hi just a far better human for the rest of the film / Stig’s life.] BUT WHO CARES BECAUSE MAX IS ASKING DEE DEE TO GO ON “A WALK OR SOMETHING”. DOES DEE DEE GRIND COCAINE?
Lou Ann comes over and asks Stig to show her some of those moves he’s got. In the same, flat, non-accent monotone, Stig says they should go to the woods because there’s a little cozy lake he wants to show her. That sentence… makes no sense… Lou Ann hopes it’s private. “VERY.” OH SURE, PENIS DEMON.
Back to Dee Dee and Max after that really weird edit interrupted. Dee Dee suggests they return to Max’s office and finish long over due business. Max is hesitant and awkward. Wait, hold up, will Max be the virgin in this story??? Dee Dee kisses him and pulls/leads him away by the shirt while Max stammers that he respects her. Buh. THIS MOVIE.
Randy bounds up to John and says she thinks they’re all on a more than a half hour break. Ha ha ha, everybody’s off fucking
or dying. John seems put out that his band has abandoned him for physical pleasure, but also agrees that they’re “studio ready” AFTER LESS THAN 12 HOURS OF REHEARSAL so whatever. THIS MOVIE. Randy has her arms around John’s neck, listing off the couples, asking if that gives him an idea. “YEAH I GOTTA START WORKING ON MY NEW LOVE SONG!” We end on Randy pouting and John wanders off. [JC: JUST TELL HIM YOU WANT TO FUCK, GIRL, GODDAMN.]
I will say it again POINTLESS FORESHADOWING FOR FUN AND PROFIT.
DAYTIME OUTDOOR ESTABLISHMENT SHOT, THIS TIME IN THE WEEDS! DRINK!
Stig and Lou Ann take a walk through the very brisk Canadian wilderness, aka the yard where there’s a large tarp-covered object and a power box. I remember the last time we all went to a lake in Canada. I hated it. Wow, there’s really a… I would say more of a pond but it’s also occluded by a lot of shrubs and grasses so maybe it’s a lake? But hardly secluded, it’s fucking five seconds from the house!
So. Um. Lou Ann wants to know how Stig found this place. YET AGAIN IN A FLAT ACCENT-LESS MONOTONE he states he’s only heard about it but it’s far enough from the house to do what they need to do. WHY HAS NO ONE NOTICED THE FAKE AUSSIE ACCENT IS DEAD?? WAS STIG JUST PUTTING IT ON AND PEOPLE THOUGHT IT WAS FUNNY AND LET HIM FAKE BEING AUSTRALIAN??? AND NOW JUST ASSUMED HE’S GOTTEN SERIOUS AND CAN SUDDENLY PLAY DRUMS SO HE DOESN’T NEED THE SHTICK??
“Stig” starts to unzip his jacket. Lou Ann is shocked he wants to do it in the grass with the “twigs and mud” and things. Um. “Stig” undoes his tie and lowers his sunglasses. Lou Ann decides that after his second performance last night she shouldn’t argue. “Stig” unbuttons his shirt and the weird electronic music is warning us not all is as it seems. Lou Ann has ditched her sweater and is feeling herself up. I guess the “twigs and mud and things” are no longer an issue. She announces she’s ready.
“So am I,” “Stig” agrees and leads over to allow a giant, fake, rubber foam demonic looking bloodied hand to push through his torso. Like… um… this isn’t scary. It’s like a purple color in the blazing sunlight and the blood isn’t even bloody.
It takes a whole bunch of shots of the demonic hand reaching for and a real weird one where it’s obvious they had zero budget, before Lou Ann decides YES I MUST SCREAM IN HORROR. [JC: Not run away, though, despite having roughly three hours to do it while Demon Hand was flailing around unconvincingly.] Another weird bunch of random edits before the demonic hand grabs one of her boobs and then a random shot of tall grass waving. WHAT THE FUCK. THEY WEREN’T STANDING ANYWHERE NEAR GRASS. [Raven: Everyone’s reaction times in this film are atrocious. It”s a feature of the special effects, partly. They are slow to implement and establish, being prosthetic or unwealdy or, well, just damn puppets. A competent director could have masked this, but still.]
Up in the office, Dee Dee is atop Max and clearly girl knows what she wants, but she pulls away to say she hears Lou Ann screaming. CUE LONG PAUSE WITH INSERTED SCREAM. [Dove: The female Wilhelm scream, actually. Random example: it showed up in Equestria Girls: The Legend of Everfree.] [bat: You have now successfully tied this film to My Little Pony, Dove. I am awed and proud.] Wow, the editing on this film is going to murder me. “Sounds like Stig is giving her what she deserves,” Max laughs. OKAY YOU CAN DIE TOO, MAX.
Max and Dee Dee continue to fuck, because apparently a breakthrough happened off screen, but we don’t see much. Except that blanket. Okay. Then it’s random shots of hands through hair and caressing while they kiss. Oh now the music is changing to more ominous while suddenly Max’s back is slick with sweat from effort. Um. Those thrusts are lacking. I guess this is the full on soft core sex scene? Dee Dee, for all her being extra, is just laying, there taking it. Um. [JC: It was at this point that I started asking why the director (ha!) didn’t just make porn, since that’s so clearly what he wanted to do.] [Dove: Is it because this director is the only person in the world who makes boobs boring?] [Wing: This sex scene goes on so so long for something that is so boring. Every time there was a closeup on hands, I kept waiting for the penis-demon’s hand to appear.]
Suddenly the film takes on a weird slow motion quality then it’s a real tight closeup of faces kissing. Am… am I supposed to understand this as climax happened during the slow motion? Wait, hold up, what the fuck??? Oh never mind, now Dee Dee is riding cowgirl style and putting more effort into “acting” out this sex scene then Max did.
And now we’re just cuddling post-coital. [Dove: But in another swing and miss for the score, while they’re all post-glow, the score is still telling you the action is going. Seriously, was this scored by a person with no concept of sound?] Okay. Seriously, guys, there’s a penis demon running around freely in the house (or maybe it’s down by the pond, but that means it’s still in the vicinity) and you can’t tell me that sexual energy doesn’t attract it! That’s basically what it’s running on, that and eating people it “seduces”!
DAYTIME OUTDOOR ESTABLISHING SHOT. DRINK!
In the master bedroom, Randy is hanging things in the closet when John walks in and starts to rifle through a bag. He’s looking for some paper? (Audio is awful, can’t hear what he said.) Randy says to look in the briefcase. Randy is wearing a sexy robe and asks if John wants to take a shower before he starts working. RANDY IS RANDY, BABY. John, clueless as ever, says he needs to start working on the new song before rehearsal. Lord.
Randy drops the robe and finally gets John’s attention. She gets in the shower first and the camera is aimed so high it actually has to lower while filming to get her into the shot. Save me. John climbs in and they start making out, only for Randy to lean away to retrieve the bar of soap. [Dove: Also, this is the least sexy shower in the world. It’s a plastic hose over a tub. It’s also way too short for Thor. I know this is a weird thing to nitpick, but it’s like literally everything in this movie was chosen to be unappealing, uninteresting or nonsensical. Also, I’m so fucking bored at this point.] [Wing: The too short thing is very common for tall people. Ostrich almost never has one tall enough when we’re not at home. Even I struggled in hotel showers, often.] HELP ME. This feels like someone thought, hey we’re getting an R-rating, but we can’t go totally porn, so let’s just barely show waist-up with a few full on boob-shots, all the while playing the main character’s music the entire film! This is just bad, folks. So bad.
OH OH MY GOD WE GOT A BARE ASS SHOT OF JOHN. HOW PROGRESSIVE. [Raven: They must have cut the scene where he uses it to inflate a hot water bottle.] [JC: I would watch that in a heartbeat over the Tongue Thing.]
Otherwise this is awkward as fuck and I am not describing it. And oh my god the tongue thing. THE TONGUE THING.
…this just keeps going. I can’t. I cannot. [JC: If Sticky turned me off men, the Tongue Thing has made me, a very horny person, completely sex-repulsed.]
OH THANK GOD. I HAVE NEVER BEEN MORE HAPPY TO SEE MAX AND DEE DEE. AND THEY’RE GETTING DRESSED. They’re being cuddly and cute and Max admits that Dee Dee has made him totally crazy, because he’s watched the male fans at concerts falling all over her. Um. Dee Dee counters there’s thousands of TEENAGE GIRLS who wanted a piece of him. WARNING WARNING DANGER WILL ROBINSON. [JC: If they were “teenagers” the way the groupies were teenagers, it’s fine. They’re probably entering menopause.]
Max laments waiting so long. THAT’S YOUR OWN FUCKING FAULT DUDE, DEE DEE WAS THROWING SIGNALS LEFT RIGHT AND CENTRE.
Wait. The door is ajar? DID THEY TOTALLY HAVE SEX WITH THE DOOR AJAR SO EVERYONE ELSE HAD TO HEAR IT? OH MY GOD EVEN WORSE PLOT TWIST. THE LITTLE BOY FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE FILM POKES HIS HEAD IN THE OPEN DOOR, WATCHING DEE DEE AND MAX SUCK FACES.
Dee Dee calls out to him but he runs away downstairs. She tells Max and Max is like “KID?!” and is very concerned/confused while Dee Dee thinks it’s hilarious and not totally out of the ordinary. Dee Dee assumes he’s local and they should go look for him. Max groans before agreeing, so your nookie break is over, pal. Off the go, downstairs, to look for MYSTERY CHILD. Who runs into the kitchen which is a mess before we
SMASH CUT TO DAYTIME OUTSIDE ESTABLISHING SHOT. DRINK!
The boy bolts out the backdoor and across the yard to the barn. Dee Dee and Max enter the kitchen and start searching it for him. Boy meanwhile enters the barn, because the door is wide open. WHAT IS WITH THESE PEOPLE AND LEAVING DOORS UNLOCKED AND AJAR??
Max sees the boy enter the barn, so they take off. Boy enters the not basement and looks for a place to hide, choosing to do so behind a big roll of vinyl flooring. Um. Dee Dee and Max enter, somehow knowing instinctively that the boy ran into the not basement, and start acting like they’re trying to capture a lost puppy. What the fuck. It’s a child! [Dove: And once again the score is completely useless. The action is “ooh, creepy child, mystery, impending doom” (or it would be if it was a decent movie), the score is saying, “this is a kids show. What’s behind the yellow door, boys and girls? That’s right! It’s a balloon! Can you spell balloon?” *headdesk*] [JC: M-O-O-N, that spells holy FUCK, please put me out of my misery!]
Max realizes he can see the kid behind the vinyl? He and Dee Dee crouch and coax the child out but I WAS WRONG, IT’S A DOG CHILD NOT A CHILD. I guess the movie got a werewolf just for Wing? [Wing: Do I … do I need to thank the movie now? For giving me a werewolf? I’ve been adamant that werewolves make everything better and yet this, if he is a werewolf, proves that … well no. I had a slight moment of joy over the wereboy there boy joke, so see? Werewolves make everything better! Not good, but better. Though I don’t think he’s actually a werewolf, I’m going to pretend he is.] It’s like Laddie but if Laddie was a child werewolf! His little forehead pulses because we get a random closeup of that practical effect for zero reason. Oh my bad, it’s the editing that lied, that was to show how the kid is transforming into even more of a monster-like wolf. [JC: Oh, wow. I did not get “werewolf” from this makeup at all. What’s even funnier is that the moon they keep showing us is a half-moon. WHY SHOW WEREWOLF IF ONLY HALF MOON???] [bat: In Canada, it only takes a half moon to half turn?]
Dee Dee and Max are scared, yo. [Raven: Not scared enough to run like fuck in the fifteen minutes it takes for this guy to transform, of course.] Wait, what the fuck, did the wereboy just attack them? WHAT WAS THAT?? WHY? HOW? WHAT???
These deaths are so unsatisfying. It hurts.
DAYTIME OUTDOOR ESTABLISHING SHOT. DRINK!
Well, whether or not actual intercourse happened – it was quite questionable in the prior scene – it’s over now. John turns off the shower and they kiss and it’s over. I CAN’T UNDERSTAND A THING RANDY JUST MUMBLED.
[Dove: BEHOLD THE UNSEXY SHOWER –>]
NIGHTTIME OUTDOOR ESTABLISHING SHOT. DRINK!
In the living slash dining room, the table is set for everyone but only Randy and John are present, sitting on the couch. waiting. HAVING TAKEN NO INTEREST IN FINDING OUT WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO THE SEVEN OTHER PEOPLE IN THIS FARM HOUSE. SERIOUSLY?!
JOHN HAS HAD IT, YO! HE’S PISSED. THEY’RE UP HERE TO GET WORK DONE SO THEY CAN TOUR AND EVERYONE’S OFF FUCKING EACH OTHER! HOW DARE THEY! HOW DARE THEY! Isn’t this the same dude who said they were ready to record the new album after less than 12 hours and also was writing new songs constantly?
Randy admits she’s worried, you’d think they’d have heard from the seven missing people by now. WOW. John posits that Phil came back with the amazing van and whisked everyone else into town while he and Randy were doin’ it in the shower. (????????)
“I mean, that’s the only answer!”
IS IT? IS IT, JOHN?
Randy agrees, basing it on the fact the equipment was put away. (??????????????) She asks John to do the dishes – they are clean and empty, Randy, what the hell [Raven: Is this film sponsored by Fairy Liquid?] [Dove: I was in one of their commercials. Which means I’ve been in a higher quality production than anyone in this film.] – while she goes upstairs to get the things she was soaking out of the bathroom sink. “Sure!” John chirps, adding after he cleans up the clean dishes he’s going to the barn to work on that damn love song he won’t shut up about. AGAIN. POINTLESS FORESHADOWING FOR FUN AND PROFIT.
Oh my god, Randy thinks their shower fucking was inspirational. I would not agree. I would wholeheartedly disagree on that. They part and I guess John grabs their plates, which I think were dirty? Weird.
NIGHTTIME OUTSIDE ESTABLISHING SHOT. DRINK! (Do we all have alcohol poisoning yet? It may be my only chance to escape the last 20 minutes of this film.) [JC: I considered drinking before I even started the movie, but it was 3 AM and I didn’t want to have to explain to Fiancé where the bottle of sauvignon blanc went. Or why.] [Wing: Surely by now Fiancé is used to you having to drink because of something to do with recapping.] The fact there are continual unintentional car headlights coming round the bend in the road, making it look as if a car is coming to the house, is hilarious to me.
John is in the kitchen, washing dishes and listening to himself sing on cassette tape, because as you do. Somehow I remember this part? Like I barely remembered anything else – except that initial shot of the penis demon because I tell you, SEARED INTO MY BRAIN – but somehow I remember John washing dishes. Weird.
He finishes up after way too long a shot, turns off the lights, then decides he needs a Coke. (SHALL I GRIND SOME COCAINE FOR THEE, JOHN?) He opens the fridge, reaches in for a Coke, and we see the left over roasted chicken moving in the pan. It has a fang-filled mouth. Okay. It literally looks like a tiny, crispy-skinned Jaws! TELL ME I’M WRONG.
It also seems to have a single eyeball? I’m not sure. John, because script says so, doesn’t look in, grabs his Coke, and shuts the door and leaves. The camera lingers for way too long. I swear, the editing on this film is going to kill me. [Raven: Absolutely pointless special effect.]
Upstairs, in the bathroom, Randy is rinsing out her soaked in the sink unmentionables. We get more shitty creature POV, something is watching her. This is the longest shot of someone not moving. Why. SUDDENLY, Randy looks up and whirls around, acting surprised. She softens and asks what a little boy is doing here. Oh no. RUN AWAY, RANDY.
SMASH CUT TO NIGHTTIME OUTDOOR ESTABLISHING SHOT. DRINK!
John made it across the yard with his Coke and briefcase and is settling in to write that awesome love song he never shuts up about. I’m pretty sure he’s the Last Man Standing at this point. I don’t know how; is it the mullet? It’s gotta be that glorious mullet. He’s had sex, he’s grinding drinking Coke, he’s working on a love song… THERE’S GOTTA BE A REASON JOHN IS THE LAST
GIRL GUY STANDING IN THIS HORROR MOVIE. [Raven: Becuase he wrote the fucking thing?]
It’s bothering me how casual he is dressed. I mean, after two scenes of shirtless tuxedo jackets made in outrageous fabrics, a sweater and a watch is just… wow. I mean, I know what’s coming; I remember the VHS cover art. But damn.
Oh my god. I thought he was writing lyrics? NO HE’S ACTUALLY WRITING MUSIC. WHAT THE HELL.
Okay this music is vastly annoying and doing nothing to make me want to watch, it’s supposed to be upping viewer’s suspense but it is not. I keep waiting for like Killer Klowns to show up.
FINALLY. Tiny fingers appear on the edge of the desk. Gizmo, is that you? Nope. Oh god nope. NOPE RIGHT OUT OF THE NOPE. It’s the penis demon and now it has HANDS. John smashes the Coke can (grinds it???) onto the penis’ demon’s right hand. It lets out a yelp and chews on its other fingers to keep from screaming (?) But apparently its hands aren’t strong enough to move the Coke can??? It finally cannot take the pain and screeches and disappears under the table, but the Coke can doesn’t even move. Oh wait, it finally freed itself. [JC: I swear I’ve seen this scene somewhere before, but I know I’ve never watched this actual movie. Now I’m trying to figure out if I’ve watched a YouTube video about this movie at some point.] [Raven: Okay, so this film is definitely sponsored by Coke.] [Dove: Coke must be so proud.] [JC: Alternatively, it was sponsored by Pepsi, who wanted to make Coke look bad. This is a thing that I swear has actually happened before, but I’ll be damned if I can remember what movie it was.] [bat: This is what I could find, JC. “In 1982, Coke acquired Columbia Pictures and started churning out hits like “Ghostbusters,” “The Karate Kid,” and “Stand By Me.” But then it released “Ishtar,” which bombed and lost more than $40 million. The flop generated such bad press that Coke sold Columbia Pictures in 1989 and got out of the movie business.”] [JC: God, this is turning into a whole thing. *shakes head* That’s absolutely not what I’m talking about. It’s called negative product placement, and it’s when one company pays to have a rival brand’s products used in a negative manner in media. I was listening to a podcast where the hosts were speculating that that’s what was going on in a terrible movie they had watched, but I now can neither remember the podcast nor the movie they were discussing.]
Like, that’s the funniest fucking thing IN THIS ENTIRE FILM. At least for me, it is.
OH. A NEW PLAYER HAS ENTERED THE ARENA. This one looks like a very slimmed down knock off Chestburster slides out onto the next table, shiny with slime. [JC: Pterodactyl worm!] It’s got a tail and some thin, vestigial arms (I actually had to google for the word, what the fuck, brain) and it’s got some teeth but I don’t know how much damage they’d do. It opens its mouth and hisses loudly but John neither sees nor hears it. SO FOCUSED ON WRITING MUSIC.
Just as the new demon thing leaps at John, he bends over out of the way, so the demon thing goes flying past him. Whoops. Good thing John dropped his pen right at that second! (What the ever living fuck.) It briefly pops back up before falling over. Okay. [Raven: The puppet things in this film are so terrible. I understand that the budget was non-existant ($52,000 all in), but even so.] [Wing: The weird creature music. THE WEIRD CREATURE MUSIC.]
WELL TIME TO PLAY HARDER. “Randy” enters the barn, climbs the stairs, and there’s some weird camera movements that I think are supposed to imply she’s floating or sliding across the floor towards an entirely oblivious John.
“What are you talking about, Randy?”
“We have to stop pretending! The guys won’t be coming back. They’re dead!”
“Dead?! You’re crazy!”
“They’re dead! And the van is gone! And we have no way out of here!”
WHAT AMAZING DIALOGUE! How did this not win
a Razzie an Oscar?? [Dove: Even the Razzies were like, “There is some shit that even we are too good for.”]
John insists the van is back, it’s right “on the front”. Do… do you mean out front? All that ground up Coke has really affected John. “Randy”, whose voice is getting weird, insists that can’t be true. John counters that Phil and “everybody” – THEY HAVE NAMES, JOHN, THEY HAVE NAMES! – are around and Randy needs to stop worrying.
“Randy” loses her shit, shouting that John isn’t listening to her and insists again that everyone is dead and “SO AM I!” Raising her arms, “Randy” disappears in a bright red light before turning into…
Wait for it…
Well, I guess an approximation of some sort of devil, because this one cobbled together out of papier-mâché and foam rubber and is about twelve inches tall probably and hardly scary. The film makers go out of their way to give audiences an EXTRA LONG SHOT of the side of the devil’s face. Like, thanks? Still not remotely scary? The penis demon is far more terrifying.
John finally looks up from literally writing music (I still can’t get over that?) and laughs, saying that’s a nice effect, Randy. Buh? He likes the look. Wat? The devil (SNORT) waves his stick arms and says he’s trifled with John long enough. “Prepare to die, HA HA!”
No, really, the devil just totally said HA HA.
Out from the smoke (??) arises penis demon, whose hands are larger and the penis now seems to be attached to a neck / body?? WTF??? OH MY GOD NOW THERE’S ANOTHER PENIS DEMON BUT THIS ONE HAS A BOWL CUT??? AND A THIRD ONE THAT LOOKS LIKE DOC BROWN???????? AND A FOURTH ONE!! THE DEVIL IS TELLING THEM TO ARISE! ARISE!!
Okay I can’t stop laughing again. I seriously hope they do a full shot of all these penis demons together because damn.
The devil is yammering on about the penis demons destroying John. Okay. Um. If a goddamn Coke can was too much for one to handle, I’m not sure how 4 (5?) of them are going to match up against John. One of the penis demons has nun-chucks? The Doc Brown one is smoking? What??? [Raven: Are these penis monsters the now-deceased band members?]
John interrupts the devil. “You’re wasting my time, bub.” (Does he mean bub or Beelzebub??? Nah, that’s me expecting too much from the writers. [Dove: Wolverine fan?]) The devil counters that it’s incredible and almost too fun to kill one “so stupid” – while waving his dangerously weak papier-mâché arms around – and something about killing John like he’s killed John’s pitiful friends because they are totally in the devil’s domain.
Remember: this was originally entitled EDGE OF HELL. [JC: Rimjob of Hell, more like.]
OH SHIT. PLOT TWIST. THE WRITERS KNOW BEELZEBUB! John calls him that! Ha ha! Oh god, then promptly overdo it by listing various names for the devil or devil-like figures in various religions / cultures. [JC: And mispronouncing about half of them.] “As you see (????) I do know you!” John smiles. Uhh, pretty sure I’ve hung around Satanists who list all those names for fun, John, I am not impressed.
The devil asks what of John’s friends, his band, the groupies. John smiles and chuckles, stating they were only illusions he created to entertain the devil’s little friends. “Juicy little souls to bring you out in the open!” Wait. BOTH THE DEVIL AND I ARE CONFUSED. SO CONFUSED. IF THEY WERE SHADOWS AND/OR ILLUSIONS HOW DID THEY HAVE SOULS? DID YOU JUST SACRIFICE SOULS FOR FUN, JOHN?
“Just characters I drew from horror movies!” John, what the fuck, man. [Wing: Which archetype is the two-minute man Stig was?]
Welp, this sets off the penis demons, who are chattering and squeaking loudly. The devil suddenly realizes he’s watched all the horror movies in the world and recognizes the archetypes John created. WHAT THE FUCK WE’VE GONE META? My head hurts. John insists he’s always been at the farm all alone the whole time.
Oh my GOD. John walks over and unseen wind blows his glorious mullet around majestically [Raven: NICHOLAS CAGE!] as John explains he knew if he pissed off the devil enough he would show up in person. Uhhhhh. John leans forward for a long second, as unseen winds roar, before leaning back and yelling in a strange voice, “I AM THE INTERCESSOR!”
And we have turned from a full blown horror movie to a religious battle between good and evil. PLOT TWIST NO ONE SAW COMING! A circular halo of rainbows envelops John’s head, blinding the viewer in a bright white light at the center. Two of the penis demons scream and get blown backwards. The devil is stunned as he recognizes who John really is. And it isn’t Bibleman.
I wanna say John “Hulks” out but not really. Although he is suddenly shirtless and shaking with “raw” power, he has a cape on (NO CAPES!) and his mullet has been teased within an inch of its life. And also, he’s sweaty, as he flexes and poses and distorts his face weird expressions. [Raven: And so the Prince Adam / He-Man transformation is complete.] [Dove: Pretty sure those metal knickers have a thong back from the way he’s walking.] [bat: Maybe there’s a cock ring involved, like Tim Capello confessed to.] Like, I dunno, I expected better? More dramatic? The penis demons hide. We get some real weird angles that I think are supposed to imply John is huge and powerful but… they don’t. Meanwhile, the devil has been moaning and groaning and it sounds real weird juxtaposed against the images on screen.
“I am Triton, the archangel,” formerly John announces to the devil. He rambles something about the Creator’s highest law keeping Bub (snort) in the darkest place but that Bub and his brothers (penii?) keep overstepping into… onto…? Earth and breaking into the world of the living.
“WHEN WILL YOU EVER LEARN?!” Triton shakes his head dramatically.
Wow. This is the plot twist I did not remember. I forgot it went all religious battle. This is fucking hilarious. Like faux Ozzy working for God, a heavy metal archangel. [JC: This is where I lost it laughing my ass off. Also, I fully expected the showdown to be Triton battling the devil through the power of ROCK! I was disappointed on that front. Still, I think Tenacious D and the Pick of Destiny was inspired by this movie.]
…who wears a spike-covered Speedo-belt combo. Oh my god. Well, can’t unsee that. Triton totally works at Chippendale’s during the week, you just know it.
Okay now we’re watching Triton and Bub (SNORT) take steps (one of these things is not like the other) as they circle each other, preparing for battle. I know the devil is talking but I can barely understand a word. Something about Triton being the loser. Sure.
While I’m thinking about it, it wasn’t just the people in this film were totally bad actors. They were all illusions, so that proves how bad John/Triton’s imagination is. He had to rely on fucking horror movie tropes to lure the devil! Holy shit! THIS IS HILARIOUS! [Raven: It’s certainly a strident direction, that’s for sure.]
Triton does some weird theatrical move, announcing he’s bound to strike Bub from this place. Okay. I’m pretty sure I could do it, seeing how rickety this papier-mâché puppet is. “It’s my job!” Okay, you get to work, Triton. There’s all of ten minutes left. You probably need all of them to pose and grunt and kick the devil’s papier-mâché ass.
The music starts, heavy guitars, as the penis demons fling themselves at Triton. Oh my god HILARIOUS!! He catches one and throws it dramatically to the ground, this is in some sort of demi-slow motion but I can’t tell if it’s being filmed that way or Triton is just doing his own slow motion movements. The devil keeps throwing the same penis demon at Triton, who either catches it and throws it down or dodges it. They look like those Stretch Armstrong dolls. I CAN’T STOP LAUGHING.
One finally connects with Triton and I’m guessing it’s supposed to have latched onto his neck? Either way, it’s being held on and Triton is over acting his way through an attack. Somewhere along the line, a second has attached itself to Triton’s chest and he is unable to prize them free. Oh noes! OH MY GOD THEY HAVE SUCTION CUPS, THEY’RE NOW OCTOPUS PENII!
I am watching a grown man, shirtless and oiled up, in weird pseudo bondage gear, struggle against fucking penis puppets that are “attached” to him by suction cups. WHERE IN LIFE DID I GO WRONG TO DESERVE THIS?? LET ALONE A SECOND TIME WHEN I ACTUALLY PAID ATTENTION?? [Wing: I am sobbing with laughter. This is horrifying and so far being “so bad it’s funny” and yet I keep thinking about how you got us all to watch this and I can’t stop laughing.]
Wow, now he’s making faces at the penis demon before he… slowly rips the foam rubber…. Ever so slowly…. Wow this takes forever… [JC: “Let me . . . just . . . rip this . . . foam . . . oof!”] [Raven: And they left no fucking marks on his oiled-up pecs.]
OH! FINALLY DONE! Triton wipes the slime from his greased up pecs and looks for the devil. Finding him – IT WASN’T HARD, HE’S RIGHT ACROSS THE STAGE FOR FUCK’S SAKE – Triton runs (we get two different shots back to back to prove what he’s doing) and begins to wrestle with papier-mâché arms! OH MY GOD LOCKED IN MORTAL COMBAT!
I don’t know how to write this for a recap. It is literally fake as fuck and so goddamn unintentionally hilarious, it must be seen to be believed. How did this ever get committed to film, let alone edited into an actual film and released straight to VHS??? There are four other witnesses to this, maybe they can describe it? [JC: I’m all tapped out of describing anything after the starfish penis monster shurikens. They broke me.] [Raven: Thor is gurning and chewing scenery like a champ all the while. He looks like a roided Gary Glitter.]
Huh. I thought most archangels had swords? Particularly of the flaming variety? Guess Triton wasn’t around when weapons were assigned. Okay, let’s get into it, it wouldn’t be one of my recaps if I didn’t GOOGLE SOME SHIT.
So Triton – in the case, capitalized – is a word of Greek origin that seems to mean “third”. Okay, 3 is a holy number in a lot of religions and belief systems, so yeah. I can go with that. The fact Triton is a Greek god of the sea and “tritons” are kind of a generic term for “mermen” works with the whole penis demons looking like star fish with the whole suction cups on the bottoms of them that stick to Triton. Whatever. I’m not really finding anything else here of interest. So I’m not sure where Triton came from? The band is called Tritonz, so that also doesn’t help.
Oh, yeah, Triton and the devil are still wrestling, by the by. This goes on for a full minute and a half (how many fucking edits in that sequence, I don’t know, I lost count) until Triton begins to PUNCH the devil in the side of its papier-mâché face, slowly and repeatedly. Because, you know, plot says so. OH NOW HE’S USING BOTH FISTS! This is over the top over dramatic acting, folks.
OH NOES! THE DEVIL HAS PUNCHED (more like someone swung an arm) OUT TRITON AND KNOCKED HIM TO THE GROUND! Triton gets to his feet, careful not to impale his thigh on his spike-covered cod piece (lord help me) and goes right for the devil’s feet, grabbing with both hands! The devil falls down and waggles back and forth, since any actual movement would probably damage the papier-mâché and the budget certainly didn’t allow for reshoots. [JC: “Now, Thor, be gentle with the foam rubber demon, we only have the one!”] [Dove: This is fucking dire. A flamboyant He-Man wannabe is badly made puppet and does his best not to move for fear of breaking the puppet, all the while trying to imply that this is an epic battle. Without movement. In the background, a fucking terrible song plays. It goes on for hours and nothing happens. I am cataclysmically bored right now.]
The devil attempts to rise but Triton is there, squinting. Yes SQUINTING as white dots appear superimposed on his eyes. Wait. What? They disappeared before anything happened! And now Triton is fake strangling the devil!? The devil begins to choke and or scream, I’m not sure, before Triton backs away and lets go.
And with that, the devil tells Triton he wins. [JC: Dude, I’ve been choked harder than that for fun. What the literal hell.]
I shit you not.
And then there’s some cheap ass fireworks that ignite in a bunch of red flares and sparks and POOF goes the devil. LITERALLY. IT WENT POOF. [Raven: “Four grand for some CGI wizardry as the devil makes his exit? Fuck that, just add a Roman Candle in post.”] [JC: “Add a road flare in there over it! It’ll be grand!”]
Triton steps into frame, looks at the empty spot the puppet was standing in, and glares at the camera. “I’ll see you again, Old Scratch!” (This is actually not a lie. Please see Final Thoughts below.) [Wing: Old Scratch is one of my favorite names for the devil.]
And with that, Triton wanders off.
NIGHTTIME OUTSIDE ESTABLISHING SHOT. DRINK! We’re in some kind of cemetery? At twilight? I see rows of headstones. Car headlights in the distance. A slow camera pan to the right. Still just headstones and trees. Tighter shot on the headstones. Smash cut to a pair of shoes walking into the cemetery, towards the headstones. Of course it’s John / Triton. NO ONE ELSE EVER REALLY EXISTED, REMEMBER???
This is so dark I can’t tell but I think John is wandering in to the headstones? I SEE THE EDGE OF THE GLORIOUS MULLET. He speaks to the headstones. Oh no, wait, he’s not speaking aloud. He quotes “‘Vengeance is mine’, sayest the Lord,” and how he avenged their deaths. BEFORE HE WALKS AWAY WITHOUT US EVER SEEING THE HEADSTONES. WHAT THE FUCK?
DAYTIME OUTSIDE ESTABLISHING SHOT. DRINK! IT’S A NEW HOUSE! We keep getting new angles. What the hell, not this shit again. The camera pulls back and away, then pushes in super close. For fucks sake, please stop this. Now we’re moving down the street, until the camera is focused on the pavement and the screen goes back.
WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT ENDING??? DID JOHN LIE AND EVERYONE ACTUALLY EXISTED??? I WILL NEVER GET ANSWERS NOW! DAMN IT!!
[Dove: WHY WAS A RANDOM HOUSE THE LAST SHOT OF THE MOVIE? WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT ABOUT?]
I totally forgot the religious battle twist. Maybe that’s why I blacked it out. A friend and I used to watch the religious channel’s teen-age-group targeted television block for shits and giggles on Friday and Saturday nights. And it was the late 90s at the time, so you know they were awful. Like I’ve said many times, the only thing seared into my brain was the penis demon.
That’s how I goggled it, too. “Penis alien horror movie” or some such. Sigh. [Wing: …so what kind of monsterfucking websites did Google show you?] [bat: I’m on a list now, surely.]
I’m also thinking about how John/Triton told the devil everyone was an illusion, a thirst trap to lure the devil into reality. Or this plane of existence. Whatever. THAT TOTALLY MEANS JOHN IMAGINED HOW MANY PEOPLE FUCKING AT ONE TIME?? DO YOU REALIZE THE FUCKED UP IMPLICATIONS OF THIS PLOT POINT?? IT IS GOING TO HAUNT ME.
Anyway, this movie was panned by everyone who saw it, yet SOMEHOW it warranted a 2005 sequel entitled Intercessor: Another Rock ‘N’ Roll Nightmare. On the grounds of protecting what little sanity I have left, I refuse to watch it. This was bad enough.
Now, what did everyone else think?
[JC: Well. I’ve been watching some pretty awful movies recently for a project Dove and I are working on, so I think I’m numb to the badness at this point. It was boring, and baffling, and I couldn’t make sense of anything that was happening. The audio for dialogue was horrific, and the music was cranked up to an unfathomable level. Someone didn’t understand that the audience is supposed to be able to actually hear the dialogue over the music. Not that the dialogue matters even a tiny bit, but some of it was so fucking bonkers that it would be a shame to miss it. I’m convinced the filmmakers (ha!) were some of the roughly two dozen people who’ve seen Monster Dog, and they decided to copy it, but with penis demons instead of werewolves. The end is completely different, but the rest of it vibes so much like that movie . . . you’d have to see it to believe it. Even the main rocker’s girlfriend is basically the same person in both movies. All this one was missing was the “doom, you’re all doomed!” character that shows up repeatedly. Although the Charles Manson-looking caretaker in this one might have been meant to serve that purpose. The end of this movie is fucking hilarious, and I’d advise people to skip the rest of the movie (you really won’t miss any vital plot, because there is none) and just watch the last 15 minutes or so. 10 minutes? I wasn’t really looking at the time code at that point, but the final showdown could work by itself, as a short film. A hilarious, what-the-fuck-am-I-watching short film.]
[Raven: I’ve seen some fucking bullshit in my time. I was a paid-up collector of Troma films, from Toxic Avenger to Surf Nazis Must Die, from A Nymphoid Barbarian in Dinosaur Hell to Tromeo and Juliet. I have a batchelors degree in Film Studies, which saw me sit through countless student-driven zero-budget arthouse bilge projects. I’ve seen the classics of the terrible film genre, works of subjective genius from Ed Wood, Uwe Boll and more. And I’ve never seen anything, ANYTHING, worse than the godawful eighty-three minutes of DESICATED VOMITSPUNK I sat through this evening.
The whole thing had a tossed-off amateurish “fuck it, that’ll do” vibe. It felt as though the minds behind every single creative choice had never seen an actual film themselves, but had only had the idea of films explained to them by a drunk man with a mouth ulcer speaking in Polish, his second language. The writing was atrocious, the acting diabolical, the editing apalling, the special effects laughable, the framing nonsensical, the pacing catatonic, the direction uninspiring, and the characterisation completely absent.
And I would have forgiven it all, in a fucking heartbeat, if they hadn’t fucked up the audio beyond all measure.
The soundtrack? Overbearing. The score? ALL IN CAPS, and partly German to both confuse and intimidate. The music COMPLETELY dominated every scene, so much so that it was impossible to wade into the campy joy that I’m hoping would have been the takeaway in a well-balanced world. Every line was masked, mumbled, or whispered, and when this is coupled with a cacophonous bucket of spite at every turn, it kills the project stone dead.
Maybe my 2021 eyes are jaded. Nowadays, any yin-yang with an iPhone can toss out a relatively decent movie, with enough gumption. In 1987, things were different. On reflection, the premise seems quite fun. And we began, as I say, with high hopes, snarking and smiling and having fun. But that goodwill soon drained away under the unrelenting audio issues that made the whole thing entirely unwatchable. I enjoyed this recap far FAR more than the movie behind it, and it’s safe to say that I doubt I’ll be checking out the sequel.]
[Dove: Recently I told bat that no matter what she did, I would always be in debt to her, because she introduced me to my best friend and my husband. She has been a staunch supporter through some of my dark times, and told a bunch of kids to get off my damned lawn (website, actually) when they were being assholes. I am deeply in debt to bat. [bat: Here comes the ‘but’!]
WELL FUCK THAT. WE’RE EVEN NOW.
This movie was an irredeemable piece of shit. The score is literally the worst. Whatever is happening on screen, you can absolutely guarantee that it will not match up to the score. The audio is a bungled mess, as everyone has mentioned. I couldn’t tell who was who, and I didn’t care. Maybe I would have if I managed to catch more than two words from each scene, but then again, maybe not.
This was a festering piece of shite, and my life is actually worse for having watched it. This is literally the worst movie I have ever seen. And not in a so-bad-it’s-funny way. Just in a flat-out, no question about it, absolute garbage way.] [bat: Yet you stated how hopeful you were at the beginning of the recap, Dove! This should tell readers just how awful this film really is. All that good will gone in the blink of a $5 firework, just like THE DEVIL.]
[Wing: I found the “rock” “songs” kind of fun, to be honest. I’m listening to the one over the ones over the credits as I write this comment. There is no possible way I would have enjoyed this movie even if the rest of it was wonderful because I hate hate HATE surprise religious stories, and so this ending would have ruined the entire thing for me no matter how great the rest of the movie. I do not give a flying fuck about Christian-based angels versus demons stories.]