BLACK ROSES (1988)
by Guest Schlocker Jim
What’s It About: A metal band named Black Roses comes to your town and helps you party down – and they also turn you into vicious demons. Grand Funk Railroad never thought of that angle. Anyhoo, chaos as you might have guessed runs rampant and it looks like the only people that can save us from this band of demons are the elders from Footloose.
Here are some of my observations as I watched the film:
- Right off the bat the demon band is introduced with faces that would make Slipknot blush.
- When said demon band opens their set with a song called, “Me Against The World” you know you’re in for a treat.
- When in full demon regalia, Damian looks like one of those giants who were constantly annoyed by the Fraggles.
- I have to admit, these guys are lip-synching pretty good with all of that special make up effects on.
- I’m guessing that the stuffed shirt who opened the auditorium doors and was trampled by demon audience members, is a direct reference to the tragedy that befell The Who in Cincinnati on their 1979 tour.
- Two Lamborghinis drive through a Podunk town and make animated black rose vines grow on the pavement. I’m sold, how about you?
- The establishing shot of the town’s main street look a lot like the one from Halloween 4.
- Do they still make those rough textured blue binders that we would always draw band logos on?
- I will admit that having the lead singer named Damian is a bit much.
- There’s always a muscle-head in a tank top in every classroom scene from this era.
- Mr. Morehouse looks very much like Tom Selleck in his Magnum P.I. days and I will leave it at that.
- Someone else actually used to paint the backs of denim jackets? My youth has been vindicated.
- Old people assembled in a gymnasium is never a good sign for a metal band and its fans.
- The way the mayor defends having a metal concert in his town is very reminiscent of the justifications of a certain mayor from Amity island.
- Johnny is jumping on and dry-humping every sign post on the street. That can’t be good foreshadowing.
- I know that this is a horror movie filmed in 1987 and released in 1988, but I am eagerly anticipating my first sight of a Member’s Only jacket.
- Oh boy, after the first concert, Morehouse’s students are unresponsive in class and wearing Iron Maiden World Slavery tour shirts. I think Sir, your goose as they say is cooked.
- Damian can make his hair shorter when he is not performing on stage and talking to the general public. Nothing supernatural about that – have you seen Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley lately?
- Tony the tank top wearing douche’s father is none other than Vincent “Big Pussy” Pastore. He even enters the scene calling his son a “stunod” thus making sure that you know this is clearly an Italian family.
- Pastore gets attacked by a demon Muppet centipede, and gets pulled through a wall mounted speaker like Nancy’s mom from A Nightmare On Elm Street. Beats getting shot and dumped in the drink off of the Jersey shore I suppose.
- Mr. Morehouse is so hip that he has to unwind with his beer listening to Mozart. I thought for sure it would have been The Doobie Brothers.
- No one chanted “Damian” this much in The Omen.
- I haven’t seen the floor tom covered in glitter gag in a very long time. Thank you Carmine Appice.
- Morehouse drives down main street and witnesses what Skid Row once called the “Youth Gone Wild” only to pull up to the same house Friday’s grandmother lived in in Dragnet.
- I grew up with, and still love metal but I have never come home from a concert and air-guitared through the living room in front of my mom.
- At this point in the film, I really want to hear Ratt’s “Round and Round” for some odd reason.
- Doing brake-stands in an IROC Z-28: as Billy Joel once crooned, “My sweet romantic teenage nights.”
- Tony’s vehicular homicide of his mother is a palate cleanser compared to the strip gin rummy game going on between Jaime, her friend, and her dad.
- Morehouse’s hero march motif whenever he drives is quite cool.
- Jaime, the hot chick I mentioned before, has not blinked once during this film. Even when she transforms into a demon and shoves the school counselor out of the window, those eyes are wide fucking open.
- Why back up 2 feet on an empty road to do a spin-out 180? Did you never see a Hal Needham movie Mr. Morehouse?
- OK, here we go – the final concert/showdown. This should kick ass, Damian is using a harmonizer to bring his voice down several octaves. That always means something evil right? He is after all making the devil horns with his hands. (Author’s note: I truly miss Ronnie James Dio)
- At least at the end Damian copped to the fact that he was bald as a cue ball and that it was just a wig the whole time. I admire honesty in demons.
- When Damian goes full-out demon he looks like the Sarlaac, while the rest of the band clearly just put on masks.
- I can’t believe it, Morehouse gave Damian the Monster Squad’s “kick him in the nards” escape.
- Instead of saying “hasta la vista baby”, Mr. Morehouse, before setting the Damian demon on fire says, “show’s over.” Close enough.
- Six months later and Black Roses has six shows booked at MSG before a tour of England. Wonder what the Ticketmaster surcharge will be on that…
Scare Volume: If you are old enough to remember what Tipper Gore and her cronies did to rock and metal – it is quite frightening.
Gore Volume: Some blood spatter after every patricide, and a very nice throat cutting.
Nudity Volume: Tits somewhat galore.
Best Line: “Only two kinds of men wear earrings, pirates and faggots. I don’t see no ship in our driveway.” Where have you gone Vincent Pastore?
Best Scene: When several members of the audience are instantly turned into what looked like the aliens from Cocoon when they weren’t in the pool long enough.
Worst Scene: Julie attempts to seduce Morehouse, then turns into a balls out demon through effects magic that was once provided by the He-Man cartoons. She transforms into something that looks exactly like one of the maquettes Tommy Jarvis made in his room from F13 part 4 – gets beaten with a tennis racket, almost choked with a tennis ball, and then finally stabbed with a chair leg. If you are not laughing like you’re stoned and watching a Ferris wheel by this scene’s end, well then this might not be the movie for you.
How ’bout the Tunes: A soundtrack featuring King Kobra, Bang Tango, Tempest, and Lizzy Borden? I should fucking well say so.
Overall: Golly Bob Howdy was that a fun movie. Cheese upon cheese then melted with more cheese and my smile is ear to ear. To clarify, this brought me right back to my days as a long-haired, leather jacket on top of a concert t-shirt wearing dope with jeans ripped open at the knees – and I couldn’t be prouder of my metal roots. I wasn’t as bad as the cast of Heavy Metal Parking Lot, but I was close. Funny thing is I’m pretty much the same today, except for being follicle-ly challenged here in my later years. To sum up: Star Wars Episode IV makes me feel like I’m 5 again – and this movie made me feel like I was 17 again. Stay Hell bent for leather and long live metal!
Score: 8 pop-out embossed VHS boxes (out of 10) Look it Up!