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Fixed the grammatical error in my previous entry...let's hope there aren't any in this one.


Did you ever find yourself in a funk, or have a generally bad day? Well, I’ve always believed that a little no-thought horror flick can work wonders for an addled brain, so when I had a day that was a bit of a downer, I pulled out “Rocktober Blood” (http://imdb.com/title/tt0176097/) to chase away the blues.

Our story begins with a rock band’s recording session. Now don’t be put off by the blistering, cheezy-80’s-pop-metal sound (the kind of thing even Beavis & Butt-head would berate); listen to the lyrics. They’re so wonderfully apt they act as a foreshadowing agent: “When you least expect it, I will attack. There’ll be hell to pay, I’m back!”

After the session, vocalist Billy “Eye” Harper (Tray Loren) teases his girlfriend, Lynn Starling (Donna Scoggins), that he’s going on a “hot date”, even though it’s 4:30 in the morning. She talks about wanting him to write a song for her, & he says his song “Rainbow Eyes” was written for her. She whines about wanting to sing it for the album, but she’s relegated to the harmony parts.

As Lynn attempts to record her tracks, the band’s manager, Chris (Nigel Benjamin), & producer, Kevin, are futzing around with the mixing board, while assistant Mary is doing...well, whatever assistants do. After calling it a night, everybody goes their separate ways. Lynn mentions wanting to use the hot tub, & Kevin jokes about going in with her. She says there’s only room for one, & Kevin tries his hand at the pinball machine instead.

Somewhere in the back of the studio, we see someone in a pair of polished combat boots & dark trousers - but only from the waist down - walk in. Kevin seems to know the person, who subsequently slits his throat. Soon after, Mary is dragged across the floor & impaled on an equipment rack. Lynn hears someone trying to open the door to the jacuzzi, & assumes it’s Kevin, but because she’s locked the door, they are quick to leave.

After drying & dressing, Lynn returns to find Billy sitting at the mixing board, making much use of pun & double entendre. When at last she sees what’s happened, Billy admits he’s the one who did it. He goes after Lynn, & when he catches her, says he wants her to sing, except he doesn’t like the way she sings his songs because there isn’t enough fear in her voice. He starts to cut her, but her screams alert a passing security guard (where this guy was when Kevin & Mary were getting slaughtered, I have no idea). Billy lets go of Lynn & runs off in pursuit of the guard.

Flash forward two years. A concert, part of the “Rocktober Blood Tour”, is announced, covered by a reporter called Rick Righteous from MV TV, whose report leads up to an interview with Lynn at a rock club. Lynn, it seems, fingered Billy as the murderer, though he was also, according to the report, responsible for the deaths of 25 other rockers (&, one would assume, the security guard, as well). This led to his execution the previous year. Since then, Lynn has re-formed the old band into a new one known as Head Mistress, who are headlining the tour with a stage show built up mostly around smoke, blood, guts (although not enough to put GWAR out of work or anything), chicks in chains, & Billy’s musical material. “He was really talented,” says Lynn, “he just went crazy.”

While Lynn’s version of “Rainbow Eyes” plays in the background, we see lots of club-goers dancing (I think most of these were friends of the directors, if I read the end credits right), & a familiar-looking pair of combat boots prowling around the stairwell & catwalk.

A dude in a mask, which Lynn takes to be her usual stage performer, Frankie, begs a word in Lynn’s ear, but when she goes to meet him backstage, he plunges a knife into the wall beside her head & takes off the mask to reveal...Billy.

Chris goes backstage looking for Lynn, & finds her in a tizzy because she just had a run-in with her dead serial-killer ex-boyfriend. Of course, he (Chris) doesn’t believe her, & sucker-punches Frankie for playing what he thinks is a cruel practical joke. Then he says something about taking Lynn & some of the entourage up to the lake.

A serene, secluded, & scenic lakeside cabin is where we next find Lynn, snapping pics in the forest. At least until she hears the sinister whispers of Billy echoing across the trees & rocks. She runs, falls, gets up, runs some more, & screams.

Back at the cabin, some of the girls from the stage show are dancing & exercising. Lynn comes in, acting tense. Once again, no one believes her when she says she saw Billy. The girls think she’s going loopy & warn her that if she continues to ‘hallucinate’, “they’ll send you back to that shrink again.”

But if she’s hallucinating, who’s that walking over the rocks in those combat boots? Who’s on the other end of the phone when Lynn receives a call threatening to spill her blood “all over my face”? Whose boots are those strolling down the stairs inside the house? And why does the audience get a glimpse of Billy watching Lynn & the girls boating on the lake?

When the killing starts afresh, there’s only one person that could possibly be responsible...or is there?

Along with the requisite stripping-of-the-clothes shots & chase-her-through-the-house scenes, “Rocktober Blood” has actually got a surprise or two. In the end, the plot may run like something swiped out of a soap opera, but that’s okay. It all culminates in a concert scene which features another of those oh-so-apropos songs (“There’s A Killer On The Loose”), & reprises of “Rainbow Eyes” & “I’m Back” that had me singing along (they’re catchy little numbers), as well as one hilariously cheezy moment involving Chris & the head of the band’s security detail. I also discovered what I took to be a sort of ode to “Peeping Tom”, with the use of a microphone stand as a deadly weapon.

While most of the film seems to be an excuse for directors Fred & Beverly Sebastian to showcase their friends, relatives, & record label (it says “Sebastian Records” in the credits), it’s not so bad as a horror movie. A few more murders wouldn’t have gone amiss, but there are a couple of groovy ones, including the slit throat & a severed head. Tray Loren also puts in a nice performance as the film’s resident lunatic. The rest of the cast is pretty much flat soda, but even that makes for some uplifting so-bad-it’s-good moments.

Who needs Prozac when you’ve got “Rocktober Blood”? This one’s a definite mood elevator, no prescription required.



Swiped from el_jefe59... )

August 2017

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