Jarv’s Schlock Vault: Hard Rock Zombies
Hard Rock Zombies
“You’re neat “
“No, I’m not.”
“Yeah, ya are.”
I love this film. It’s a masterpiece. It’s almost as if the makers sat down and thought “how many things that Jarv likes can we stuff into 90 minutes.” Seriously, there’s psycho dwarfs, gratuitous nudity, zombies, gratuitous nudity, Hitler, gratuitous nudity, Werewolves, gratuitous nudity, crap music (and it is crap) and genius dialogue. Oh, and did I mention that there is gratuitous nudity in it?
On to the plot: low rent 80’s rock band (I don’t personally think that they are hard rock, to be honest), pitch up in the usual armpit of a town for a gig that they can’t miss because of some local A&R douchebag (to be honest, having worked in the music industry, I can say with some authority that they’re all douchebags. Except for me, obviously, I’m nice and trustworthy) has promised to be there. In the real world there isn’t a prayer he’d be there, but never mind. Anyhow, they mess about in town for a bit in some kind of weird Brady Bunch montage, before getting arrested, for (from what I can gather) skateboarding and loitering. Jessie, the lead singer falls in love, and gets his girl, Cassie, to promise to play their “music” (and I am going to put music in inverted commas every time) at the band’s grave if something untoward happens. They next perform at a weird gig in a dilapidated house, before being amusingly slaughtered.
You think this would be a bad thing, but, actually, it’s a bit of a relief as it puts an end to their dreadful sub-Aerosmith drivel for a while.
Cassie, being a dutiful girlfriend, sadly inflicts their “music” on their graves, and lo! The dead walk the earth. I consider this film to be proof positive that despite what the maxim says, that Satan does not have all the best tunes.
The reanimated band embarks on a rampage of revenge, performs before a truly overexcited A&R douchebag that thinks he’s discovered The Beatles, before their victims run rampage. Cassie persuades them to commit seppuku to trap all the zombies and everyone lives happily ever after.
What’s good? Well, it’s hilarious. The dialogue is inept, (see example above) and I think they did it on purpose as this film is far smarter than it pretends to be. This isn’t the only evidence of a sly intelligence at work, there’s many other instances such as, for example, that one of the murders is a well constructed reference to Psycho (except with gratuitous nudity), or my personal favourite: the town is called Grand Guignol. Full marks, guys, that’s very, very fucking clever.
Now for the bad, and I’m sorry to report that there is some bad in this- the “music”. I was never a big fan of that 80’s soft rock Bon Jovi-lite garbage, and this film has it in spades. I actually thought their signature tune (which we have inflicted on us at least 3 times, it may be more, but I blocked it out), was some kind of piss poor Barry Manilow cover. If you’re remotely like me, then hit mute every time you see them pick up instruments. It’s fucking horrible and in a sane world, fully deserving of being sent to an early grave, reanimating and burying at the bottom of a mine shaft having been gassed (I’m not certain how yellow poison gas kills zombies, but never mind). To give them credit, or properly assign blame, they are all original compositions for the film.
This sounds like I’m being harsh on it, but that’s because I haven’t told you what’s awesome yet. There really is too much to go in to in detail, so I’ll do a top 5 of awesomeness:
5) Opening Scene- naked girl murders 2 guys while weirdo photographer pervert and cackling dwarfs watch on.
4) Eva Braun is a Werewolf. No further explanation needed.
3) The old German Wheelchair guy (who co-incidentally bangs hot girl from opening scene) takes off his mask to be revealed as HITLER!
2) The undead concert is hilarious. The A&R douche, who incidentally is the only person there, gets more and more excited as it goes on. He really is a prick, but you can’t question his enthusiasm. Eventually, and unsurprisingly, he gets eaten, which restores my faith in filmic justice.
1)Are you ready for this, because this is not only the most awesome piece of celluloid ever but arguably the most awesome thing full stop? I’m not joking, it’s that incredible…..
The deformed psycho dwarf eats HIMSELF. He’s a determined little geezer, and clearly has a top class palate, as he sits down with a knife and fork, seasons himself liberally and then tucks in. Not just his arms and legs, but everything- limbs and body before culminating brilliantly with HIS OWN HEAD!
Genius does not begin to describe this slice of gold. I could happily watch this sequence over and over again and I am certain that it would never get old. I’d even sit through Titanic again if someone told me that a dwarf ate his own head in it. It may well be the greatest thing I’ve ever seen, and I can truly say that no-one’s life will be complete until they’ve witnessed this awesomeness.
These are only my top 5 awesome moments in a film that’s riddled with them (I’ve left out the hilarious town meeting, or the cretinous and sleazy manager, or the murders concert, or the rip off of Carrie, but you get the drift) and I say with utmost confidence that this film is essential viewing. Remember when films used to be fun? Just don’t come crying to me if the music traumatises you and damages your fragile little mind.