Black Roses


Ok, listen; are you unhappy with your life?
No direction? No goals? No future?
Feel that you don’t know how to “rock”?
I have two words for you: Black Roses.


You’ve never seen it? I am not surprised. I feel bad for you, BUT I am not surprised.

Ok listen, I know you have heard of “Rock N Roll Nightmare”, and you’ve probably seen “Trick or Treat” but when it comes to the sub-genre of rock n roll horror films NONE compare to 1988’s Canadian masterpiece; Black Roses. Oh where to begin? Black Roses was the movie you used to see with the cool pop-out cover that had a guitar with a hand over it, some creepy eyes on each side of it, and some vines all over the place that made you say “Fuck yeah, I am going to rent THAT movie!” However it was always rented. Damn, eh? Alright, here’s the plot: we have “Mill Basin”, (a small town in the middle of nowhere) that has the opportunity to have their first “rock” concert with a performance by the legendary “Black Roses”. The P.T.A. and other adult groups are causing a fuss, not unlike a Marilyn Manson concert in small town U.S.A circa when people actually gave a shit about Marilyn Mason. We get a vibe that none of the kids have never actually heard a black roses song, but that doesn’t matter – they feel mildly honored that Black Roses have decided to kick off their tour in their small town, and the kids get a good (and what seems like the first time) chance to tell their parents “Fuck you, I want to rock!” Awesome! Johnny, (Frank Dietz) is the leader of the rock rebellion – who is telling all who will listen how awesome it is that our Rock N Roll heroes/saviors/demons: Black Roses are coming to Mill Basin. Mr. Moorhouse, (John Martin) is the sort of cool teacher who is willing to give Black Roses a chance and compares them to Elvis and Ringo Starr’s hair…Ok..thanks…(?!). Moorhouse has a thing for a student by the name of Julie (Karen Planden) but Julie wants Johnny to face up the facts that he is being a prick and she kinda has a thing for Damien, lead singer of Black Roses (Sal Viviano), and by “kinda has a thing for” I mean, she enjoys masturbating to pictures of Damien, while her sexy friend Tina (Robin Stewart) seduces her loser friends’ step dad with a hot game of strip gin, (this scene alone is worth tracking down a copy of this masterpiece). On top of this amazing action we get actor Vincent Pastore (The Soprano’s “Big Pussy”) sucked into a monster sprouting speaker, and Ken Swofford (the principal from the television show; “Fame” from the 80’s) as the mayor. As it turns out, as much as Moorhouse digs Julie, he still manages to find time to fuck the mayor’s daughter and Damien calls Moorhouse out on this, giving the teacher the first inkling that not all is right with Damien and his posse of demon rockers! Hell yeah! Anyway, the kids get possessed, the band becomes demons in rubber suits, some awesome 80’s metal is played every 9 minutes, some kids kill their parents, hot metal girls get naked, and this movie makes you want to form a band. Really, can you think of why you wouldn’t want to watch this? I guess Moorhouse saves the day at the end with a ridiculous battle with the monster suited Damien in the last reel, but really who gives a rat’s ass??? That’s bullshit man, no emo, mayor’s daughter fucking teacher is going to put a stop to MY Black Roses! So I bought the soundtrack off ebay for an ungodly amount of money so every night can be like Mill Basin at Charlie Brown’s house.


Honestly, the effects are shitty (for 1988) and look circa 1982. We have play dough like dead bodies, men in rubber suits, and the “gore” looks like something from a weird al yankovic video. The Black Roses “songs” are great 80’s metal, that ranges from no name bands like the Bullet Boys to “soft” rock metal bands like Winger. Sadly, the rest of the score is terrible and reminds me of “The Littlest Hobo” (a Canadian melodramatic tv show about a German Shepherd that helped wayward people overcome obstacles)…yeah, the score is THAT shitty. The direction looks like my uncle Johnny’s home video’s from x-mas 1983 and I have felt more tension in an episode of “The Hills” – BUT, all in all, I fucking love this movie. It sums up exactly what the 80’s straight to video scene was all about…. The top shelves at movie stores…trying to rent rated “R” films when you are 12 years old…thinking that rock n roll will get you laid…and asking creepy old fuckers to buy you beer in the liquor store parking lot.


Luckily you can now own this masterpiece, (and if you DON’T buy this, I will buy it for you!!!) as the amazing folks at Synapse Films, have FINALLY released this gem on DVD in a much-needed remastered, widescreen format, so you can stop scouring the flea market for a used VHS copy. Three cheers for Synapse!!! Fuck yeah.

Charlie “Only two kinds of men wear earrings” Brown


~ by exploitnation on March 18, 2008.

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