After Dustin Boltjes of Skeletonwitch contributed a column on must-see horror flicks, we decided to open the topic up to the members of other bands. Why? Well, in addition to music and literature, we’re huge movie buffs and feel maybe your life could benefit from a big screen broadening.
So here for you now is a new column from Midnite Hellion’s Drew Rizzo.
This Is Spinal Tap
While it may seem surprising to many, there are quite a few people out there that have yet to see this gem upon gems. In short, it’s a mockumentary about an English heavy metal band fighting their way out of, albeit initially unknown to them, obscurity.
Most everybody involved within the industry one way or another has experienced a few or even all of the obstacles thrown at the group, from cancelled or undesirable show dates and unattended in-store appearances to failed stage shows and rifts threatening to break apart the unit.
While it’s a humorous film, it’s also a bit melancholy at the same time due to the factual nature of the fictitious events displayed. A highly recommended film to anyone attempting to perform with a band as the truth is vividly unveiled with each twist and turn, especially the numerous turns in the backstage area trying to locate the stage. Hello Cleveland!
Truly a timeless film, “River’s Edge” depicts the struggles within a group of friends when one of them murders his girlfriend. A perfectly released film in terms of timing, it came out during the height of the teenage suicide pacts such as the infamous Bergenfield, New Jersey, pact and the Judas Priest and Ozzy Osbourne trials, not to mention the PMRC hearings.
These events led to numerous “educational” attempts, such as 20/20 specials and “demetalizing programs,” in which metalheads are admitted by their families to try to rid the music and its way of life from the person. Getting back to the film, the group is torn between helping their friend and turning him in to the authorities.
Seeing that their home lives are all unstable or non-existent, they turn to the only adult they can trust: their pot-dealing, ex-motorcycle gang member, murderer on the run friend, Feck. With a killer soundtrack featuring Slayer (Metal Blade-era song selection), Hallows Eve, and more fueling the frenzy, this film is another heavy metal masterpiece for the ages.
Trick Or Treat
What more can be said about this B-movie that hasn’t been said already? A movie starring Skippy from “Family Ties” dressed in some killer heavy metal T-shirts, with a winning cast of guest appearances by Ozzy Osbourne and Gene Simmons has got to be legendary!
Being a bullied kid, lead character Ragman confides his problems and troubles, even suicidal thoughts, with his hero, Sammi Curr (whose record company is located in Hoboken, New Jersey). Curr happens to be from the same town and survived his high-school years to become a mixture of Alice Cooper and Dee Snider, and plans to return to his high school to perform at its Halloween party. However, his life is cut short due to a hotel fire, but Curr still finds a way to fulfill his contractual obligations!
Curr’s spirit is stuck inside the only copy of the test-pressing of his last record, Songs In The Key Of Death, and if you couldn’t guess it already, the only way to awaken his spirit is to play the record backwards! Another movie of the times during the back masking hype and “subliminal messages” contained within the music, this movie captures a good representation of the nonsense involved with the PMRC.
As this is an absolute personal favorite of mine, I have had a 12 year and counting tradition of watching this movie every Halloween, followed by a listening session of Possessed’s “Seven Churches.”
However, I can’t help but to shed a tear during the saddest part of the movie, when Ragman hears of Curr’s death and rips down all of his other posters in a tribute to Rock’s chosen warrior. Those beautiful prints are now worth a mint! A most-excellent soundtrack from Fastway (featuring the lead singer of Flogging Molly and “Fast” Eddie Clark) pumps the movie along.
Metal Machines, 6 – 6 – Crush!!
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