I’ve decided to start a new segment here on the blog – Metal Mondays. Now every Monday may not be a Metal Monday, but when they are you’ll get some face melting metal big hair rockin’ turned up to eleven reviews, music, videos and more! To kick it off I’m going to review a movie from 1984, the most awesome year ever for hair bands. Rock on!!
Directed by: Fred and Beverly Sebastian
Rocktober Blood is the story of a heavy metal band of the same name fronted by singer Billy Eye. The movie opens in a recording studio with Billy letting loose with a killer heavy metal screeeeaaammm. Glorious. We are treated, in grand padding style, to the entire song here.
Billy Eye is played by actor Tray Loren. This guy looks about as metal as Donnie Osmond. Sporting curly black hair and a terrible fake laugh (that gets REALLY overused throughout this movie), Billy is a real dork. The rest of the band looks on as Billy records his vocals. Among them is band member Lynn Starling, whom we learn was once romantically involved with Billy... but he's too cool to be tied down to just one chick. He's a rocker - she shoulda known better. He leaves to get some strange as Lynn goes into the booth to sing the backup vocals for the latest track, "Rainbow Eyes," a tune that isn't bad until it gets to the chorus - that damn thing will painfully stick in your head for days afterwards.
After finishing laying down tracks Lynn heads to "take a Jacuzzi" - because all quality studios have Jacuzzis, right? Gratuitous lingering of the camera here as Lynn undresses slowly, followed by plenty of tub scenes, then more gratuitous lingering as she towel dries afterwards.
Meanwhile someone is stalking about the studio after hours with a knife, killing band members and studio hands one by one. We follow the feet of the murderer as he stalks his victims - one guy has his throat slit and falls dead across a pinball machine. A girl is grabbed by the hair and drug screaming and kicking into a back room where she is lifted into the air and shoved onto a wooden rack, a dowel jutting through her chest. She's left hanging there like a sack of dirty laundry.
Lynn, finished with her Jacuzzi now, is confronted by the killer, who it turns out is none other than Billy. He corners with a knife and is about to do her in when a security guard interrupts. The security guard, obviously intimidated by the awesome rock and roll prowess of the amazing Billy Eye, turns and high tails it outta there! Last thing we see is Billy chasing the security guard saying "come here you little fucker..."
Cut jarringly to a guy on a stage in a monster mask and hood. Pop up captions explain what's going on... "Two years later - Rocktober Blood Press Party." Turns out Billy was arrested for the murder of 25 rock and rollers - quite the busy boy - and executed for the crime! The old band has since reformed with our girl Lynn as the lead singer, this time called "Head Mistress."
Dude in the monster mask is doing the robot and some lame break dancing moves to the band's music. A reporter and cameraman are there from MVTV doing a special on the band. We are treated to another entire song, "Rainbow Eyes," while folks dance along.
But once again it turns out there is a mysterious figure lurking in the shadows. Lynn soon meets him alone face to face and it is none other than Billy, this time with some dorky black makeup around his eyes. But he's dead, right? No one believes Lynn when she reveals that she saw Billy. They all know he's dead and assume the pressure is getting to her. Lynn is really upset, so they send her off to relax at her cabin at the lake.
Once there we get some standard b-movie padding as Lynn walks through the woods, trying to take her mind off her problems. Two other girls have accompanied Lynn there and are doing aerobic work outs while she’s off on her walk. They’re dressed in classic 80s spandex and leg warmers... we get even more padding with some gratuitous aerobic workout shots and close up butt shots.
Lynn returns from her walk and tells the girls she’s convinced Billy is lurking around the cabin, but the girls don't believe her. The phone rings and when Lynn answers the caller hangs up. This happens several times until the caller finally speaks and threatens Lynn with this line: "Blood. I want your hot steamy pussy blood all over my face..."
Nice. Later that night one of the other girls is alone in the house and thinks she hears something. She heads into a room with a Jacuzzi (man those things are everywhere), and as she leans over the tub a hand shoots up from within the water, grabs her by the throat and pulls her under, drowning her. The killer then drags her body into another room and stuffs her into a trunk.
Lynn returns with a basket of food from the grocery store. She heads into the bathroom to take a bath... lots of naked Lynn in the tub here and more padding shots as she towels herself off afterwards. As she turns to leave the bathroom - boo! - a jump scare of Billy, in her face with completely goofy makeup on. He REALLY looks like a super-dork now.
She screams and Billy chases her around for a bit, torturing her. He cuts the electricity and phone lines and is about to do her in when her manager shows up to check on her. Lynn attacks him in the dark, thinking he’s Billy, and stabs him in the shoulder.
We cut back to the stage set where Headmistress is getting ready for the next evening's performance. Lynn is trying to convince everyone Billy is still alive and tried to kill her, but they don't believe her. She's the only one who has seen him. They agree someone's messing with her, but don't believe its Billy Eye. Oh ye of little rock n' roll faith!
Lynn decides she knows Billy is still alive, and she won't rest until she digs up his body to prove it to everyone. So after much argument with the manager and security man, she decides to go dig up Billy Eye's body.
Cut to my favorite movie element, a graveyard at night. Oh yeah! Lynn and one of her backup dancers pull into the graveyard to do the deed. No one else would help, so they decided to go it alone. After they dig down (to what appears to be a two feet deep grave) they quickly uncover the casket. Inside is Billy's corpse - a ridiculously fake skeleton, bleached white, obviously some cheap Halloween prop, with fake eyeballs in the sockets and giant earthworms crawling over it. Genius!
Back at the club the band is ready for the big show, but someone is sneaking around backstage in the shadows again. We see it’s Billy and he kills Lynn's hairdresser with a hot iron to the neck. Lynn heads upstairs to find her manager and instead finds Billy Eye again. This guy just lives to torture her! He chases her around laughing that stupid fake laugh, and corners her – and this is where the big twist ending is revealed.
It turns out Billy Eye was indeed executed, but it was the wrong Billy Eye - it was his TWIN brother. This guy's name is John, and he's the one who actually wrote all the music - he is also the one who actually did the killings two years ago, and framed his brother for the deed - and now he's here to finish the job with her.
He tells her they're going to put on the ultimate Rocktober Blood and gore show. He grabs her and there is an insert shot of a bottle of ether, with the word "ether" written in black marker on the bottle. Hilarious!
We then cut to Billy standing over Lynn in a purple lined casket – she’s obviously been drugged. He closes the coffin and it’s...
The big heavy metal rock moment!! Head Mistress onstage, striking metal poses and bringing the rock!
There are girls in chains and lingerie around the stage, and tons of smoke and lights.
A guy in costume wearing the monster mask we saw before comes out and sings the first song, “Killer on the Loose”.
As part of the act he kills the girls in lingerie, but this guy isn’t faking – he really does kill them with a blade that’s attached to the bottom of his mic stand - the band, thinking its part of the act, keeps playing!
There is a hilarious scene where this guy cuts the head off one of these girls then tosses it into the audience... and again, NO ONE NOTICES!!
At this point the coffin with Lynn in it rises onstage from below, in a cloud of smoke. Lynn comes out of the coffin, still groggy from the hand lettered ether, and tells the masked man that Billy Eye is there but he tells her, “Don't worry, he's dead. I took care of it...” So Lynn, in true rocker fashion, simply goes on to perform! We get to hear Rainbow Eyes one more time, in its entirety (they must have been really proud of that song), while the guy in the mask crouches and stalks around the stage acting as if he's going to attack the band while they're rockin’ out!
At this point the masked man pulls off the hood - and it IS Billy EYE! OMG - he grabs Lynn and handcuffs himself to her. The band, rather than help Lynn escape, decides to rock out, and we're treated to the first song we heard in the movie... again! In its entirety... again!
But, while Billy's singing Lynn is struggling with the cuffs and manages to work free, just as her manager sneaks up behind Billy and clubs him over the head with a guitar... thus Billy is defeated by rock and roll... but not before he finishes the song, hitting the final, piercing final note just as electricity from the smashed guitar courses through him!
This movie has it all – an awesome title, great music, 80’s fashion, and a twist ending. The music in this movie is by the band Sorcery, and is pretty rockin’. You get lots of 80’s fashion here – legwarmers, spandex and big hair. It is a true 80’s video treasure that is so bad it’s good. It was directed by Beverly Sebastian and written and produced by Beverly and Ferd Sebastian. The Sebastians were a filmmaking couple who were responsible for such gems as this, Gator Bait, Delta Fox and Gator Bait 2. Definitely worth tracking down.
Here's the big rock scene at the end - Headmistress singing "Killer on the Loose"