Black Roses (John Fasano, 1988)

posted in: Duane, Jocelyn, Joint Review, Review | 0
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Demons try to turn the teens of a small town into seeds of evil by posing as the gayest rock band in the history of filmdom. The Brawny paper-towel man plays an English teacher who struggles to save them from the forces of darkness. Cheesy fx, bad acting, 80’s sluts and innuendo abound!

 
Jocelyn:  Wow. I have been waiting years to watch this movie. When I worked at the video store we had the box, but the tape was fucked so I couldn’t watch it; it had the cool 3D cover art which was always a nice touch. (remember Dead Pit with the button to make the eyes light up?) Anyway! I’m glad I finally sat down with this tub of shit, it’s awesome in the most hideous of ways. A rock band (complete with songs written for the movie, listen to the lyrics they’re so good) takes a small town by storm and with every passing concert night the teens transform into sinister, murdering, tools of the devil. They took the whole 80s “Satanic Panic” and ran with it, although it suffers from never delivering on the sleaze factor. There are some  scenes in this movie that could’ve made this jack-off material had they committed to the left-hand-path. For example, there’s a scene where a slutty daughter and her girlfriend come home from the Black Roses concert to find Daddy all alone. They tease us with “we have Daddy all to ourselves” only to be stiffly denied a hot, incestuous threesome and instead getting some lame strip-gin game with the friend after the daughter goes to bed. ARGH!!! BE EVIL!!! DO THE FILTHY THINGS THAT YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO DO!! EVIL DOESN’T TIPTOE!! EVIL GANGBANGS OLD LADIES IN WHEELCHAIRS AND STABS KITTENS! DO IT RIGHT!
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Duane: I don’t recall that 3D box but the artwork always made me think it was some lame concert tape or something, so for years I avoided it. The Dead Pit and the Frankenhooker tape gimmicks were crazy awesome though. I think there wasn’t a single Dead Pit tape to be found in town that didn’t have the zombie’s face punched in or worn though because of that stupid button to make the eyes glow. 

After actually watching this (and after hearing about what a following it has accrued over the years) I was kind of surprised. It’s fucking terrible, I mean it really is. It’s cheap and stupid and just really piss-poor low budget garbage. That aside, it is also quite entertaining and does have a certain charm to it. 
COSDS-Black-Roses-252814-2529Did you notice that the record on the turntable in Big Pussy’s house was “Up The Dose” by none other than The Mentors? The one on Death Records, no less. I think the inclusion of that alone bumped up the credibility of the production a few points. Not only is this film capitalizing on the “Satanic Panic” thing of the 80s, but it’s kind of a riff on censorship and the PMRC that was so prevalent at the time too. I actually really loved the idea of “what if” these records really were bad for kids and made them turn into whores or kill their parents? It seems like such an obvious concept but hasn’t really been explored all that much. Having grown up though all that idiocy it’s nice to see these sorts of issues addressed and even poked fun at.
 
J:  Agreed. Yes, I noticed the record; I was expecting some vinyl/hand melting a la Trick or Treat but no such luck. It was nice to see Pussy in this and they at least gave him a good line: “Only two kinds of men wear earrings: pirates and faggots. I don’t see no ship in our driveway.”
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Fasano was hot off the set of Rock n’ Roll Nightmare and it’s clear that he really loved the subject matter. I found this film to be a slightly more palatable piece of shit-pie, but shit-pie nonetheless. The acting is atrocious, it made virtually no sense at all, every time I looked at the teacher I just saw the Brawny guy and took it even less seriously, they showed one pair of titties and they were small and oh! What was the deal with the lead singer “Damian” having short hair one minute and then a really bad fake mullet for when he’s “evil”? The band is supposed to be comprised entirely of demons, the movie is titled “Black Roses” after the band, why are there flyers all over fucking town that have a close-up of Damian’s goony face? I was thinking that they were trying to make him out to be The Devil himself, but there’s no fucking way that the Prince of Darkness would turn into some kinda awkward, aquatic dinosaur when fighting the final battle of good vs. evil! One thing I did really like was 

Spoiler!!!
 

COSDS-Black-Roses-252824-2529D: Yeah I didn’t get why they looked different all demoned up in the beginning of the film as opposed to the end… They looked better at the start. The effects… I mean WTF… they’re hilariously bad. In fact, a lot of them reminded me much of Troll 2 in terms of quality and just sheer ridiculousness. Given the film’s notoriety I expected a much more serious production, but Trick or Treat this certainly ain’t – Sammi Curr would have had these clowns for breakfast.  And what was with the mayor’s daughter? She looked like she was 50! It wasn’t until she called him “Daddy” that I even clued in because it looked like they were gonna fuck at one point. What were they thinking?
 
J/D: If you dig 80s fake-metal horror-nonsense this little turd fits the bill; if you’re looking for sleaze and grue you’re better off jacking it with your sister’s dirty panties as you open a vein. The unmistakable stink of Canada permeates every cell in this film and therefore turns what could be wine into water. Recommended to genre niche completists and lovers of the truly awful.
Official COSDS Nunspank Rating: 
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Duane co-founded The Church of Splatter-Day Saints in 2005. When not immersed in film he's enjoying good whiskey, smoking meat in the backyard or thinking about sluts. He makes a damn fine habanero fire sauce.

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