Satan has a farmhouse showdown with the righteous lead singer (Jon Mikl Thor) of a heavy metal band.
John Fasano’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Nightmare is absolutely, one-hundred-percent, one of those movies that is so bad that it’s good. On practically every level imaginable, this movie fails at everything. Its script is basically non-existent. Its characters are nothing but quirks and have little to no development to them whatsoever. Its story is so outlandishly ridiculous that it’s miraculous that it even got approved in the first place.
I understand that this movie was made back in 1987 when rock and roll was still in its prime and absolutely everybody seemed to love it. People still love rock music today, but there was just a magical quality to it decades ago that seems to have gotten lost somewhere in the 2010s.
But even still, Rock ‘n’ Roll Nightmare is one of those movies that is so over-the-top that you have to see it to believe it. The first time I heard about this movie was in a YouTube video featuring some of the worst movie fights in history. One of the clips was from, you guessed it, Rock ‘n’ Roll Nightmare, which featured a man dressed up in what looked to be a KISS-inspired outfit singing a rock song and trying to defeat the Devil.
When I saw this clip, I thought it had to be some sort of parody movie or something along the lines of Disaster Movie or Scary Movie. But no. This movie is a legitimate movie and not some sort of self-aware one either.
While watching Rock ‘n’ Roll Nightmare, it is genuinely hard to tell if director John Fasano knew what he was making was absurd and over-the-top goofy. Jon Mikl Thor penned the script and also starred in the film, and it makes me wonder if he knew what he was writing was silly as well. I certainly hope so, although it doesn’t really feel like it at times. There are some scenes where it feels as though the filmmakers were trying to make an actual film, and there are some scenes in which it sort of feels like they were making something that they knew was ridiculous, but it’s hard to tell.
But as truly awful as this film is in virtually every regard, it’s hard to deny just how insanely amusing it is. What other film features a scene where a rock singer with long, 80s-style hair and a guitar tries to fight the devil? Tenacious D did something similar, but that movie was definitely self-aware. I’m not sure that Rock ‘n’ Roll Nightmare is self-aware.
The music featured throughout this movie is fun to listen to and enjoyable in the moment, but you probably won’t remember any of the songs as soon as the credits start to roll. By the way, the credits roll rather fast seeing as how this movie clocks in at just eighty-three minutes including credits. So even if you were genuinely enjoying this film unironically, it’s over before you can get truly invested in anything. Add Rock ‘n’ Roll Nightmare to the list of movies that make you scratch your head and wonder “How in the world did this even get made?”.
Rock ‘n’ Roll Nightmare is one of the most absurd and over-the-top movies you can find. It’s bad on virtually every level, but it’s hard to deny just how amusing it truly is.
Overall Grade: F
MPAA Rating: R
Directed by: John Fasano
Distributed by: Shapiro Entertainment
Release Date: 1987
Running Time: 83 minutes