Hard Rock Zombies (1985)

hard rock zombies

By Richard Winters

My Rating: 2 out of 10

4-Word Review: Rock band becomes zombified.

An up-and-coming rock band travels to a small town for their next gig. There the lead singer falls for a young girl named Cassie (Jennifer Coe) while also catching the wrath of the town’s conservative residents who still feel that rock n’ roll is the ‘devil’s music’. The place also harbors Adolph Hitler (Jack Bliesener) who has been secretly hiding out there under a disguise while plotting his next world takeover. After the band members are killed by the evil Nazis they come back to life in the form of zombies killing everyone else and turning the whole town into one big zombie fest.

I have to admit the zombie popularity that has entranced so many people and formed its own special niche escapes me as I find the whole concept to be rather boring. However, certain films like Shaun of the Dead have managed to reinvent the formula by mixing hip humor with a good amount of realistic gore and thus satisfying both the gore hounds and those looking for a laugh. This film tries to do the same, but fails miserable as the humor is corny and the special effects are poor to pathetic.

In fact I was stunned that a well-known director who did some other successful projects was involved with this or even willing to have his name listed on the credits as it’s extraordinarily amateurish and looking like it was put together by novices while drunk. Had it been even remotely more polished, or written by someone who had actually watched zombie movies and appreciated them, it might have worked.

The members who make up the band show no acting ability and having to listen to their generic sounding songs that seem to go forever is another problem and one that almost turns this mess into an annoying music video instead. The second half in which they come back as zombies doesn’t improve things as they still continue to play their songs and worse yet begin to resemble the rock group KISS with their makeup and in fact the similarity is so extreme that I was surprised they weren’t sued.

The zombie parodies are numerous and seemingly never-ending. The majority of them aren’t very good, but this one may very well take the prize as being the worst.

My Rating: 2 out of 10

Released: August 28, 1985

Runtime: 1Hour 38Minutes

Rated R

Director: Krishna Shah

Studio: Cannon Film Distributors

Available: DVD

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