Detailed description on the hind of the box: “You are about to find out that everything your mother told you about Rock & Roll is true. When the sleepy town of Mill Basin is invaded by a sleazy band of hard rockers, the self-righteous townspeople try to stop their concert series. When the band finally overcomes parental objections, a town full of normal mid-western kids begin to turn bad. BLOODSHED, RIOTS and horrible MASS MURDERS assail defenseless Mill Basin. These kids turn into monsters right before your very eyes. THE SPECIAL EFFECTS ARE FANTASTIC.” Ha, the effects are fantastic. Liar, liar, pants on fire!
In 1985, a group of Senator’s wives formed the PMRC (Parents Music Resource Center) where they accused rock music of being too violent and sexually arousing for children. This is why we have “Parental Advisory” stickers on our albums. During this “Rock N Roll is Evil” moral panic a slew of rock horror movies were released with Black Roses being one of the worst in the batch. Trick or Treat with Ozzy Osbourne and Gene Simmons was vigorously entertaining but Black Roses continues to bore its viewers with rubber puppets singing playing garbage. The fears of Satanism corrupting teens through rock music took over TV talk shows and radio shows including Geraldo. Director John Fasano brought metal and horror together with Black Roses, amidst the thesis that metal truly is an apparatus of evil.
So our main characters are the striking, mustached teacher Matthew Moorhouse (John Martin) and student Johnny Pratt (Frank Dietz) with Sal Viviano portraying our villain whose name is… Wait for it…. DAMIAN! How very! Yes I just quoted Heathers. The film opens with a Black Roses concert where the band appears to be wearing left over costumes from Little Monsters, the Fred Savage film. The make-up effects are priceless. Though I am not a fan of this shitty soundtrack I must note that their opening song, “Me Against the World,” is catchy but the rest of this Tesla shit sucks. The soundtrack is rare and hard to find. If you are willing to spend a pretty penny then you may be lucky enough to own a copy. Anyway, the audience goes ape shit and turns into these retarded zombies that attack outside authorities then we get our opening credits with the heinously fonted title dripping with purple chrome accompanied by black roses in the back ground. The word art is just plain tacky.
The band’s first gig is in a small town called Mill Bason. Uhm, so the opening concert hasn’t happened yet? They roll into town in fancy vehicles and are are disguised as humans as they plaster their fliers across town. When Damian steps out of his vehicle you think, “HOLY SHIT! Look at this fucking tool! Nice hair.” We meet Johnny who is a teenager played by 45-year-old with a mullet. Johnny desperately wants to attend this educational concert but his parents are against it. This inspires Johnny to bitch about how mean his parents are in class as he gains his concerned teacher’s attention. All the parents in town protest the concert but Damian sings a sappy little tune, easing their minds. Once the parents exit the concert feeling content, the band trims down their clothing to more homerotic leather garb and they begin to perform heavier.
The teenagers are allowed to attend the concert but they began acting like little ass holes and teacher Moorhouse suspects evil is afoot. Johnny kills his father and girls are running around whoring themselves out to older men. Girls began rubbing their bare tits for no apparent reason, it’s a horror movie. There has to be tits in there somewhere. There’s a funny scene with Soprano’s Big Pussy (Vincent Pastore) yelling at his son for getting a pierced ear, “Only two kinds of men wear earrings are pirates and faggots. I don’t see no ship in our driveway,” or something of that effect. When Big Pussy orders his son to turn off Black Roses’ shitty music the record keeps blasting and turns into some funky goo. Big Pussy is all, “What the fuckkkkkkkkk,” then the speaker morphs into some fabulous looking monster that sucks him in. The filmmakers tried to brag about how fantastic these effects are. Excuse me? I beg to differ. One of the girls turns into a laughable monster after she is denied sex by Moorhouse and he beats her with a tennis racket. Moorhouse is the town’s only hope. Normally, I try not to spoil the ending but I think you know where this is going. The evil Black Roses are toast and the kids are returned back to normal. I totally did not see that coming. It doesn’t stop there! There’s a ‘twist’ ending where Moorhouse sees the band on the news promoting their next show.
Black Roses isn’t all bad. Tedious at times, it’s also unintentionally funny and bizarre. It’s definitely a step up from director John Fasano’s Rock N Roll Nightmare. The box art is nifty with pop out art only my copy is slightly broken with part of the hand missing as you can see above. Imperial Entertainment did this often with their titles. This copy is in great shape with two previews before the film; Black Belt and Obsession: A Taste for Fear with Shannon Tweed. Now I want to watch Obsession because that trailer was the most entertaining footage inside this package. The box also notes: “Turn up the volume. Turn down the light…. But don’t watch it alone.” Unless you’re worried about laughing to death you will be fine.