I’ve been under a lot of pressure from management here, you guys. While it hasn’t been actual verbalized pressure, there’s this unspoken feeling of disappointment I feel about certain aspects of what I do for this little webzone. Simply said, I think the sickos who run this site don’t think I’m metal enough. While it’s true that I did walk out of the Portal show we attended together after about 10 minutes because it was “too much for me to deal with”, I am here to announce to whoever out there cares that I AM metal. Just because I don’t own a black sleeveless vest adorned with spooky patches and pins, and I’m totally scared of tattoos, piercings, and well… pretty much everything, does NOT mean I’m someone who can’t appreciate over the top theatrics and raucous guitar riffs. So, in an effort to up my credibility around this site and the internet at large, I’m going to show you all just how hardcore I am by talking about the most METAL horror movie ever made. I’m speaking of course, about 1991’s Shock ‘Em Dead.
Shock ‘Em Dead is the story of Martin, a nerdy pizza boy, who wants to be a heavy metal guitar god. Only trouble is, that he’s really bad at guitar. After bombing at an audition, he is met by a voodoo priestess who tells him that she can give him what he wants for the price of his soul. So, since Martin apparently doesn’t feel like he needs a soul weighing him down, he decides to go for it, and wishes to become the greatest rock star in the world. This transaction apparently involves a spooky mask, and a trip to a smoke filled graveyard, where he is given a double necked guitar that I can’t imagine is practical to play, unless you’re doing that bullshit finger tap wankery.
But regardless of ergonomics, it totally works. Martin is reborn as Angel Martin, and he now kind of looks like Ray Liotta if Ray Liotta was a drag queen. In addition to gaining musical prowess, he also received all the perks, like an awesome house and female slaves clad in lingerie. He also gets to briefly touch a boob, which at this point in my life, I’d probably sell my soul for right now. So, in order to be the biggest star in the world, he goes to audition for the lame unsigned band who mocked him at his earlier audition. I’m not gonna tell anyone how to do their job, but if you made a deal with the devil to be the best in the world at a specific thing, maybe you should set your sights higher than playing for a bar tab on the strip. He aces the audition, and Traci Lords welcomes him into the band.
After some sexy celebrating, it’s revealed that Martin’s slave girls made similar deals to cover up disfigurements. Their true faces are reflected in silver surfaces, which acts as total boner repellent. Martin learns that a condition of his deal is that he can no longer eat food, and has to feed on the souls of other people. It kind of seems like the girls who are sort of gross in metals that no one really has laying around kind of got a much sweeter side of the deal, but what can I say? I don’t make the rules. Martin throws a party to celebrate his newfound awesomeness, and it’s crashed by the voodoo lady dressed like a cotton swab. She gives him a series of magic knives for soul collecting, and tells him that there’s no chance of backing out of the deal. Martin tries to convince the voodoo lady to make Traci Lords love him, and she’s all like, “Don’t be a pussy. Do this shit on your own, man. I literally just made you the most awesome person in the world. Seal the fucking deal, bro!”
So, armed with his new magic knives, Martin goes to his old pizza place and tries to terrorize his old co-workers, but is easily overpowered by an old man instead. One of his slave girls bails him out, and he gets away in time to make his gig with his shitty band. Speaking of shitty and bands, the name of this group is apparently Spastic Colon, which is terrifyingly appropriate. The singer gets overshadowed by Martin, and storms off in a huff. Then, Martin vomits on a chick in the front row at the end of the song “Virgin Girl”. Martin is in charge of the band now, I guess. That means it’s time to break out his “awesome” double necked guitar, and play HIS song, a touching ballad called “I’m In Love With a Slut”. There’s probably some symbolism going on here, but someone, either me or the film’s director, is too dumb to really figure out what is going on. I think it’s the director, but it could totally be me, if we’re being honest.
After the show, Martin tries to steal a groupie’s soul, but is caught by the band’s former lead singer, who was sulking alone in the parking lot the whole time. Martin chases him down, and apparently kills him off screen. Afterwards, Martin lures Traci Lords back to his place, and seduces her while playing some sweet acoustic jams. She leaves him all hot and bothered in a hot tub, and he gets right pissed. So, just like any of us would do, he interrupts his old trailer park landlord from watching porn on the toilet (what IS it with porn on the toilet in my reviews lately?), and tries to murder him. In the tussle, he gets distracted by the porn, and decides he’d rather murder the TV instead.
After aggressively negotiating the terms of their record contract, Martin decides to take another crack at winning over Traci Lords through creepy douche behavior. Literally like 10 seconds after she leaves, her fiance shows up at the front door looking for her. It was such a small time frame that I don’t see how it’s possible that they didn’t pass on the front porch. From his car, the fiance thinks he sees Traci Lords creeping around the back of the house, and decides to investigate. He sees Martin and his girls murdering some random girl, and he runs to get the cops. Of course, the body is hidden, so the fiance ends up looking like an asshole in front of everyone. How deeply embarrassing.
The fiance goes to tell Traci Lords about the murder, and her response is to break up with him, which is totally reasonable. After all, he wears a pink shirt and gets made fun of by cops. Not exactly boyfriend material, if you ask me. Martin makes one of his slave girls jealous by slathering himself in cologne, and implying her sweet sweet stuff wasn’t exciting to him anymore. So slave girl goes to murder Traci Lords, which is also totally reasonable. Martin ends up killing her, and she morphs back into a burn victim, which being a pretty weird thing to happen, kind of freaked Traci Lords out.
Pink shirt goes off to the voodoo lady to find out how to beat Martin. She offers the same deal to him, but he wusses out, and decides to feed him a tube of “food concentrate” as he learned about his food weakness from the voodoo lady. I’m now curious if food concentrate is an actual thing that exists in the world, but I’m honestly too lazy to look it up. Pink shirt goes to kill Martin, but meets his slave girls instead, and kills one of them by shooting her in the mouth with his tube of white goo.
After escaping with Traci Lords, Martin and his remaining slave girl head to the rehearsal space, where pink shirt soon follows. Martin sets up Traci Lords in a kiddie pool, and proceeds to play loud guitar solos in her face until she wakes up. Oh, and there’s a snake in the kiddie pool or something, so she can’t get out. Pink shirt tries to stop him, and takes 3 or 4 shots to the head from a guitar before temporarily overpowering Martin, killing the last slave girl, and literally giving Martin a goo injection to the throat. The End.
Oh man… where to start? This movie is obviously ridiculous. It might have been made in the 90’s but it’s totally an 80’s movie. The hair… the weird fake boobs… the MOUNTAINS of cocaine I’m assuming fueled its production… It’s really an odd microcosm of a specific era, and that makes it oddly fun to watch. I guarantee that not a single person has ever described this as “high art”, but just like the metal bands that were popular of this time, you can tell that was never the intent. It’s all about drugs, babes, and lots and lots of eyeliner. But does it make me more metal for having watched it? Well, yeah. of course it did. How could it NOT? Did you guys READ this? It makes me want to sell my soul for skills, touch a boob, and vomit on people before someone murders me with a tube of food byproduct, and if that’s not metal, then I didn’t really want to be metal anyway.
–You can find Johnny trying to figure out how to be more metal on Twitter