I have it on very good and not at all fruitcaked authority that rock and roll is the devil's music. It corrupts the minds of young people, turning them all into savages that breed and destroy in an orgy of murder-boinking that caused the end of the America we all remember so well. Or, you know, not because I just made that up.
Still, I think that even rock's most vocal supporters would be willing to admit that darkness has always been a pretty integral part of the genre. Darkness is cool, always has been. That's why we have parties at night.
While that may be the case, the movie industry has occasionally enlisted rock and roll as demonslayers, and today we celebrate the top five instances where only the power of rock itself was awesome enough to beat back evil.
5. Six String Samurai Lance Mungia put together an impossibly awesome post-apocalyptic film that combined rock and swordsmanship in a way that has never been equaled. In Six String Samurai, the King Elvis of Lost Vegas, the last holdout of American civilization after the Soviets nuked the country in 1957, has died. Musicians/warriors from all over journey to the city in order to seek the throne, but one of the seekers in none other than Death himself.
All that stands in his way is Buddy, the Six String Samurai. He battles Death in an epic duel of guitar licks that quickly degenerates into a swordfight. Though neither the protective power of Buddy's superior chops nor his expert fencing skills are enough to save him in the end, the fight distracts Death long enough for the young orphan Buddy was protecting to get close enough to end Death's existence with... a bottle of water.
Man, this film was a lot better back when I only got three hours of sleep a night.
4. Wild Zero Zombies are invading! From space (Just go with it, OK?) What weapon are you going to use to defend yourself? A shotgun? Machete? Daryl Dixon? Oops, you're dead, because you didn't know that the answer was rock and roll.
In Wild Zero, Japan (Did I need to mention that?) is under siege by space ghouls, but luckily rock superstar Guitar Wolf can harness magic powers that are better than any silly gun just by screaming "Rock and Roll!" In that clip above, in case you hate fun and just skipped it, the magic allows Wolf to machine-gun guitar picks through the heads of zombies. He can also use it to teleport, form giant lightsabres, and just in general control the fabric of the universe through master shredding.
3. Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park Ah, Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park. When Britney Spears made Crossroads, she surely knew one thing that saw her through it, that no matter how bad a film it might be it could not be worse than this horrible, horrible vanity project. The film came out so bad that people in the Kiss offices were forbidden to mention it in the band's presence.
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It all comes down to the second dumbest rock-and-roll fight scene in history (We'll get there). As a crowd of Kiss fans look on, Kiss is forced to battle their robotic dopplegangers in a skirmish that looks like someone had the bright idea of combining bum-fighting with Kabuki Theater. Luckily, Gene Simmons summons demonic hellfire to turn the tide of war, in addition to Paul being able to reflect his double's eye-lasers with his reflective guitar.
2. Rock & Rule Rock & Rule is one of the greatest movies ever made, and the fact that is wasn't a hit when it came out in America in 1983 just proves that we are a stupid, stupid country. Featuring the voices and songs of people like Lou Reed, Cheap Trick and Debbie Harry, the movie takes place in a world where nuclear war killed all the humans and the anthropomorphized descendants of dogs, cats, and rats now dominate.
A Bowie-esque rock star named Mok wants to summon a demon to control the world, but he needs the perfect voice to complete the spell. He lures away Angel, a keyboardist in a local band, for this purpose and forces her to sing until the demon makes an appearance. Just as Mok is ready to claim victory, Angel's boyfriend and bandmate Omar joins her in a duet that reverses the spell.
1. Rock 'n' Roll Nightmare Also known as The Edge of Hell, which is coincidentally where I would rather be than sit through this entire movie with the cast of Mystery Science Theatre 3000 to make it bearable. Jon Mikl Thor is what would happen if someone grafted Bonnie Tyler's head onto Scott Steiner's body, and his directing skills make Charles Band look like Wes Craven.
The film follows a rock band named Triton that accidentally summons a demon with the heaviness of their metal, causing all manner of death and dismemberment. It turns out though that the whole movie was simply a ruse, because Thor is really the embodiment of the archangel Triton, who concocted the whole scenario as an illusion to order to lure Satan into the most homoerotic battle this side of Eric Massa's tickle fights.
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Never before has a movie made someone long for the production values and subtle story-telling ability of Suburban Commando.