05 August 2008

Terror On Tour

1980 – United States
Director – Don Edmonds
Media Home Entertainment, 1983, VHS
Run Time - 1 hour, 30 minutes

This almost feels like it’s going to be a big budget Christian film showing the “true horrors” of rock music, clearly the band “The Clowns” replete with face makeup, wigs and caped leotards is meant to be a KISS knockoff. On stage they dole out a goofy gore theatrics bit while grinding out tame forgettable elevator quality “rock-n-roll”.

For some reason beyond my comprehension, the band is about to hit the big-time and all the members are already gearing up for their rockstar stereotype offstage roles as junkie womanizers. OK, not all of ‘em, but we have to listen to the sensitive creative ones yammer on about it for a while. Meanwhile one of their roadies is making himself up to look like one of the band members, he’s really shy (and creepy) and this way he can get laid by girls who think he’s in the band. Everyone else is OK with that, and laughs it off. After a brief and boring show by The Clowns his buddy, Roadie #2 goes off to score some drugs from some girl, who is shortly thereafter stabbed to death by someone dressed like one of “The Clowns.”

At the after party, there’s lots of chicks and since the clowns are there in full dress uniform, ample opportunity for boobs in every sleazy hookup scene. One of the girls at the party has her throat cut, but who is it, the band or the other…oh WAIT another girl gets stabbed, OH, and abruptly, another. With all the bargain acting and laughably corny effects I’m thinking this is just a fetish movie about clown violence against women? When the cops become interested in the case, it merely adds another slack mouth to the droning robotic utterances of terrible script that sound churned out at gunpoint by a fat, bald, cigar smoking clown with DT's chained up in a New Jersey warehouse. Wait, that doesn’t make any sense.

If all of this wasn’t sleazy enough yet, we've returned to the story of shy roadie who is humiliated trying to flirt with some women in the park, then subjected to an oppressive religious trip at home. Later as a cathartic release he has a laugh putting Clowns makeup on his junkie pal roadie #2 in preparation for the after-show party. Deceiving and manipulating intoxicated women into sex is certainly much more acceptable than permitting any of the homosexual undertones suggested in these repressed outcast/buddy sequences to be realized right?

Finally spilling forth like steaming, excrement-swollen viscera, the sadistic undercurrent of filth in this movie goes all out as one of the Clowns (as far as we can tell) dispenses with the bullshit and issues raspy sexual commands to a drunk teenybopper in a bloodsplattered noose-bedecked room. If she weren’t the most jarring actress ever, I might be even more disgusted with this vile film than I already am.
As it stands, the climax of grotesquery has been reached, and what should have been the subsequent shocking reveal/resolution was neither shocking or resolving, and stood a little off to the side, too stupid and ashamed to sweep all the revulsion under the carpet.

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