Friday, April 6, 2018

Terror on Tour (1980)

So here's a bit of a rarity on B-Movie Enema - a movie I'm coming into practically blind.

I've watched the trailer for this week's feature, Terror on Tour, and it looks pretty shitty.  I think it's supposed to be some sort of KISS band with guys in white and black makeup in tight clothes and capes and shit who begin to kill people or something?  No, maybe it's like an early version of Insane Clown Posse or something because they kinda look like clowns?  All I know is that you know you're in good hands when there is no such thing as a poster for the movie.  All you got is a VHS cover, and it's a Media VHS release no less.

I've seen this on the Jofer Jeff YouTube channel and that guy 1) is a Jeff/Geoff, so he's clearly a stand up guy and 2) he's given me plenty of entertainment (including having uploaded a copy of Deadly Sins for me to be able to include that in my Alyssa Milano Month - so, I stress, he's gotta be good people).  However, I do admit, this one might be a bit rough, but I'm game.

This also continues a little bit of a tradition we've seen on this blog before - the rock 'n roll horror movie.  This is the third movie I've covered that has that genre (previously, I've looked at Zombie Nightmare just last week and Black Roses last year), and I plan on continuing to review this sub-genre.  For a good chunk of the 1980s, Evangelical Christian groups felt that horror movies and rock 'n roll were luring children away to make them devil worshipers.  Like, no shit, they really believed that and spent a bunch of the decade tying correlations between bad behavior and taste in music and movies.  Considering KISS was a big time target for these groups, why not make a cheap ass horror movie where you have a band in makeup killing people?  Sounds like a surefire hit!

Considering I hadn't heard of this movie before, oh, about a year ago, it's clear this was nothing of a hit.  Like I said, I have only watched the trailer, and I want to fly this one blind.  So, let's dive into this flick and see what the deal is with this little obscure flick...


Well, right out of the gate, I can tell you two things.  First, there is some actual attempt at having a decent set of rock and roll songs.  The band is performing at a live show and whoever did the music for the movie wasn't terrible.  They seem like some pretty good hard rock/glam rock stuff for 1980.  The second thing is that I do not like this band.  They are dressed like clowns.  I do not like clowns.  In fact, the name of the band is The Clowns.  I don't like that shit.

Not one bit.

Part of their show is to have these dancing girls on the stage, and then there's a mannequin that they tear the arm off and use the arm to knock its head off.  They toss that shit into the crowd and the kids enjoy it.  They are having a good time. Backstage, there are two roadies?  Makeup guys?  I dunno exactly what they are but they are "with the band".  One guy is putting on clown makeup, you know, as you do, and hoping it will kinda dupe some groupies into thinking he's part of the band.  The other guy posits the question of what would the crowd do if they actually threw real body parts into the crowd?  How would the kids at the show think then?

Now, the one guy asked the question that will, surprise, drive the rest of the show, but it's the guy who is painting himself up as a fucking clown who seems pretty suspect and goddamn weird.  He apparently "can't talk to women" and "feels good" when he puts on the makeup.  I'm not gonna say the guy can't make his face up, but he's a little, um, psycho sounding in his calm, unemotional voice...?  Out back, a chick shows up for a drug deal, and the non-psycho roadie dude leaves her high and dry by promising he'll bring her some more money to complete the deal.  Well, a guy who is dressed like one of the Clowns approaches her and stabs and kills her.

There's a scene with the band's manager talking to the guys about how they are on the road for stardom.  It's a buncha bullshit really.  Nothing all that important.  Some fat fuck of an owner of the venue The Clowns played that night finds the dead girl out back.  The cops come and immediately draw a line between the band's act, what with all the simulated murder and dismemberment shit, and the killing.  The fat venue owner guy is all like, "What does the act have anything to do with the dead girl out back?"

Guys, this is a rough one.  I'm twenty minutes into an 83-minute movie and there's been one death, and no less than three scenes of bullshit dialog between band members about being #31 on the charts, buying a pizza with double onions, a broken down car, and paying back a personal loan.  Fuck, this movie has not much going for it.

So these Clown fucks are at a party.  Mostly just girls coming up to members of the band and saying shit like they are better than The Beatles or something and the band members being like, "Yeah, baby, we're the best!"  They make out with the chicks in costume which means they actually cater to that ever growing subset of sexually active women who are super hot for clowns.  I guess they have that going for them.

Oh, and someone is putting makeup on and getting ready for another kill, but I'm not sure if we're really supposed to think it's the weirdo from the beginning or if that was a red herring or what the fuck.

Here's the problem...  This is called Terror on Tour, right?  So far we've not seen much terror (as in none - we've seen none terror), and, while, sure, I guess you can say that the band is playing live gigs and shit, they aren't on tour either.  With Black Roses, the name of the movie came from the name of the band the kids were all hopped up on, and we saw demon shit right away.  With Zombie Nightmare, there was indeed a zombie and the movie was a fucking nightmare which indicates the movie still delivered on its title.  This movie is doing nothing for me.

I can't even get into the characters at all.  They all dress up to look the same so I can't tell which one is which when they aren't in makeup.  One is, apparently, in the midst of a drug problem.  One might be a killer?  Fuck I dunno, man!  You know what's worse?  Multiple Clowns are either shy or don't talk much.  I know that is supposed to build the tension and the mystery of who the killer is, but goddammit, you're wasting my fucking time, movie.  Watching this movie is like being at a party where you don't know anyone and everyone is talking to each other but not really talking to you.  You know...  like how most parties go for me.

There is even a scene going on at this party where this really cute girl is high on cocaine and super horny and stripped down to her panties and rubbing her body and shit.  The whole time she's trying to get this fucking Clown to lay some pipe and all I can muster is the exact look the goddamn clown is making:
My sentiments exactly, Krusty.
That clown kills that naked chick.  Whatever.

In another room, the Clowns are running a fucking train on another girl.  One goes in, fucks her, the next comes in, fucks her, and so on.  Goddammit, I feel like I should be happy that at least I'm seeing some decent 1980 tit, but this movie is like being in a fucking funhouse.  Shit is just going on in rooms and there's a party and I think someone has slipped me some of the same drugs that the people in the party are taking.  I don't know what is happening in any of these scenes.

Oh, I guess the killer clown has now killed the girl who was servicing each member of the band.  Whatever.

Now, I've been asking for shit to happen in this movie, and I can tell you things are happening way too fast now.  Allow me to explain...  A girl is stumbling around topless and smoking pot.  And she sits in the auditorium seats and the killer clown suddenly is there walking down the steps behind her.  So now, he's just killing chicks all over the place.  Now, originally, I thought he's only killing girls who are not wearing a shirt, but when the cops show up after a body was found, they say each victim (including the very first earlier in the movie) had the same history of drugs, alcohol, and prostitution.  So I guess the killer has an M.O.  That's swell of the movie to provide us.

At least something is trying to be something here.

So the cops interview the band, their roadies, and the manager.  It's discovered that the one shy guy likes to put on makeup from the band.  That makes his immediately suspicious because he's moving through the party unnoticed and basically unaccounted for.  At the very least, it means there is now a fifth clown that is gaining access to unsuspecting people.

So the movie starts to drop some stats about the band's
drummer: he's a drug addict, he's likely insane, and he has a
nine-inch dick.  For real, it is discussed when he's fucking
his girlfriend.
The movie goes super out of its way to suddenly give a couple people characters all of a sudden.  Halfway through this shitfest, now we get a little scene where the shy guy tries to talk to a girl who is out on a walk only to have her instantly reject him after exchanging hellos.  Then, the drummer of the band is now given a lot more to talk about.  He talks to another band member (sorry I don't know anyone's name because the movie decided to have people all walk around WITH THE SAME FUCKING CLOWN MAKEUP) about how the cops are suspecting someone in the band of doing the murders.  He's the one (I think...?) with the drug problem as established earlier.  His girlfriend comes over randomly to fuck him and he tells her, "Stay under the covers... Or I'll kill ya."

Gee, movie, I wonder where you're going with that.

So the movie continues to meander with the lead singer of the band thinking about getting out and leaving the group because he isn't so hot anymore on the performances or how people are apparently reacting to them now - what with the killing and all.  The shy guy reads a letter sent to the band manager from his mom saying she hopes he converses with the Lord as she does each day and hopes he isn't falling for any of the tricks of Satan.

See?  What I talked about at the start of this post?  Rock and roll and Satan - BFFs 4EVA!

The movie continues to take its sweet ass time getting to the next gig for The Clowns.  The main cop guy is there and going to be on the look out for any shenanigans.  Also, there is a girl out on bail for drugs (and stuff) present working with the cop to get close to try to suss out the murderer.

Goddammit.  This movie is slow, long, and boring.  Its meandering leads to my mind starting to wander.  So much so that I began to wonder whatever happened to Balthazar Getty.  That's not a joke.  I actually started trying to figure out whatever happened to that guy.

Apparently, he did have a fairly decent career after Young Guns II which is where I know him best.  He was in that Twin Peaks season last year.  So, good on him for that.  He also has three kids.  Getty did kinda slip up, though, and had a pretty publicized affair with Sienna Miller, but he went back to his wife.  I'm glad he did the right thing and got that sorted out.

See?  See what happened there?  This movie has led me to go to Wikipedia and look up what's up with Balthazar fucking Getty.  This goddamn "horror" "movie" doesn't have the decency to keep me from wondering what happened to that goofy kid from Young Guns II.

Girly Girl (the one working with the cops whose name I do not care to remember) runs across the makeup guy and they have a nice little connection.  He even asks her out on a date and she accepts!  Elsewhere, the drummer's girlfriend who introduces herself to Girly Girl by saying she's here to see her boyfriend, "The Drummer".  This fucking movie does not keep me from searching Wikipedia to see what's up with Balthazar Getty NOR does it bother to have the drummer's girlfriend tell me the drummer's fucking name!

Doesn't matter, the drummer's girlfriend goes into one of the rooms where a girl got murdered at the party and gets killed by the killer clown.

I feel like I've been watching this movie for four hours.  It's the longest damn 83-minute movie I've ever seen.  But finally...  We've arrived at the start of the final concert.  Cops are in place.  Girly Girl is workin' angles and findin' the dead drummer's girlfriend and gettin' attacked by the killer clown who suddenly starts to grunt and act super crazy and shit like he has not at all in any scene previously seen in the movie.

Is this the original killer clown?  Is it the roadie who got fired like a couple scenes ago?  Is the killer the makeup guy even though, I dunno, he probably shouldn't be?  Does this movie not understand what a red herring is?  Does this movie not understand that you DON'T WASTE MY FUCKING TIME WITH SHOWING A SPIRALING DRUG ADDICTED DRUMMER ONLY FOR HIM TO NOT BE A KILLER?

Let's dig a little deeper on that last question, shall we?

In a movie in which you want to have a mystery surrounding a killer, there are three ways to handle this.  First, you can set up all your red herrings as soon as possible.  You have multiple people doing things that are potentially nefarious and you make it possible for each one of them to be guilty of the crimes.  Second, you reveal the killer immediately, and then let the rest of the movie deal with him trying to keep his innocence while working within the rest of the characters.  Or, third, you go the Friday the 13th route and never introduce the killer until the very final act leaving everyone else completely free from suspicion.

Another thing you do not do that this movie fucking does is introduce a heroine in the final act.  Girly Girl is now set up to be a survivor girl and the ultimate hero of the movie.  She discovers the drummer's dead girlfriend, and starts to get chased by the killer.  In a scene in which she is given her orders from the main cop guy, we are given more characterization for her than any other character in this fucking movie.  It helps build a little bit of emotion when she sees that the cop's been killed.

However, two fucking problems here.  First, she's running around in a cavernous backstage of a concert hall in high heels that click and clack all over the fucking place.  Second, the killer kills her.

Yeah, the most likable character in this fucking movie is killed.  Girly Girl was likable.  She was cute.  She had a fucking personality.  But whatever, kill that bitch.  That also completely erases every possible happy ending for the makeup guy.  Why...?

Makeup guy is not the killer.  I mean, no shit, right?  The drummer was introduced as the second red herring way later than he should have been in this movie.  Also, time is spent... LOTS of time... on why we should like makeup guy.  He is shy.  He can't talk to girls.  He just wants to love!  Girly Girl was going to be the love of his life!  I believed in them!  Well... I believed in them in between reading paragraphs on Wikipedia about Balthazar Getty's whereabouts.  But still!  I liked them.  WE WERE SUPPOSED TO LIKE THEM!

"NNNNNNOOOOO SOUP FOR YOU!"
Girly Girl even takes the cop's gun to defend herself only to be surprised and stabbed.  As she died, she took the mask off the killer only to find out it is the band's manager.  I guess he thought these girls were whores and unworthy of becoming mothers...?  He chases the makeup guy out onto the stage right in the middle of the concert and stabs the poor shy dude multiple times, assumably, killing him.  He then shouts "STOP!" a few times at the crowd.  Freeze frame.  Roll credits.

Huh.  Okay.

This is a completely and totally unsatisfying movie in every possible way.  Like EVERY possible way.  We're ultimately given three red herrings as the killer - makeup guy, drummer, and roadie.  The guy we needed the killer to be the least, makeup guy, we're actually made to very much like.  Sadly, he's killed for little to no reason.  Girly Girl is set up to be the heroine and something for makeup guy to have his happy ending with, but she is killed.  I guess she is one of the "whores" that the band manager bitches about, but why make us care about her?  Bait and switches in horror movies like how they deal with makeup guy and Girly Girl don't work out well at all for the audience.  It's basically just playing with our emotions, and, in some ways, our better judgment.

The meandering of the movie itself is a real problem too.  I honestly was looking at Wikipedia to find out about Balthazar Getty.  When I realized how fucking random that act was, I turned it into a joke in this post, but it was a for real thing I actually found myself doing instead of watching this movie.  This movie did not need to be 83 minutes.  A tight 45 would have been perfect.  It would have probably kept us from having to care about Girly Girl.  You also wouldn't have had a turn for the cop to actually be a good guy who gives a shit to find a killer even if the murdered are "bad" people.

Oh, I guess I should explain why I made the Soup Nazi joke with that final freeze frame.  The actor who played the band's manager, Larry Thomas, is best known as the Soup Nazi on Seinfeld.  That's all.  That's the only interesting thing about this turd worth mentioning.  Oh, and I guess The Clowns were actually a real band called The Names. That's semi-interesting since I did make note in at the start of the movie that the music itself was pretty decent.

Also, I guess the drummer for The Names has a drug problem and fucks random whores.

Overall, this was a fucking bummer to watch.  I legitimately hated this movie.  That's not something that happens too often on this blog.  Some movies are bad.  Some reach Pot Zombies level of hall of fame bad, but this didn't make me mad to watch, it just made me sad that I didn't do something else with a Saturday night.  So I would pretty much advise you avoid this like the plague.

Next week, I will be tying in the B-Movie Enema post with a special episode of the podcast Film Seizure that I co-host.  You see, we're releasing our pilot episode that we did as a special three-part, three-day event.  The movies discussed in that pilot were the first three Friday the 13th movies.  So to tie into that here at B-Movie Enema, I'm going to release on Saturday the 14th and discussing, well, the spoof movie Saturday the 14th!

See you all next week and, um, I guess go kill some whores who are unworthy of becoming mothers...?

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