Black Roses (1988)


Produced & Directed by: John Fasano

Written by:
Cindy Cirile


John Martin .... Matt Moorhouse
Ken Swofford .... Mayor Farnsworth
Julie Adams .... Mrs. Miller
Carla Ferrigno .... Miss Priscilla Farnsworth
Frank Dietz .... Johnny Pratt
David Crichton .... Mr. Miller
E.K. Miller .... Dr. Marshall
Karen Planden .... Julie Windham
Jesse D'Angelo .... Jason Miller
Pat Strelioff .... Janey Miller
Robin Stapler .... Tina
Anthony Bua .... Tony Ames
Sal Viviano .... Damien
Carmine Appice .... Vinny Apache

Special Appearance:

Vincent Pastore .... Mr. Ames

Release Date: Limited Theatrical: September, 1988 (Japan)




A heavy metal band wants to promote their new tour and album in a small sleepy town of Mill Basin as parents and other adults fear that they are a threat to the kids there when they want to start performing at their school stage.
At first the band seemed almost harmless when they first perform a ballad of theirs until the Mayor Farnsworth (Ken Swofford) and school teacher Matt Moorhouse (John Martin) leave and then they get wild by the lead vocalist Damien (Sal Viviano) who has deadly plans to hypnotise and possess his audience.
The next day Matt discovers that his students aren't the same and are behaving very weird including his best student Julie Windham (Karen Plandham) who tells him there's a second showing in which he gets suspicious on all of this.
Suddenly the kids are going wild by killing the auldt locals including their parents as well as turning into demonic beasts too in which Matt tries to find a way on stopping this band before the town is invaded by this nasty force.


The beginning of this flick looked pretty corny but fun to watch as we spot the band Black Roses performing in a small city as they are in the form of demonic beasts in which makes this all look fun and later on the audience running out as monsters acting terrorising as this seems to be an impressive start to a cheesy horror flick by not taking itself seriously.
Then the film takes place the next morning with some of the band members arriving in one of those fancy type cars almost what you'd spot in a futuristic sci-fi flick posting up their ad on their performance as this looked pretty fun to spot too.
Then we spot different situations on the kids leaving for school talking about the contcert with certain parents complaining about the band which seemed too obvious and incredibly cheesy in other words doesn't seem nautral at all and badly written too. There are the odd one's like an open minded father to his son accepting him for getting tickets to the show in which seems common in a closed minded town that there's the decent type who doesn't buy into the stories of a band preventing their kids to do evil things which looked well done in this certain situation.
There's cheesy but interesting one liners with the teacher Matt Moorhouse instructing his students on what is evil as well as their side of the story on what it really means as well as discussing the band and how dumb it is to think that they're a threat as this looked fun to watch as well.
Then it gets a little too slapstick when we hear an announcer discussing the band and what it can do to the youth in their town as watching this was too hard to be taken seriously here. It does seem interesting when we spot Mayor Farnsworth discussing on bands back in the good old days and how parents were terrified on how it would influence their kids then which showed some good pointers here.
More cheesy liners between the teenage couple Julie Windham and Johnny Pratt complaining about the situations on trying to prevent the band from coming to their town as this looked very rough but at the same time the two of them seemed to show some nice chemistry too. There's also a nice shot on an open bucket of paint with spraks shining as well as a nice distant shot on some mist and a figure on one of them band members standing there which makes things look good and mysterious.
Things look pretty impressive when we spot the band playing a mellow song and trying to fool the adults watching until they leave as well as them getting wild which showed nice timing here. There's even situations with some of the audience changing into a ghoul of some sort as this looked totally cheesy and phony.
Things seem impressive when Matt is teaching again and the students don't seem to behave the same way which looked impressive to watch and seemed to be right on target here.
There's even a scene when the band is on their vehicle giving out records and some pick a fight with one of them really acting brutal and powerful which seemed to look not too badly done and giving you a bad thought that things are out of control with these kids. This scene was nicely put in.
There's even a situation when a verbally abusive father tries to turn off a record player and we spot this record growing into something as well as the speaker changing into a monster and lunging at him and hauling him into the speaker itself in which this was supposed to look suspenseful but really this looked more funny but in a fun way.
There's a nice moment with Johnny listening to a ballad of the band and then a dark lustful creature approaches him in which this was supposed to look dark and creepy but yet it's pretty low grade quality while we watch this moment happen. Still it is impressive to watch this moment. Things definetely look pretty dark when he goes to visit his father possessed holding a gun at him.
There's a situation when another teen tricks one of the school board members to open a window and she lunges with a monstrous face to push him out of the window in which this looked very phony to spot all of this.
There's a good brutal moment though on how Julie kills her stepdad which makes up for another murderous situation since this looked brutally intense while we spot this and good close up shots on her doing this.
There's even a situation with Julie trying to lusftully come onto Matt and he slaps her as well as having her head turned in which you have a sinking feeling that he appearance will change as the effects looked pretty good here and then it starts to look silly when she transforms into a monster as it looked phony and you can tell that it was a rubber uniform but him trying to battle this beast looked interesting as he uses a tennis wracket.
The setting looked amusing with the stage and the singer speaking demonically towards the audience as this looked fairly gothic like and well done too. Also some interesting looks on the band changing into the monsters but yet we spot Matt battling the singer and you can tell when he hits him that the monster is a suit and this looks very obvious to spot.
Things look impressive when the audience rushes out of the school as well as their intense speaking after they hear on what they did to their parents and other adults when they are themselves once again which looked well done.
The ending left a door open for a sequel which never arose since it didn't seem to have a big enough following but this looked impressive and will bear in your mind too.
Bottom line is that it's a bad movie but a fun one to watch if you're in the mood for an average low budget horror flick. It basically spoofs on bands that parents worry will poison their kids minds and watching this makes you have every right to think that way. Yet it's a movie not to take seriously at all. Trick or Treat did something like this but theirs was done in a much better style. It's a film you may enjoy or hate dependes on what mood you're in.

The acting is pretty bad with the odd exception here so let's dig into some of the one's worth mentioning here. Ah yes the lead actor John Martin (Matt Moorhouse) seemed to do an okay job as a serious teacher in which he does a nice job in his first apperance while teaching his class acting quite strong in his presence here. He also does a nice job with his concerned reactions on stuff and getting into this big time which was impressive. He also shows a good stressful and frusterated reaction when trying to talk to someone as this looked energetic too. Plus he does a nice job with his struggling behavior along with his blocking which shows off pretty nice as well. He deserves a good pat on the back for all of this.
Ken Swofford (Mayor Farnsworth) was fairly okay in his part as someone who runs the sleeping city in which he brought a niceness to his part acting open minded on stuff. He speaks well while hearing him. Plus does a nice job while making a speech on bands which he draws across strongly and calmly too. Plus he does a nice job with his closed minded behavior while speaking to someone on the phone in which he shows nice timing within this too. Shows a good seriousness when the terrors start to happen showing nice characteristics here too.
Julie Adams (Mrs. Miller) was way over the top in her performance with her paranoid attitude especially while making a speech about the band in which she was unfunny with the comedic one liners and just didn't know how to get into character but you could tell that she was really trying. In other words she was very mellodramatic. At the end of her performance however she seemed to do okay with her sobbing emotions but that's about it. She came across pretty annoying with her other actions while watching her in this flick.
Carla Ferrigno (Miss Priscilla Farnsworth) has the nice looks into her part but can she do the job? Well she seems pretty average in what she does but yet shows the odd characteristics with her ticked off behavior in which she seems to smoothen out pretty well here. But there are times when she acts a little sarcastic as this seemed a bit rough. Oh well she wasn't terrible as most of the cast members here. She's not as successful as her husband in which we all know who we're talking about.
Frank Dietz (Johnny Pratt) was pretty bad and over the top as those typical teenagers going through a rebellious phase. However in the beginning of his performance he doesn't seem that bad when he stresses something in class. Yet he starts to weaken a little while doing this. He is not at all convincing while acting energised with his fursterations while walking at night as you can tell that he was trying way too hard by doing this and it flops. However he does a nice expressionless attitude while about to shoot his onscreen father as this was memorable in his performance along with the end of his role when he cries intensely which looked pretty energetic here. He had the right looks for this role but that was about it. He pursued more of a career behind the scene's as a clean up artist in the animation department. However he was awarded as the first person to be awarded "Artist Of The Year" in the Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards, first for 2006, and then again for 2007.
David Crichton (Mr. Miller) was another one who was a line reader in which he shows no enthusiasm into whatever he does here like when he talks to his youngest one on what he spots showing a lack of energy here. At times he seemed okay while doing strip poker really getting into the game and showing off a bit of with but that's about it. He just couldn't act his way out of a wet paper bag.
Karen Planden (Julie Windham) seemed to be the best out of the whole cast in which she came across perfectly as an innocent girl next door speaking innocently with a good seriousness to her behavior as well as showing a nice intelligence as well. She seemed to come across as one of the survivors in the horror flick. Plus she shows a perfect versatality into all of this after the concert incident not being all there. Plus she does a nice job with her icy and lustful speaking. She even is convincing with her meancing attitude and great forceful blocking like in a situation by whacking someone on the head with an object really plunging at it as well as showing a good vicious expression on her face. She also does a great job springing into action when she attacks someone. She's a worthy character actress and really proves to show a different side to her from acting like a virgin type of character to someone possessive and lustful.
Pat Strelioff (Janey Miller) was another awful actress but had the lustful looks. She really was laughable but in a bad way when she comes across as aggressive on a situation. Also wasn't convicning at all when she speaks evilly or having a laughter. It looked like she graduated out of the modelling industry and seemed like a total bibmo when it came to performing.
Anthony Bua (Tony Ames) pulls his stuff nicely as a dysfunctional teen in the film with a perfect tough guy attitude along with his looks. He does a nice job acting gruff about stuff as well as having some fairly decent blocking on his fighting as he knew on how to come across as someone powerful and not to be messed with. You can tell that he studied thios part quite nicely here and shows some interesting characteristics.
Sal Viviano (Damien) knew his stuff quite well with his wicked charm and behavior as the bands lead singer. He does a great job acting wild performing on stage and has a great singing voice too. He also shows a nice demonic type of expression while acting vicious about something as well as a good wicked speaking. He was a trained musical theatre actor which shows on here.
Vincent Pastore (Mr. Ames) plays an oboxious closed minded father as this marks his debut before landing roles in other show like The Sopranos in which he leaves a nice impression in his cameo here. He does a nice job speaking gruffly and acting like a typical asshole who is believeably dysfunctional. Plus he does a nice job with his shocked and struggling reactions when he is attacked.

A breasted demonic figure approaches in a room yet it's very dark to spot her.
Someone pulls down her top and rubs her breasts and later on pulls down her top while entering someone's home.

Some bloodsheds here and there while a killing is offscreen
A throat is slit but nothing graphic and a bit phony. Just some blood that's about it.

The music sounds very Z-grade on a synthesizer with high and low sounds along with the suspnseful icy sounds too in which sounds quite lacking and not suiting the storyline at all. However there's some good trombone and other classical sounds for a scene with two teenagers running along in the night discussing a topic which sounded fairly powerful. Also we hear the odd drumbeats for when a scene on a school being burned down which also sounded not too badly done either. This was all done by Elliot Solomon

The movie had quite a good balls to the wall soundtrack sas there's a few songs on here that stand out:

Lizzy Borden - "Me Against the World" starts during the near beginning on the flick with the band performing looking demonic at a concert in which there's perfect insane type of vocalising along with the lyrics suiting what the band wants to do in order to possess their fans into one of them. A perfect touch here indeed and can be well remembered for anyone who watched this flick. It was also played when a rebellious kid is listening to it on his record player as well as his father trying to turn it off and something creepy happens. This also works well for what we are about to see here.

Black Roses - "Paradise (We’re On Our Way)" is the actual band on the film performing this which is seen when they try to fool the mayor and other adults fearing the dangers of this group in which this is a nice ballad sounding quite peaceful with the good keyboard playing along with nice vocalising too. It sounds very 80's stylish. This was also used in another segment with one of the teens listening to his record in his room and a lustful demonic figure approaches him which blends in well.
They also perform another tune when the adults leave to think they are a peaceful band with the track "Soliders of the Night" in which sounds like a good fast paced sound and good guitar riffs making it sound very hard edged but yet not too hardcore which you'd expect with what they are gonna do for their evil deeds in the flick. Nice hard stomping vocalising yet makes up for this.

King Kobra - "Take it Off" in which there's perfect lead and backup vocalising along with the good fast beats in which is a scene where a father and a daughter's friend is playing strip poker of some sorts here which works in well for the scene making out that they're listening to the music on the stereo in the living room while they're doing all of this.

David Michael Phillips - "King of Kool" was played briefly by the beginning of the closing credits in which was a perfect heavy rock tune having the insane type of vocalising and wild guitar playing. THis was one of the best tunes played in the movie indeed. A perfect closing song after what we spot in the end of the film.

Mr. Ames, Tony's Dad: Only two kinds of men wear earings: pirates and faggots. I don't see no ship in our driveway.

Mr. Pratt: Is there something wrong son?
: (Points a gun at his father) I love you Dad (Shoots his gun)

Julie's Stepdad: Mmmmmm you really know how to take care of your old step-dad don't you?

Matt Moorhouse: I'm here to see your father, is he in?
Miss Priscilla Farnsworth: No. No, he's not here. Did you and daddy have a date?
Matt Moorhouse: Come off it Pricilla, I am not in the mood. I need to talk to someone.
Miss Priscilla Farnsworth: What about me?

Mayor Farnsworth: You sound like a hysterical Mrs. Miller.
Matt Moorhouse: If I was Mrs. Miller I would be hysterical because Mr. Miller's dead.