Shock 'Em Dead (1989)

Directed by: Mark Freed

Written by:
Andrew Cross, Mark Freed & Dave Tedder


Traci Lords .... Lindsay Roberts
Stephen Quadros .... Angel Martin
Tim Moffett .... Greg
Karen Russell .... Michelle
Gina Parks .... Marilyn
Laurel Wiley .... Monique
Markus Grupa .... Johnny
Christopher Maleki .... Dustin
David Homb .... Izzy
Tyger Sodipe .... Voodoo Woman

Special Appearances :

Aldo Ray .... Tony
Troy Donahue .... Record Executive

Release Date: Direct-to-Video: January 31, 1991









A band fronted by a snotball Johnny (Markus Grupa) who isn't satisfied with any of the guitarists that are trying out but a bandmate named Greg (Tim Moffett) calls up his wimpy nerdy friend Martin (Stephen Quadros) up to try out in which he is in the middle of his job and gets fired for walking out.
Martin is more humiliated that he can't play his guitar right and then gets kicked out. He is out of a job and can't pay his rent in his mobile trailer park home and then gets a dismissal by the bullying landlord.
A Voodoo Woman (Tyger Sodipe) offers him his best wish in which he wishes to be the greatest rocker ever. Then he wakes up in a mansion which is owned by one of the beautiful mistresses Michelle (Karen Russell) in which she explains that everyone made a deal with the devil so there's side effects in which he can't eat normal food since it's considered poisonous and has to kill people with a special dagger in which their sould will feed his hunger.
This gives him an idea to kill the people who caused him misery eventually leading to Johnny in which he got accepted into the band disguising his name as Angel and doing circles around him when he proves that he is a powerful singer as well as a guitarist leading to a record company interest.
Martin seems to have eyes for Greg's beautiful girlfriend named Lindsay Roberts (Traci Lords) in which he will do anything to have her as he wants more than his wishes and can lead to danger for the band too.


The video box looked like that this would be a fun dark horror film but while watching the beginning of it with the opening credits you can tell that it was a made on video type of production as well as the scenery surrounding this that it was very low budgeted too. The story is quite corny in the beginning with a guitarist trying out for a band and not doing a good job which gives you that realisitc feeling for trying out at something and nothing goes right. What is worst the singer named Johnny disses this guy which is more humiliating. When you see Johnny he wears tight clothing and looks like a total pansy. Like a poseur Mick Jagger when he was wearing similar type clothing during his 81-82 concerts but this dude really takes it to the extreme looking like a total fool which is a good drawing card while we continue later on to find out what happens.
Then there's the wimpy nerd Martin who's working in a pizza stand and his boss is nagging at him which is another good nervous feeling reminding you as one of those jobs that you don't enjoy and the employer is less satisfied. The writing here and the performances looked pretty corny and cheesy making this scene look a little too comedic. But what's really a bad thing is when this nerd quits his job to try out for a band which is a huge mistake since there's no guarantees that he will be in which you know that he will luck out after seeing how he does things in the story.
This just happens to him as he acts really dorky by what he does which leads to Johnny getting overly sarcastic towards him which can make you cringe imagining if you were in Martin's shoes and someone humiliating you. It seems to work well to draw even further by what will happen much later on.
But then we spot a voodoo woman in which the scenery involving where she is was not the least bit convincing and seemed amateurishly done. Yet it seems to get a bit better when he enters her little place. There's neat types of effects when he sells his soul to be the greatest rockstar ever with all the smoke and figures surrounding all of this.
The story seems to do well when Martin awakens realising that he isnt a nerd anymore and has a wild hairdo. Yet this hairstyle you could tell was a wig it looked quite phony but I've seen worst stuff in low budget flicks.
Also there's nice bullying writing on Martin booting away a guitarist already picked for the band until he plays which seems to be a total cocky attitude from any talented musicain against another one which is very highschool like with a bully pitted against another one. This scene did work well.
A real nice moment is when the band goes on to perform and Johnny is in the bathroom snorting up cocaine since he is trying his best to have that bad boy rocker appeal and looks humiliating when he performs a song making a dork out of himself especially with how he sings the lyrics but it's great when Martin or should I say his name is now Angel boots him off and performs along with wildly playing his guitar showing that he's got everything and Johnny's got nothing. This was a nice vengeful moment after how poorly this dude treated him when he was a nobody. There's other good vengeful moments too on others when he has to feed his hunger by killing people with a special dagger and feeding their souls. It seems to flow well with having a price to pay when you make a deal with the devil. After all nothing is free which we all know.
Angel also wants a little romance with the main woman in this film named Lindsay Roberts which looked psychological when he tries to act manipulative with her which looked well written in on her trying to make a choice between him or the guy she's already seeing named Greg which seems to be common with rockers and one of them tries to be a homewrecker. Angel really draws in nice evil temptations like you'd see in a vampire type of flick but yet the moment isn't dark like it was meant to be due to a lack of a budget.
The adventure packs up big time with the mistress Michelle wanting to kill this woman for stealing Angel's heart out of jealousy which was alot of fun to watch and some good cheesy suspense too or when ANgel is about to do a cult ceremony with his guitar and the band members thinking it's all an act offering some decent slapstick humor here and there. Also nice moments with Greg trying to save the day too being the hero battling Angel. So there's a ton of fun touches used in this low budgeter.
Bottom line is this film is so bad it's good and a nice party type of horror flick even if it's too low budget to be considered scary. The cheesy effects are fun to watch like the green glowing light when this dude uses people's souls for his hunger and drooling out green goo at times as this is a nice tradition in other films like The Exorcist. The story is unoriginal though and goes into slumps here and there too so it's only half good. Just watch it for the fun but not a film to be taken seriously.

The acting is a bit cheesy. However alot of these performers came off well onto the camera such as lead actress Traci Lords (Lindsay Roberts) really brought on a nice girl charm to her part in the film coming across as very down to earth and kind towards everyone. She also knew how to come off with her emotional behavior fairly well too as well as her screaming attitude when the horror happens to her in which she brought some good energy there too.
Stephen Quadros (Angel Martin) had the challenging role on being versatile from acting like a wimpy hyper nerd to a tough as evil tough as nails rocker. Well he was a bit rough and over the top portraying his nerdy side but he seemed to come across with hyped up energy whenever he spoke or did geeky things which was not too bad. He showed off a good hyped cursing reaction towards his onscreen employer. A good gullible reaction on him acting excited really acting nerdy during a band tryout. He did better as the rocker with his cocky and sleazy attitude. Does a good job by getting up and touching his fellow actress as well as caressing her which looked smoothly performed. He brings a great dominant behavior and shows nice dark expressions too. A nice aggression with him towards his onscreen ex employer with his gruff words towards him. He reacts well after energy is sucked into him. A nice bullying reaction on him towards an onscreen guitarist trying out which looked natural. He does a good job getting demanding towards an onscreen record exec about their salary and being signed to a record company. He does a great job getting demanding towards his fellow actress by trying to manipulate her on coming back to his estate which looked nicely performed and using great force. All in all he wasn't a bad actor. It said on the opening credits introducing him but yet he's had good sized roles in shows beforehand.
Tim Moffett (Greg) brings on a nice guy attitude with his sympathetic behavior and really getting into the mode on what he does with his role. He comes across as a caring type as well as having a good heroic attitude. He brings all sorts of good characteristics into what he did.
Sexpot b-film actress Karen Russell (Michelle) gained a reputation acting in real bad direct-to-video flicks but often did a good job with her performances and I have to say that this was the best I've ever seen her in. She really draws in her lines very well as well as having a slick attitude. Plus she really brings on the energy whenever she attacks to feed her hunger acting wildly vicious. She really brought a great aggression towards her fellow actor by acting sharp towards him with good evil expressions too. All in all she was one of the best cast members in this one.
Markus Grupa (Johnny) really came across as a stuck up singer with a real pansy like behavior in which this character was meant to be that way. He seemed to do the trick by acting like this but yet his energy needed a tiny bit of improvement but not much. He shows a nice whiney attitude too in some spots. Also was believeably cruel when coming down on someone during a band tryout. Does well stumbling up to a stage to get ready to perform as well as nice pansy sturtting when he performs. He shows a fair amount of energy when he tries to get into the gig and getting forceful with an onscreen security. He was a believeable pussy poseur.
Christopher Maleki (Dustin) brings on a good partylike attitude bringing a nice humpurs touch to his role in the film and had the right looks to portray a long haired hard rocker. He was cheesy at times but knew on how to entertain the viewers with what he had to do in the film.
Tyger Sodipe (Voodoo Woman) was a little too corny and over the top with her role not making herself too convincing in what she did in the film. Sometimes she shows a dark mysterious attitude but in other spots seems to be melodramatic and stale with her actions.

Kathleen Kane as an employee at a pizza place takes off her top to get into her uniform with her boobs fully exposed.
Karen Russell has her top lifted down exposing her breasts along with other scene's of her topless in bed or in a jacuzzi.
Gina Parks pulls down her top exposing her boobs along with being barebreasted in a jacuzzi from a distance.
Numerous bit part actresses as groupies show it off too in a car scene or at the mansion.

A face is half scarred in a mirror reflection
A body crumbles up
An axe is impaled in a woman's chest

There's some cheesy keyboard and synthesizer sounds but yet it seems to work for a low budgeter like this one as there's alot of deep sounds along with windy and screechy metal sounds for the suspenseful scene's. Plus there's some interesting synthesizer drum beating sounds and other types of techno music used for struggling scene's that was put into the flick all done by Robert Decker.

Tony: Here at Pizza Playhouse we do things one way: the right way.

Trailer Manager: I want you out! Now! Tonight! I let you live here, you're six months behind on rent and now you drive me and everyone else crazy with that damn guitar playing of yours!
Angel Martin: Someday I'm gonna be so famous that people are gonna stand in line to hear my play!

Jonny: I'm a virgin girl. I wait 'til I'm married. I'm a virgin girl. I don't go down on my knees.

Record Executive #1: Hey, we gotta sign that guy- I haven't seen anyone like him since uh... uh, what's his name bit that bat's head off
Record Executive #2: yeah, what WAS his name?
Record Executive #1: ...what's his name