By Lindsay Utz & Mark Betancourt
Photo courtesy Shock-O-Rama Cinema
"Rock & Roll Frankenstein" endeavours to both disgust the viewers and take them into the sick, twisted world of B-horror movies.
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday October 3, 2002
Utz: What the hell was that?
Betancourt: You mean "Rock and Roll Frankenstein?" Well, it was a movie about this guy "Frankie" who creates this monster ·
Utz: · from various ·
Betancourt: Yeah, parts. You know the basic premise. Except the spin in this K-grade "horror" flick is that Frankie is commissioned by his fat record producer uncle to make a monster out of the illegally exhumed parts of history's greatest rockers, forming some kind of super undead rock sensation.
Utz: So, they dig up Elvis's head, Sid Vicious's ass and Jimi Hendrix's hands from the "rock and roll graveyard." But what's even better is when Frankie's lackeys are ordered to steal Jim Morrison's cock from some hidden laboratory. Due to an unfortunate accident with Morrison's preserved cock, they steal Liberace's cock instead.
Betancourt: You've reached the legal limit of how many times you're allowed to say that word in the paper.
Utz: They should have stolen Lassie's penis instead.
Betancourt: They could have, it was there. Anyway.
Utz: What was Lassie's penis doing along with the famous musical penises?
Betancourt: Good question. Anyway, so this is one of those straight-to-video deals that, against the laws of film industry physics, gets made. Then it ends up staring you down in the video store, and you say to yourself "Yeah, I could use something amateur tonight, especially if it has more of that naked chick on the front."
Utz: Well, unfortunately you're not going to get that naked chick. But you will get a rocker beating his ass with a gerbil and then biting its head off.
Betancourt: And don't get me wrong, that's worth the rental. That and the priest being sodomized with a giant crucifix, shiny plastic Jesus and all.
Utz: Yeah, that was great. You can't get more tasteless than that.
Betancourt: But let's get back to the lack of adult content. The DVD features an insert list of other films put out by the distributor, the covers of which seems to suggest heavy if not explicit sexual content. In all honesty, this is the reason why perhaps dozens of our devoted readers will rush out and rent, if not purchase, this DVD. But let this serve as a warning for all of those above-mentioned video store lurkers: This is not porn and therefore forfeits its only shot at redeeming value.
Utz: But don't discourage the readers, Mark. This DVD should be praised for its unforgettable scenes. If it weren't for this film, you would have probably never seen a gay monster rock star that is so confused by his homosexuality that he stuffs dead gerbils into condoms and then hides them under his mattress. I'm still not sure what the symbolic nature of that was, but it's original and twisted and I kind of like it.
Betancourt: If that's the sort of thing our readers want to curl up on their couch and watch then that's their business. Let's talk about the stylistic qualities of this film.
Utz: Well, the sound was pretty good.
Beatancourt: The sound was good, wasn't it? Really good sound. The lighting didn't suck, either. In fact, had the filmmakers been interested in, well, trying at all, then the whole thing could have come out pretty nicely.
Utz: I can only imagine how much fun the crew had on this set. I bet they all took turns tugging on monster rocker's big green penis at the end of the movie.
Betancourt: And someone got to take it home.
Utz: And it's still hanging above their fireplace ÷ a remembrance of that one great movie they made.
Betancourt: So what, in the end, have these sons of Dungeons & Dragons created? Well, it isn't what you'd expect. Because there is a certain value to movies that mindlessly weave together our deepest psychological impulses, sex and violence. Movies that turn us on and repel us simultaneously, they're sinfully entertaining. This just isn't one of them.
Utz: Sure it is.
Betancourt: No way.
Utz: You loved this movie. You were cheering on monster rocker as he pep-talked his penis.
Betancourt: I may well have been. I was delirious with boredom. I don't remember what happened. All I'm saying is that even movies without epic plots or profound themes or beautiful imagery should at least make us feel uncomfortable, and this film didn't. It was like overhearing a conversation between fourth graders who think they're being dirty.
Utz: Well, it was pretty dirty. Remember that line when monster rocker's penis says, "I'm horny, I want to get shit-faced." That's pretty dirty.
Betancourt: That's just scatological.
Utz: You may not think this movie is sinfully entertaining, but I do. I think it is deliciously sick and totally ridiculous. The plot sucks, the script sucks, but the totally random shocking scenes are so nonsensical that you cannot help but laugh.
Betancourt: I agree. I always sound like I'm wearing a bow tie and holding a bubble-pipe. I didn't like this movie because I think creative metaphors for homosexuality are tiresome. Does that make me uptight?
Utz: No, but you are taking the film too seriously. It's dumb and useless and we knew that even before watching it.