Slash (Neil Sundstrom, 2002)
First and absolutely foremost, horror film directors: if you're going to make a movie that has a rock band as its central characters, and are going to pass them off as a hard rock or metal band, for the love of pete, know the music you're trying to depict. As in most cases, Slash, the titular band at the heart of this movie, sounds like a bad soft-rock-radio wannabe (while they didn't exist when this movie came out, Slash's music reminds me all too uncomfortably of Daughtry's sappier ballads. I hate Daughtry.) I mean, come on, even the music in Hard Rock Zombies was better than this. (I can't provide external links in Amazon reviews, but if you go to the web's most popular video site and type in "hard rock zombies street angel" without the quotes, you can get a sampling of Paul Sabu's ultra-cheesy, glorious soundtrack.) Things get worse as the movie goes on, music-wise. Because of spoiler issues, I can't really give you the details on why this is the case (and it is situational, in a way), but by the time we get to the end of the movie, we have degenerated, musically, out of Daughtry territory and into Hinder. FEAR THIS. It's some of the most unintentionally hilarious music I've come across in a movie since the golden age of the Satanic-Panic Heavy Metal movie in the mid-eighties. (Remember Black Roses? If so, I pity you....)
The rest of the film is markedly better than its soundtrack, but "markedly" is a relative term here. This is a pretty generic slasherfest in which the members of Slash-lead singer Mac (Kiss the Bride's James O'Shea), bassist Suzie (Lost's Zuleikha Robinson), drummer Rod (District 9's David Dukas), keyboardist Keith (Remember the Titans' Craig Kirkwood), and guitarist Ray (Guy Raphaely in his first screen role), along with Ray's girlfriend Candy (Hey Boy's Nina Wassung) and their videographer/driver/gofer Ian (Catch a Fire's Neels Clasen), journey back to the rural-VERY rural-farm where Mac grew up for his aunt's funeral. They are met there by Mac's father, Jeremiah (B-horror stalwart Steve Railsback), and the farm's last remaining hired hand, Billy Bob (The Breed's Nick Boraine), who are creepy enough, but then, at the aunt's funeral, crazy local Jessie (The Last Leprechaun's Jocelyn Broderick) starts ranting about the harvest of blood being back. As Bill Cosby was wont to say, oh-bee-kay-bee...
It's not as if the movie is all bad. There's actually some interesting playing around with stereotypes (it is no surprise that aside from Railsback, Boraine has the most experience in from of the camera here, and hey, the crazy local is actually... kinda hotter than the band girls, which is saying something, because Zuleikha Robinson is quite the looker) and a few good comedic lines, but as a slasher film, it is utterly generic. You will be able to pick out specific scenes and say exactly where they came from if you're even a casual fan of the genre. Worse, the whole thing isn't actually tied together all too well; I assume that means there's a lot of continuity stuff that ended up sitting on the cutting room floor. They should have kept it in. And by the time you get to the ending, as godawful as it is, well, if you're not prepared for its godawfulness, you haven't been paying enough attention. **