Friend of this website Matthew hosts a monthly event at our local art house cinema: Bad Movie Night, which is about as bluntly descriptive as any phrase can be. These days, the term “curated” as applied to any experience (looking at you, Apple Music) generally sends a dagger of stabbing pain to that place just behind my eyes—you know, the same raw spot that has never healed from the bludgeoning overuse of “artisanal” in our culture.
But some things do cry out for . . . ugh, I’m going to say it . . . curation. Enjoyably shitty movies, for instance. There are more terrible movies out there than you could ever count, and you need some patient and masochistic soul to root through them to find the gems. Movies you’ve never heard of. Movies literally filmed on VHS. Italian Jaws knockoffs. (I’m sorry: unofficial sequels.) These aren’t “Oh, Showgirls was terrible, let’s all get together and hate-watch it” movies; these are flicks so incoherent they never saw a theatrical release. So appallingly funny no one even claims the copyright to them anymore.
Yes, that’s how bad these movies are, folks: No one is even hoping to make money off them. This is America! Everyone is trying to make money off everything! But not these lemons.
This month’s selection was Hard Rock Nightmare. I’ma just paste in the official BMN preview and description right here:
Hard rock band The Bad Boys escape to an isolated cabin in the woods to rehearse, but Jimmy’s werewolf grandpa has other plans for them.
In the pantheon of Bad Movies (note the Initial Caps Designation of Significance), Hard Rock Nightmare ranks pretty highly. Yes, the acting is terrible and the plot is ridiculous . . . but there is discernible acting and a coherent plot, and the werewolf special effects aren’t laughably bad. There’s even a little clever self-referential humor. In fact, there isn’t much to separate this one from some memorably bad 80’s horror movies you can still buy.
But forget all that. The important thing is that this movie features perhaps the most brutally terrifying scene ever put to film.
I’m dead serious.
It begins innocently enough: one of the band’s groupies has finally lured her favorite member into the sack. I wouldn’t have been surprised to see them punished for this flagrant act of hedonism by being werewolf’d as they did it. But no–something infinitely more terrifying occurs. The dude finishes, rolls over, and . . .
The groupie viciously unloads the most savage denunciation of his sexual prowess imaginable. It’s relentless. Her contempt for his technique and stamina just pours off the screen. No one in the theater laughed; I think everyone was too shocked to hear such words—which many a woman has no doubt wanted to say, and every man dreads hearing more than any others—actually verbalized.
You know how Saving Private Ryan begins with that incredible invasion-of-Normandy scene, then just kind of dribbles off into a stock Spielberg movie? It’s like that, only in the middle of the film. Just jaw-droppingly, crotch-punchingly brutal. I still can’t believe someone put that on film. And for that, we must salute the creators of Hard Rock Nightmare.
There are horrors and miracles all over the place, friends. If you’re in the Athens, Georgia area on a random Tuesday, look and see if there’s a Bad Movie playing that night. It’s worth your time.