The 1988 classic Black Roses is a Footloose-esque film involving a small town, a well-mustachioed teacher, hard rock and demonic possession. When the Black Roses roll into town to put off a small series of concerts, the kids of Mill Basin are stoked, but their parents are not. After much convincing, and a soft rock fake out, the leather-clad band, featuring be-wigged vocalist Damien, a hot lady bass player and real-life awesome drummer Carmine Appice are allowed to perform. Shortly after the first show, Mr. Moorhouse, the hip, mustachioed high school teacher begins to notice some disturbing changes in his students, such has increased sauciness, falling grades, and provocative wardrobe changes. Oh, also they are turning into terrible-looking weirdo demons and murdering their parents.
For no reason whatsoever, there’s a stupid subplot focusing on Moorhouse’s lame love life, alluding to a brief romance with the mayor’s prissy daughter Priscilla (who spends the movie flouncing around it skanky bathrobes or playing tennis), and an inappropriate relationship with his fave student Julie. There’s also a strange plot hole where Julie turns into a demon and Moorhouse kills her, and then she’s totally fine at the end. Whatever!
As in many unenlightened films from this era, there was also a startling homophobic comment by an 80’s dad which left us gaping at each other in disbelief. Luckily, the perpetrator (Vincent Pastore of The Sopranos) is eaten by a possessed stereo speaker, so it all works out fine in the end. Sal, why ya gotta be like that?
It’s up to Moorhouse to save the day from these hard-rocking demons, which results in awkward puppet fighting, demons playing instruments, and someone getting beaten with a gong mallet. Even the sound in this movie is brutally terrible, with the background music totally overpowering the awful dialogue, but you should watch it, if only for Damien’s ridiculous and unnecessary wig changes. We leave you with a quote:
Moorhouse: Where in the hell are you getting all this stuff from?
Damien: Are you kidding? You’re a famous guy. I’ve known your soul a long time, man.