80’s Canadian Teenagers, Voodoo, Revenge & Zombie Nightmares!

In all my viewing sessions of metalsploitation flicks, Zombie Nightmare takes the cake for one of the most unique. My initial thoughts were, “This is so bad and good at the same time”.
I hardly noticed myself gritting my teeth in hopes that it would get any better thirty minutes into the running time, but as a B-Movie fanatic this was nothing I couldn’t handle after getting through a film like Hard Rock Zombies which is comparable in the camp factor.
Zombie Nightmare has gained quite a cult following perhaps due to it’s coverage on Mystery Science Theater 3000, but still seems to stand relatively unknown amongst genre fans.
Besides heavy metal legend and man of steel, Jon Mikl Thor in the lead, the film features a post-Batman Adam West and Tia Carrere, in the weirdest cast combination ever?!
As an early crush of mine, it was refreshing to see a baby-faced Tia making her film debut here whereas only a few years later she would go on to taking a punch from Kelly Bundy and being a schwing-er as Cassandra in Wayne’s World.
Tia drops the hoop earrings and femme fatale image all together here to reveal a more demure and innocent side.
It was difficult to believe I had been kept in the dark about the movie for so long as it tops so much over Rock N Roll Nightmare, a Thor counterpart that many hold in high regards in both the horror and heavy metal scenes. To put it simply, watching both these films back to back provide the perfect chugging beer and hate-watch marathon material.

The premise of the movie relies on the storyline of Thor’s character avenging his father’s death and his own death after being hit by a group of teen rebel rousers and conjured out of his grave by the local voodoo priestess. That’s not until after we get some great shots of the almighty and pre-zombified Thor battling robbers at the local convenience store in the midst of night.
Did I mention this is all taking place in a Canadian suburb? Next to Sugar Hill (1974) this tops in voodoo revenge genre films. The remainder of the film follows zombified Thor on his kill rampage which is great for the audience as it delivers some questionable onscreen deaths such as hot tub kills and baseball bat through the stomach kill goodness.

The shining star of the horror show however is the main rebel rouser and leader of the pack, Jim. He is the eighties version of a pre-teen shouting at his mom to make him a sandwich while playing Xbox. Only this kiddo takes it to the extreme which we experience in the scene of him hurling spaghetti at his mother in all his teen angst punk glory. “Mom, just get me Pepsi, please, all I want is a Pepsi” nagging reaches a whole new height in this kid’s case. To lighten the atmosphere, said character also turns out to be harasser, setting his sights on the film’s local ice cream parlor’s waitress who rejects his advances throughout the entire film. Little Jim gets pushed over the edge and eventually plans to rape her, but not until Thor steps in to give him a taste of his own medicine.

 

“WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING AT? EAT YOUR ICE CREAM!”

 

The zenith of the movie was by far the rattling soundtrack, the most definitive of all heavy metal movie soundtracks I’ve had the pleasure of coming across. There are a few orchestral and AOR sing-a-long tracks scattered about, but certainly not enough to take away from the metal essence. The heavy focusing on Virgin Steele was enough to win me over. As a personal favorite band it was enchanting to hear “We Rule the Night” blaring from the car seconds before Jim and Co. run Thor over. What better way to die than having Virgin Steele play during your final moments after all. The title sequence preps you for a healthy dose of Motorhead, Girlschool, Fist, Death Mask, and Thor (naturally). Viewers may be sidetracked by the mention of Pantera on the tracklisting, but much to my dismay this was not the Glamtera I was so hoping for, but if you re-call from the I Am Thor documentary, Thor’s backup singer and former editor at adult magazine, Cheri, Rusty Hamilton’s solo contribution.

 

 

 

For as bad as the movie is as a whole, you can’t help but love the theatrics of it all. In the world of heavy metalspoloitation films, it is key to cash in on cheesy moments, and Zombie Nightmare does not stray far from this pro-tip. Although it is not the typical Romero-esque zombie flick, it fits the criteria for the standard zombie movie and is an essential watch for any lunatic like myself who loves to subject himself to the most depraving eighties schlock.

ies which is comparable in the camp factor. Zombie Nightmare has gained quite a cult following perhaps due to Mystery Science Theater 3000’s cover on it, but still seems to stand relatively unknown amongst genre fans. Besides heavy metal legend and man of steel, Jon Mikl Thor in the lead, the film features a post-Batman Adam West and Tia Carrere, in the weirdest cast combination ever. As an early crush of mine, it was refreshing to see a baby-faced Tia making her film debut here whereas only a few years later she would go on to taking a punch from Kelly Bundy and being a schwing-er as Cassandra in Wayne’s World. She drops the hoop earrings and femme fatale image all together here to reveal a more demure and innocent side. It was difficult to believe I had been kept in the dark about the movie for so long as it tops so much over Rock N Roll Nightmare, a Thor counterpart that many hold in high regards in both the horror and heavy metal scenes. To put it simply, watching both these films back to back provide the perfect chugging beer and hate-watch marathon material.

Words by @arianablacks

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