Shock ‘Em Dead (1991)

The delectable Traci Lords stars in this tatty and at times crude, but rather amusing heavy metal rock comic b-grade shot-on-video horror item. Even with its minor budget, there’s so much enthusiasm and creativity streaming through it that I found it hard to dislike. It’s campy, but its tongue-in-cheek script and animated performances play it that way. Silly and Juvenile, but continuously engaging. Martin is a gawky nobody, until he pays a visit to a mysterious voodoo lady who offers him the chance to live his dream of being the greatest ever rock star with everything that he could want in exchange for his soul. It’s a dream come true. No more Martin, but here’s Angel Martin. However it comes at a catch when he finds out he must kill and suck out the life of others to survive. Here come the glowing green eyes.

It’s the usual be careful what you wish for statement and someone longing for something that isn’t meant to be, but in all it’s agreeably pulled off. Director Mark Freed keeps it snappy and does well in its low end look from its dingy sets and cheaply absurd effects. It’s illustratively resourceful with some enjoyably goofy sequences. Stephen Quadros brings energy and the right style to his characters Martin/Angel. Lords might be on the deadpan side, but that’s more so her character’s straight manner and it’s a solid turn as the band’s manager. The fun can be had by the three perky, but dangerous ladies by Angel’s side; Gina Parks, Karen Russell and Laurel Wiley. They are there to fulfil *all* of his needs and of course numerous topless shots or to fit into skimpy outfits. There’s also good spirited support by Tim Moffet, Markus Grupa, Christopher Maleki, Troy Donahue and Aldo Ray.