The 80's rock/slasher hybrid was never going to be free of cheese, but this effort from the female director of cult favourites GAITOR BAIT and proto-slasher THE SINGLE GIRLS (both 1974 and both starring ill-fated starlet Claudia Jennings) has more than the stench of dairy about it. You know it's not going to be the most accomplished thriller when they don't even get the punctuation right on the titles by announcing it's a film by “The Sebastian's”!
Billy Eye (Tray Loren) is the eccentric singer with Rocktober Blood, whose soprano warblings would be enough to wake dogs in China. Fond of belting out such classics as “Behind me lies a trail of blood – my wrath will take its toll”, it seems he's not just all talk. After leaving the studio where the band is recording for a hot date, someone wearing military boots and PVC trousers cuts the throat of the producer and impales a female member of the band. Lynn (Donna Scoggins) – the band's backing singer and Billy's on-off girlfriend – avoids the clutches of the killer by stripping nekkid and slipping into a jacuzzi. However, after a lengthy episode of towelling down bare flesh, she discovers the dead bodies of her friends and is surprised by what looks like Billy. She only manages to escape certain death after he decides to chase a scaredy-cat security guard rather than kill her ...
Fast forward two years: Lynn's testimony fingered Billy and sent him to the electric chair after it appears he also butchered another twenty five “rock and rollers”. She now fronts the band, re-christened Headmistress (albeit no more listenable), which put on Alice Cooper'esque “blood and guts” style shock rock shows. However, it seems that Billy may be back from the grave, when Lynn is menaced by what looks like him in the cellar below the stage. To relax, she and two female friends head off into the countryside for a spot of wildlife photography (not very rock and roll). Even there she hears Billy's voice in the forest and his music being played backwards (quite some mean feat for the killer to drag and amp and generator around with him!). She takes her mind off it with some sweaty, leg scissoring aerobics. However, she's further rattled when that hoary old slasher movie cliché is wheeled out: the anonymous phone calls – but the charming pay-off is when the caller tells her “I want your hot steaming pussy blood all over my face! Ha-ha-HA!”.
Even taking a long soapy bath, and a leisurely towelling off can't prevent the inevitable, and the killer pops up and pursues her yet again. Getting away, she tells anyone who will listen “He chased me all round my own house. He chased me through the woods!”. However, no one really believes her that Billy is back from the dead, and think that she's due a return trip to the shrink.
Briefly reassured that Billy really is dead, after she digs him up and just finds his bones, plans for a big event go ahead. However, the seamstress has her throat cut with a hot iron (!), and Lynn is knocked out with ethanol. But, as they say, the show must go on ...
For the most part ROCKTOBER BLOOD is a cheesy delight. It's played admirably with a straight face, but with touches such as the killer holding his breath under a jacuzzi to snag a victim and someone holding a high note despite being electrocuted, it's clearly not aiming to be a believable thriller! Whilst it's a smorgasbord of cheese, it fails to generate any real tension what-so-ever, despite a super abundance of chase scenes – and if you're not a fan of this type of music (I must admit I'm not) then these hairy moments can tend to drag. However, almost all is forgiven with a hilarious set piece when the killer manages to disembowel two dancers with a sword on a mike stand, and decapitate another, whilst the band chug through a number and the audience believe it's all part of the show!
ROCKTOBER BLOOD has a final twist which you've probably already guessed if you've read thus far (it's one that's no stranger to the slasher movie). Ultimately, it fails miserably as a thriller, but it's an absolute hoot as a cheesy treat from the tail end of the golden age of the slasher movie.
BODYCOUNT 8 female:6 / male:21) Male has throat cut