Zombie Nightmare

John Fasano, Jon Mikl Thor, Cynthia Cirile, Frank Dietz, Jesse D'Angelo and Tony Bua are probably some of the most important figures in Metalsploitation history. They did many Metalsploitation classics such as Rock N Roll Nightmare, Black Roses (albeit without Thor), Graveyard, Intercessor - Another Rock N Roll Nightmare, and many more. But first, many of them got their start in the Metalsploitation field with the semi-Metalsploitation masterpiece, Zombie Nightmare in 1986.

After the opening credits, the film begins with a nice family scene in what appears to be the 1950's. The father, William Washington (John Fasano), is coaching his baseball team while his wife, Louise Washington (Francesca Bonacorsa) and son Tony Washington (Jesse D'Angelo) watch proudly from the bleachers. After the game, William spots two thugs (Tony Blauer and Mark Kulik) attempting to rape a young black girl (Tracy Biddle). Ever the heroic Good Samaritan, William saves the day by beating up the two thugs, but then one of the thugs stabs William to death in full view of his horrified family. Fast forward ahead to the present day where Tony is all grown up (now played by Jon Mikl Thor), and just like his father, he is a baseball star and also does heroic deeds, including foiling a robbery at a grocery store. But unfortunately he is run over and killed by a group of drunken teens. The group of teens include Bob (Allan Fisher), Peter (Hamish McEwan), Susie (Manon E. Turbide), Amy(Tia Carrere!), and Jim Batten (Shawn Levy who later directed Night At The Museum), show no remorse at all.

Grocery store owner Mr. Peters (Walter Massey) takes Tony's body back to his tearful mom, who declares "They won't do this to me again!", and then brings the body to local voodoo priestess Molly Mokembe (Manushka Riguad) who reanimates Tony as a zombie that gets revenge on his killers one by one!

Even in death Tony still does heroic deed such as a scene where he kills Jim who is attempting to molest a waitress named Maggie (Linda Singer). The police become involved with Detective Frank Sorrell (Frank Dietz) trying to find out the truth, but Capt. Tom Churchman (Adam West) harbors a dark secret which has something to do with the beginning of the movie, and tries to cover it up. This leads to a very interesting twist ending.

Although the end credits say "Soundtrack on GWR records", the official soundtrack was never released, at least not yet. However, there are still lots of great Metal tunes that play throughout the movie with an all-star lineup of many different bands:

1) "Ace of Spades" by Motorhead (written by Lemmy Klimister, "Fast" Eddie Clarke and "Philthy Animal" Taylor)
You read right! This classic Motorhead anthem needs no introduction, and it plays during the opening credits! John Fasano originally wanted to use another Motorhead song "Killed By Death" as he thought it would fit the movie better, but Lemmy insisted they use "Ace Of Spades". Of course the lineup is Lemmy on vocals and bass, "Fast" Eddie Clarke (who also did another metalsploitation soundtrack the same year with Trick or Treat by his new band Fastway) on guitars and Phil "Philthy Animal" Taylor on drums. This song first came off their Ace of Spades album in 1980, and was produced by Vic Maile, and was recorded at Jackson's Studios Rickmansworth U.K.

2) "Midnite Man" by Pantera (written by Jon Mikl Thor)
This is a pretty nice pop metal song that plays when we see the group of teens getting drunk at a club. Pantera (AKA Cherry Bomb, and Rusty Hamilton) was married to Jon Mikl Thor for a while, and she also sang backup with his band Thor, and she also appears as The Suductress in Rock N Roll Nightmare. She was also a nude model for Cheri magazine. This song features Pantera on lead vocals, Jon Mikl Thor on guitars, bass and backup vocals, Don Garbutt on keyboards, and Mike Favata on drums.

3) "We Rule the Night" by Virgin Steele
(written by David DeFeis and Edward Pursino)
Another awesome Power Metal anthem which plays before Tony is run over. Originally off of Virgin Steele's album Noble Savage (1985/1986), the lineup includes David DeFeis (who also produced this one) on Vocals and keyboards, Edward Pursino on guitars, Joe O'Reilly on bass, and Joey Ayvazian on drums.

4) "Rebirth" by Thor
(written by Jon Mikl Thor, Neil Adams and Steve Price)
This song plays after Tony is run over when the teens are saying that they don't care that they hit Him. Originally off of Thor's ‘86 album Recruits-Wild in the Streets, this is a fantastic song that starts out as a ballad, then changes into a headbangin’ anthem! Jon Mikl Thor sings with a lot of heart, and this might be His "Stairway to Heaven"! Jon Mikl Thor sings lead vocals, Steve Price plays guitars, Keith Zazzi does bass and backup vocals and Mike Favata plays drums.

5) "C'mon Let's Go" by Girlschool
(written by Kim McAuliffe, and Kelly Johnson)
This plays during a scene with Jim Batten driving to an ice cream pallor called The Twist and Creme. A kickass tune from the all-female band's 1981 album Hit and Run. This song (along with the rest of the Hit and Run album) was also produced by Vic Mailie, and recorded at Jackson's Studios in England. The band includes Kelly Johnson on vocals and lead guitar, Kim McAuliffe on rhythm guitar, Enid Williams on bass, and Denise Dufort on drums.

6) "I'm Dangerous" by Death Mask (written by Steven Michaels and Benny Ransom. Produced by Jon Mikl Thor and Steve Price)
Coming off their '86 album Split the Atom. This speed metal gem plays during a scene where the teens are at The Twist and Creme. This was recorded at Talysin studios, New York, and the lineup is Benny Ransom on guitars, Steven Michaels on vocals, Chris Eichorn on bass, and Lee Nelson on drums.

7) "Future Flash" by Girlschool
(written by Kim McAuliffe and Kelly Johnson)
Another great tune from Hit And Run. It plays during one of the scenes with the teens at The Twist and Creme.

"John Fasano faced many obstacles during the making of this movie..."

8) "Danger Zone" by Fist (written by Ron Chenier, possibly contributions by Laurie Curry, Bob Moffatt, and Bob Patterson)
This is an awesome song that plays during the scene with Maggie leaving work at night. First came off their '85 album, "Danger Zone", the line-up includes Ron Chenier on vocals and guitar, Bob Moffatt on bass, Laurie Curry on keyboards, and Bob Patterson on drums. It was produced by Ron Chenier.

9) "Out for the Kill" by Battalion (written by John Sierra, produced by Jon Mikl Thor and Steve Price)
A great Black Sabbath-esque song with great vocals and heavy riffing. This song is played briefly in the scene where Jim tries to rape Maggie. The lineup was Bobby Lycon on bass and vocals, Mike Angelo on drums, Tommy Lynn on lead vocals and John Sierra on guitars. It was recorded at Kingdom Sound Studio in Syosset, NY.

10) "Dead Things" by the Things
(written and produced by Jon Mikl Thor)
A pretty rad melodic metal song that plays during the scene with Bob and Amy talking on the phone. The Things are actually Thor under a different name. The lineup includes Jon Mikl Thor and Pantera sharing lead vocals, Jon Mikl Thor and Steve Price on guitars, Thor on bass, Mike Favata on drums, and possibly Don Garbutt on keyboards.

11) "Zombie Life" by Knighthawk (written by Jon Mikl Thor)
This song plays during the end credits. It's a fantastic song with some killer guitar playing. As with the Things, Knighthawk is actually Thor under a different name. The same line-up from "Dead Things" is on this song too.

This is a great soundtrack with many different bands, and many different styles that makes for a strong collection of songs. From what I've heard, most of the songs that featured Thor were produced by himself and Bob Connolly, and recorded at Thunder Production Studios in Toronto and New York, and Tube Sound and Elastic Sound Studios in Toronto, Canada. Kevin Bell and Andrea Duncan were additional musicians on the soundtrack and possibly some other musicians played too. The background music was done by Thor under the name of Thorkestra. The background music titles were: Fear Stalks the City, The Next Step, Revenge, The Creature Rises Again, Zombie Nightmare Theme, and The Hunter and The Hunted. These were written by Thor, Bob Connolly, Don Garbutt, Adam Malin, and Phillip Gallo. Although the soundtrack has not been officially released yet, Thor said it is available on iTunes.

Overall, this is a fantastic movie with lots of great cameos, special effects, lines, and characters, and a great all-star soundtrack. I'm friends with many of the people involved in the movie and soundtrack including John Fasano (who actually gave me an autographed copy of the movie on dvd), Jon Mikl Thor, Frank Dietz, Jesse D'Angelo, Cynthia Cirile, Steve Price, Mike Favata, Tommy Lynn and many more. I also want it to be clear that even though Porn producer Jack Bravman is credited as being the director, and David Wellington is credited with being the writer, John Fasano actually wrote the entire movie and directed almost all of it, with Bravman only directing some scenes with Adam West or Tia Carrere. John Fasano faced many obstacles during the making of this movie, such as cast members having to be replaced or not showing up at all, having to make impromptu changes in the script, mosquito swarms, and several other issues. But he is a trooper, and he always carried on no matter what, and the end result was worth it! He should definitely be applauded for that!

The movie is available on dvd from Scorpion Releasing. This dvd also includes some kickass special features such as a commentary track with Fasano, Thor, and Dietz, a documentary called "Remembering Zombie Nightmare" where Fasano, Thor, Dietz and Bravman tell stories about the making of the film, and a recording of a phone call between Fasano, Bravman, and Dietz talking about the movie. So give this masterpiece a whirl, and it's a must-have for anyone who wants to truly see the beginning of the Fasano trilogy.

Soundtrack recorded various locations. Movie filmed in Montreal, Canada, 1984, 1985, and 1986.

Soundtrack recorded at Triton Sound in Ontario and Track Studios in New York ('86-'87).

For a complete list of credits, click here.

Billy Larouqe, HMS

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