Rocktober Blood

About three years ago, I discovered a book called The Official Heavy Metal Book of Lists by Eric Danville, published by Beatbeat Books. One of the lists was "Spinal Tap Meets the Mummy - Mike McPadden's 13 Favorite, Absolutely Killer Heavy Metal Horror Movies…" Through this list, I discovered many of my favorite Metalsploitation (heavy metal horror) movies, including Rocktober Blood (1984). I soon looked it up and was blown away by this kickass singer in Alice Cooper makeup singing an awesome song called "I'm Back." I had to know more...

Rocktober Blood starts off in a recording studio where singer Billy "Eye" Harper and his band are recording "I'm Back." After completing the song he then leaves and "he" returns and kills some of the workers. He then attempts to do the same with his back up singer and then girlfriend, Lynn Starling. He is interrupted by security. Fast forward ahead two years, we find out that Billy was executed for the mass murder of 25 rock and rollers. At a press party, it's announced that the band, now named Headmistress is forging on for the Rocktober Blood '84 tour, and now Lynn Starling is the lead singer. While it appears that they have moved on with their lives, "Billy" suddenly pops up, and it appears that Billy has come back from the grave to haunt Lynn. For the next few days, "Billy" stalks Lynn, kills many of her friends around her, and Lynn desperately tries to convince everyone that Billy is after her. Everyone thinks that Lynn is crazy. Once Lynn is finally sure that Billy is dead, Billy comes back once again, and it's revealed that it's actually Billy's twin brother, John Harper, who did all the original killings too. He explains that he's trying to avenge his music being stolen; this all happens before the big concert. As they say, though, the show must go on...

Soundtrack: Much like the movie, the Rocktober Blood soundtrack is also extremely hard to find. But it is a true treasure when found. It includes various artists with the original songs for the movie being done by the band Sorcery, who played the fictional Headmistress band in the movie.

Track 1 - I'm Back (Richard Taylor, Lohn Cohen, Richie King and Perry Morris) - a spectacular 80s anthem that is performed at the beginning and end of the movie. This song should have been a hit.

Track 2 - Rainbow Eyes (Lohn Cohen and Reba Meryl) - Lynn Starling's big song in the movie is also a great metal anthem that may be the closest thing the soundtrack has to a hit.

Track 3 - High School Boys (Susie Rose Major and Paul Bennett) - this song is by the female fronted band, Facedown. The Facedown songs were mainly used as filler songs in the movie and soundtrack. Although this song is good, surprisingly, I don't remember hearing it anywhere in the movie.

Track 4 - Can't Kill Rock and Roll ( Major, Bennett) - another Facedown song. This one is played during the party scenes in the movie. A great song that kind of sounds like The Who with Pat Benatar on vocals, whereas the Sorcery/Headmistress songs sound more like Black Sabbath/Judas Priest/Iron Maiden.

Track 5 - Soul Searcher (Nigel Benjamin, Richard Onori, Pat Regan) - this one is a mystery to me. On my unofficial CD copy of the soundtrack, it plays a piece of the scary background music used in the movie. During the workout scene in the movie, I heard a metal instrumental that I didn't hear anywhere on the soundtrack, so I'm still wondering about it. According to one website, the song was done by a band called Eyes.

Track 6 - Watch Me Rock (Bennett, Major) - A pretty good, lively song that's played during a scene where they're setting up the stage.

Track 7 - Touch Me/Won't you Let Me Touch You (Bennett, Major) - The last Facedown song, is pretty good too. However I don't remember this song in the movie either.

Track 8 - Killer on The Loose (Taylor) - Another Sorcery/Headmistress tune. This one is performed in the epic concert scene during the movie. A great song with lots of great guitar solos, including a lengthy Van Halen type solo which plays before the actual song begins.

Track 9 - KCAB-MI - this is simply a back masked version of I'm Back with several eery sounding effects. The song sounds kickass both backwards and forwards.

Track 10 - Watching You (Taylor, Morris) - A beautiful ballad that is played over the end credits of the movie.

The soundtrack rules! The Sorcery/Headmistress line up includes Nigel Benjamin who does all the males vocals and the singing voice of the Harper twins, Susie Rose Major, the singing voice of Lynn on Rainbow Eyes, lead guitarist Richard Taylor, rhythm guitarist Lohn Cohen, bassist Richie King, and drummer Perry Morris. The Facedown line up is Susie Rose Major on vocals, Paul Bennett on guitars, Michael Zioch on bass, and Barry Brant on drums. The Eyes line up is Nigel Benjamin on vocals, guitar and keyboard, Bob Steffan on guitars, John Telesco on bass, Pat Regan on keyboards, and Richie Onori on drums. Benjamin, Regan, and Onori also did much of the background music in the movie. According to Benjamin, he originally wanted to include an instrumental called Senate of Demons but it was deemed by the filmmakers to be "too scary." Overall, it's a great raw metal soundtrack, setting the perfect sound to a fantastic film.

"Overall, it's a great raw metal soundtrack"

To this day, Rocktober Blood is one of my all time favorite movies and soundtracks. It's like an updated version of Phantom Of The Paradise, only Rocktober Blood is better. The movie has interesting characters, a rad soundtrack, witty one-liners, good gore effects, funny moments, scary moments, sexy moments and is artistically made, with very cool lighting effects, and a beautiful stage set during the concert scene. The concert scene is one of the best in film history too. This movie has it all! I have many fond memories tied in with this movie. I'm even planning on putting on a stage production of Rocktober Blood in the near future. And… I was very happy to become acquainted with many people who worked on the film, notably, Tray Loren who plays the Harper twins, Ben Sebastian who plays the head of security, writer and producer Ferd Sebastian, director Beverly Sebastian, drummer Perry Morris, Susie Rose Major who does the singing voice of Lynn, and Nigel Benjamin who does the singing voice of the Harper twins and plays Chris Keane, the manager in the movie. They have told me many behind the scenes stories from the making of the film, such as Perry Morris telling me how while the film was being made, the band Sorcery was also making a Dick Clark Halloween special, and that a majority of the movie was filmed in the Fall of 1983 although it was released in 84. Nigel told me that he didn't even know what the film was about until he saw the final production. I feel honored to know these artists personally.

Sadly though, as of this writing, the movie and soundtrack are both very rare and hard to find, and the movie is only available on VHS (and laser disc in Japan), and the soundtrack is only available on vinyl. But we should never give up hope that they might reach the cd and dvd format, as Ferd Sebastian once told me he was planning to someday put the movie on dvd. I can't wait til this happens! In the meantime, please tell your friends about this criminally underrated heavy metal horror masterpiece. And I hope that you will love it as much as I do.

Movie and Soundtrack recorded in Los Angeles, soundtrack recorded at Baby-O Studios and SIR studios and sound stages. Produced by Ferd and Beverly Sebastian. Click here to view the complete list of credits.

Billy Larouqe, HMS