The Wonderfully Bad Movie Pick Of The Weekend: “Rockula”
Rock will never die and neither will Rockula.
If there was a hall of fame devoted to movies so bad their good I would proudly nominate "Rockula", a rock comedy released to very few theaters on this weekend back in 1990. In a year of heavy-hitting films like "Ghost", "Goodfellas", "Total Recall" and "Edward Scissorhands" "Rockula" didn't stand much of a chance but it's certainly worthy of a watch all these later. I wouldn't go as far as to say the movie has aged well. I would say it's a lot like a Twinkie, after all these years it's still...um....there.
The movie stars Dean Cameron as Ralph LaVie, a vampire who lost his lady love Mona centuries ago. She was killed by a pirate with a rhinestone peg leg, wielding a large ham bone. Ralph did nothing to save her and now he's doomed to watch her be born again in another life only to watch her die. Now, in 1990, this is his last chance to save her from being killed over and over again. The best part? As if saving a life isn't enough Ralph becomes a rock star (and a rapper too) along the way.
You may recognize Dean Cameron especially if you're a fan of classic 80s comedy films. He brilliantly played Francis 'Chainsaw' Gremp in the 1987 Mark Harmon movie "Summer School". Here's a quick reminder:
"Rockula" features some familiar names, especially for fans of the early 80s MTV era. Thomas Dolby of "Blinded Me With Science" fame plays Mona's manager/ex-boyfriend, an eccentric mortuary owner named Stanley and one-hit wonder Toni Basil ("Mickey") is Ralph's mother Phoebe. Then there's the legendary Bo Diddley who plays Axman, a member in Ralph's band Rockula. Here's Diddley and the band performing their self-titled song. How did this song not shoot straight to number one?
In April of 2018 Cameron talked about what he called a bittersweet experience making the movie when he appeared on a podcast called "The Odd Podcast with Joe Parisi".
"Everyone dreams of being number one on the call sheet and carrying a movie," said Cameron. "I got to be the movie star in that and it was awesome and a dream come true, and then when it was supposed to come out [the studio that was to release the movie] Cannon Films went under and the movie really never got released. I had already had a career hiccup. After 'Summer School' I had gotten this deal with Paramount to do a movie and TV show and then right after that was signed there was this huge writers' strike. All this career momentum I built up over the last four, five years just stopped. I managed to squeeze in 'Bad Dreams' (1988), then didn't work for a year until 'Rockula' and then when that didn't come out everything started to go haywire after that. It was a drag."
Fortunately Cameron was able to rebound from the curse of "Rockula" and has proven his talents are more than worthy as he's gone on to an impressive career in both TV and film as you'll see by his IMDB page.
Now it's time to sit back with a big bowl of popcorn and a nice cold glass of blood and watch "Rockula":