The CineManiac’s 31 Days of Horror – Day 24: Terror on Tour

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“Unlike a good rock concert, Terror on Tour might have you leaving well before the encore.”

Terror on Tour

Director: Don Edmonds

Writer: Dell Lekus

Starring: Rick Styles, Chip Greenman, Larry Thomas

1980

United States | R | 87 mins

Shock Rock was big in the 70’s. Acts like Black Sabbath, Alice Cooper, and KISS were taking the live concert to the next level by combing elements of the Grand Guignol with the heavy rock ‘n’ roll, and audience were eating it up. Transcribing that same effect to a horror film should work wonders as you’ve got everything a young audience should want in a film – sex, drugs, rock ‘n’ roll, and well, violence. So of course to cash in on this sure-fire idea producer Sandy Coby and director Don Edmonds bring us Terror on Tour!

The Clowns are selling out a local concert theatre to screaming fans left, right, and centre. The biggest rock sensation in town, The Clowns combine rock ‘n’ roll with theatrics involving girls on stage being hacked up and thrown out into the audience. Of course, it’s all just an act and a bunch of special effects, but soon someone dressed up like a member of the band is killing groupies off one after another! Under suspicion, the band is being watched closely by a police detective who plants an undercover operative to act like a groupie and uncover who the crazed psychotic killer is before the deadly encore.
Terror on Tour follows in the footsteps of the equally horrendous KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park by taking a great horror concept and completely butchering it. Hell, the band The Clowns look like cheap knock-offs of the members of KISS, except they all look the same! While it does have its campy moments great for a laugh, Terror on Tour is dull, boring, and uneventful. The few deaths are all by knife and rather uninventive, and the acting even more deadly – it’s atrocious! Don Edmonds direction is phoned in and a giant let down since he can do fantastic work; an example, the extremely sleazy and graphic exploitation classic Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS. The only entertaining aspect of the film aside from the unintentional laughs is the original music of The Clowns by a band called The Names which isn’t too shabby for such a low-budget horror film based around a rock band.
Shot in just seven days, the lack of time and effort really shows as nothing is fully scripted and the ending just ends, nothing is resolved or made sense of. You’re left wondering what the hell you just watched, and unlike a good rock concert, Terror on Tour might have you leaving well before the encore. With a group of friends around to heckle the picture Terror on Tour would work as a fun party movie, but watching it alone is a chore. It’s poorly paced, there’s not enough action or violence, and the rock ‘n’ roll is just mediocre to pass as listenable. It’s got some camp and kitsch value but still no swan song. Terror on Tour doesn’t seem to be coming to your town anytime soon, but if it does, it’s not worth the ticket price.

copyright 2010 Tyler Baptist

originally printed at http://reeltoreelradio.blogspot.com

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