I hate to say it, but I think Monster High is better than Rockula. For all of Monster High’s problems, stuff happened in it. This movie has some memorable characters and a funny setup, but then it just devolves into a series of musical numbers. Most are performed onstage so they have an in film context, but there is at least one that is done like you would expect from a music video. On the other hand, this does have Bo Diddley, Thomas Dolby, and Toni Basil in it. However, while we do see Diddley with his square guitar, never is Toni Basil dressed like a cheerleader and nor does Thomas Dolby become blinded by science.
The film opens and we are introduced to our lead named Ralph (Dean Cameron). He lives with his mother Phoebe (Toni Basil). They are both vampires. We are also introduced to the Ralph in the mirror.
In this movie, Ralph has another version of himself that is trapped inside every mirror he looks into. This is one of the highlights of the movie because his mirror self is quite funny. Like when he finds that a fun house mirror that stretches him out has increased more than just the length of his body.
Next we go to the exposition dump bar and learn about the setup of this film. Let me see if I can get this right. Sometime around the 17th century he met a girl named Mona and fell in love with her. But she had a boyfriend who was a pirate. Ralph and Mona were going to slip off and get married, but the boyfriend found out. Ralph and the boyfriend get in a fight. The boyfriend loses his sword and Mona gets killed by a hambone to the head. Ralph tried to save her, but since there were 20 pissed off pirates, he fled. Since she was killed before he could lose his virginity to her, she is now reincarnated every 22 years until they get it right. The day after the bartender tells us this story Ralph is going to meet Mona once again. And he unless he falls in love with her and saves her, a crazed pirate with a rhinestone peg leg will kill her on Halloween. Got that? Well, as you can imagine, Ralph is a little depressed. Or as Bo Diddley says.
Oh, and the sun doesn’t do anything to Ralph. Also, he has a similar scheme to Robert Sean Leonard in My Best Friend Is A Vampire (1987). The Red Cross Blood Mobile makes deliveries to him. Crosses don’t do anything to him either. Basically take everything you know about vampires and throw it the window. Well, he can turn into a bat. Just not a very impressive one.
All you really need to know is that he must lose his virginity to Mona otherwise a peg leg pirate will kill her leaving him sexless for another 22 years. Remember, this came out in 1990. The 1980’s were still going on in the heads of many people.
In short order, he runs into Mona. Mona is a singer. To be honest, I’m not sure how Thomas Dolby’s character is related to her other than that they are close and he sells really bizarre things for dead people.
To win over Mona, Ralph becomes ROCKULA!
Unfortunately, this did come out in 1990. So this happens to:
That is Bo Diddley on the right doing what I really hope was the least dignified thing of his career. If there was worse, then I don’t want to see it.
I could stop here and say I don’t want to spoil the ending of Rockula so I have an excuse to stop writing. But who cares about the ending and you already know what happens, so here it goes. Thomas Dolby gets really jealous and Toni Basil helps him to become the pirate with the rhinestone peg leg.
They duel, and Ralph wins. Dolby is knocked into a cryogenic pod that is conveniently there and drifts off to sleep thinking that a nine iron is an extension of his penis. No, seriously, the machine keeps telling him that as he drifts off to sleep.
Ralph and Mona live happily ever after. But wait, there’s one loose end. What about the Ralph in the mirror? That Ralph breaks the mirror on his end and emerges as this.
No explanation given for this at all. He just goes out on stage and sings while the credits roll. Who needs explanations? Ralph lost his virginity, Dolby will never be hyperactive again, Toni Basil is fine after getting hit by a hambone during the duel, and Bo Diddley is dead so he doesn’t have to worry about me reminding people this movie exists. Everyone’s happy.
Well, let’s leave Bo Diddley with a little dignity.