Faust Goes Metal: Shock ‘Em Dead (1991, directed by Mark Freed)


Spastic Colon, an up-and-coming metal band, desperately needs a new guitarist, so much so that they allow a nerdy pizza boy named Martin (Stephen Quadros) to come in off the street and audition.  Martin, with his thick glasses and his total lack of talent, blows the audition and is told to leave and never return.  Not only does Martin lose his chance to be a rock star but he also loses his job when his boss (Aldo Ray) fires him for leaving work to audition.  While wandering around dejected, Martin runs into the local voodoo priestess (Tyger Sodipe), who offers to make him a rock star in exchange for his soul.

Martin agrees and after a ceremony involving a double neck guitar, Martin wakes up to discover that he is now an extremely talented guitarist who lives in a gigantic mansion with three outrageously hot groupies.  Martin now has big, heavy metal hair and no longer needs to wear his glasses.  Renaming himself Angel Martin, he not only becomes Spastic Colon’s new guitarist but he also pulls the band’s manager (Traci Lords) away from her boyfriend.  The only problem is that Martin cannot eat normal food and has to regularly feast on the souls of his groupies in order to stay alive.

Shock “Em Dead is the 1000th retelling of the old Faust legend, about the man who gets everything that he desires but loses his soul in the process.  A real product of its time, it’s impossible to watch Shock “Em Dead without thinking about how Martin sold his soul to become the type of musician that, in just a few months, would be made obsolete by Kurt Cobain and Nirvana.  I have fond memories of Shock “Em Dead because it always used to air on HBO back when I was growing up but, for the most part, this is a really crummy movie, with a bad script, bad acting, and bad special effects.  Shock “Em Dead does prove that Traci Lords had enough talent that, if not for her background as an underage porn star, she probably could have had a mainstream film career.  The film also provided small roles for Aldo Ray and Troy Donahue while the legendary Michael Angelo Batio served as Angel’s “guitar double.”

2 responses to “Faust Goes Metal: Shock ‘Em Dead (1991, directed by Mark Freed)

  1. Pingback: Lisa’s Week In Review: 10/1/18 — 10/7/18 | Through the Shattered Lens

  2. I always thought that Traci Lords could’ve had an even bigger mainstream career if not for that underage porn scandal. She’s like the Hollywood B-movie version of French horror cinema’s Brigitte Lahaie.

    Liked by 1 person

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