Written by: Michael Den Boer on September 28th, 2007
Theatrical Release Date: USA, 1988
Director: John Fasano
Writer: Cindy Cirile
Cast: Julie Adams, Sal Viviano, Carmine Appice, Peter Bontje, Tony Bua, David Crichton, Jesse D’Angelo, Glenn Deveau, Frank Dietz, Carla Ferrigno, Vincent Pastore
DVD released: September 25th, 2007
Approximate running time: 84 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo English
DVD Release: Synapse Films
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.95
Director John Fasano would follow up his directorial debut Rock ‘n’ Roll Nightmare with another rock/horror themed film this time title Black Roses. The premise for Black Roses is essentially a collection of events that were happening around the time the film was being made in the world of heavy metal music. The plot deals with things like parents trying to censor what their children can listen too (like the PMRC), music driving its listener to kill (like the Judas Priest incident) and I thought I caught just a faint hint that the director was ever so slightly inspired by the 1984 film Footloose.
Direction wise John Fasano is leaps and bounds ahead of where he was on Rock N’ Roll Nightmare. The films greatest flaw is of course its special effects most of which are demons that look very crude and unthreatening. What the film make lacks in gore/bloodshed it more then makes up for with its gratuitous use of T&A. One of my favorite parts of the film is it heavy metal soundtrack. This is the era of music which I grew up on and still to this day it holds a special place in my heart every time I hear a heavy metal lead singer hit the high notes with such force and conviction.
Surprisingly the casting for Black Roses is better then I would have expected especially after seeing John Fasano’s Rock N’ Roll Nightmare. No one role really stands out in a good or bad way as everyone does an adequate job with their perspective roles. Sopranos fans like out for Vincent Pastore aka ‘Big Pussy’ who has a brief role in the film as Tony’s Dad. From the opening moments tell the end credits Black Roses is blast. The film packs so much fun and entertainment into its all to brief eighty four minute running time. Ultimately if you are fan of 1980’s horror films and heavy metal then it is your destiny to check out Black Roses.
Never in a million years would I have ever thought that a film like Black Roses would ever look as good as it now does on DVD. Synapse has worked their magic once again to create a hi-def transfer that literally makes the films come alive and jump off the screen. This release comes with one audio mix the films original English language audio mix in Dolby Digital stereo. The audio is equally impressive as it sounds clean, clear and most importantly loud.
The extras for this are sparse two trailers and a few minutes of auditions. The main extra is an audio commentary with Director John Fasano, Writer Cindy Sorrell, Film Star Carla Ferrigno, John Kody Fasano and Lucia Fasano. The comments are insightful and the overall tone of the commentary is lively and jovial. Ultimately Black Roses is another must have DVD from Synapse Films who somehow make this film look and sound better then ever.