We are travelling back in time ladies and gentlemen to the 1980’s, not the entire decade mind you just the year and what a strange time it was. We are transported to a club that a band called The Clowns calls home sweet home. The Clowns are a wonderful example of a band from this era, big hair, makeup and a hyper violent stage show where women are literally torn apart! The band of course become suspects after several women are murdered after one of The Clowns more extreme shows, it doesn’t help of course that our killer sports the exact same wardrobe as a member of the band…..right down to the afro wig!
Directed by: Don Edmonds
Starring: Rick Styles, Chip Greenman, Rich Pemberton and Dave Galluzzo
“They get rowd up…..but no real violence!”
I love indie horror from this time period; it contains a certain kind of trashiness that has yet to be equaled in our beloved genre. Don Edmonds’s 1980 treat Terror on Tour is a great glimpse into those days of yesteryear.
Terror on Tour mainly focuses around a band that is known as The Clowns. The actors who play the band are actually in a real band together known as “The Names” and do have original songs on the soundtrack and during the film you as the viewer are treated to not one or two….but three original songs by the band….all I believed lip synched! It isn’t the musical style of the band (which if you are curious is very bubblegum punk/metal that was popular at the time….think post KISS but pre Poison) isn’t really the main reason to see The Clowns however….it’s the bands stage show. During performances the band stab females that dance on stage with them they also decapitate and dismember female mannequins on stage with them. After their first performance the singer seems to rip the arm off of a struggling young woman then tosses it into the crowd.
The band also wear a uniform on stage (each member looks identical) they are all wearing these Freddy Mercury meets Batman tights. They also all sport the same KISS like makeup job, well only on half of their faces since the other half is hidden behind a strange Phantom of the Opera style mask. To top it all off each member also sports an Afro wig…..yes I am being serious. I just spent that whole time telling you about the band because that is pretty much what the film focuses on.
It is only after we get to watch the band perform live and meet their stage crew which consist of a nice guy manager, a drug addict and a shy kid who dresses up like a member of the band so that he can pick up chicks at the after party that we are finally given a plot device. A girl who is selling drugs to the drug addict crew member is stabbed to death by a person who is dressed up just like a member of The Clowns. The killer than proceeds to attend the bands after show party and their concert on the next day…..needless to say the local police have quite a few questions for them.
Terror on Tour is a great example of trash cinema from this era. The members of The Names really do think they are going to become big stars after the film and all of their wet dreams are played out in the script so yes the cast is really feeling this movie and it pays off big. There are some funny moments placed throughout the film however some of the jokes fall rather flat and at some points do become rather obnoxious.
Gore hounds aren’t really going to be too into this one. Even though the antics of the band on stage are amusing they are hardly stomach churning at all. The mannequins are obviously just that and anyone who has ever owned a trick knife is hardly going to be amused by any of the stabbings that occur in the film.
Terror on Tour does however attempt to set up some suspense but keep in mind this film probably didn’t have much of a budget going for it and it wears it proudly on its sleeve. This is a good one to watch with a little liquid encouragement and a group of friends…..it would be very easy to even set up a drinking game too….Nothing too original here but an entertaining ride none the less.
Terror on Tour (1980)