Posted by: Mad Ness Monster | 06/29/2009

“Rock and Rule” review


(Also known as “Ring of Power”, for reasons that have yet to be adequately explained.)  A dark magician old-a** rock star’s wicked plan to summon a Lovecraftian unknowably evil demon is thwarted by Furries who sing early 80’s rock music. Yes, that is the actual plot.
This week, for my birthday, I reviewed a bunch of 80’s animated movies. I started out with this trippy Canadian cult hit, and I’m glad I did because this could be the single most EIGHTIES Eighties animated movie ever. It’s colorful, it is sci-fantasy themed, and above all else, it makes almost no sense.
To wit: The opening crawl explains that humans are extinct and various “street animals” have evolved into “a new race of mutants” to replace us. Common Furry-themed sci-fi setup, okay fine. However, in the movie itself the characters *are* humans. Sort of. Some of them look like more typical Furry cartoon characters but most of them… well, my point is that you just end up being hopelessly distracted by Omar’s dog-nose. (There are also non-anthropomorphic animals running around, as well as sewer mutants a la “Futurama”, which just adds to the confusion.)
But this is all minor quibbling when you see what else is going on in the movie. It’s… incredible. The Evil Rave, the trippy special effects, Mok’s music video. I f-ing want to make a movie just like this with my starving musician friends.
Note: The special features on the DVD are worth watching because they are a trip in of themselves, as you shall see. Note how the animators couldn’t seem to agree just what species Omar is based on. Heh.

The Best Parts:
42 seconds in – Yay trippy 80’s electronic music!
4 minutes in – Yay trippy 80’s CGI!
6 minutes in – Uh… dog-nose.
8 minutes in – Dog-nose.
11 minutes in – If you’re a band of starving musicians playing a show and this happens, f-ing RUN.
15 minutes in – Yikes. Just… yikes. (And, again, dog-nose.)
19 minutes in – “Where is your God now???!!!???” 😦
21 minutes in – In the future, there will be a Weapon of Mass Ugly. And, evidently, it shall fall upon each and every old rock star. They will be unharmed but… it will still affect them.  Yikes.
23 minutes in – “How do you like my Labyrinth?”
25 minutes in – Holograms = Awesome.
28 minutes in – Evil Microwave Popcorn!!!
29 minutes in – “Oh NO!!! BAG LADY!!!” (I couldn’t outdo Dizzy’s line there so I left it as is.)
31 minutes in – Officer Quadhole doesn’t care about starving musician dog-nosed people. 😦
36 minutes in – I’m speechless.
38 minutes in – Mok’s Evil Plan!
41 minutes in – Realistic non-anthro cat. Furry dog-nosed tattoo artist. Human (well, halfway) mermaid. I’m confused!!!
44 minutes in – Don’t f*** with comical minions!
46 minutes in – EVIL RAVE!!!
Actually the Earth Wind and Fire song is pretty great. It’s still in my head right now actually.
49 minutes in – “Do not WANT!!!” 😦
51 minutes in – Evil Glowing Ball of Evil!!! (Damn, Mok is a dick.)
52 minutes in – Er, thank you Dizzy.
55 minutes in – MOK’S MUSIC VIDEO!!! This might be one of the greatest things I have ever seen in a movie.
59 minutes in – Damn, Mok is a dick!
1 hour, 2 minutes in – It appears that the single worst thing you can do to a starving punk musician is turn him into a whining Emo sissy.
1 hour, 3 minutes in – Best. 80’s Action Cartoon Villain Vehicle. EVER!
1 hour, 6 minutes in – Sing along kiddies!
Oh, by the way. If you are at a concert and this happens, f-ing RUN!
1 hour, 10 minutes in – If I ever make my movie, regardless of whatever else it involves, it needs to end with an unspeakable evil being thwarted by early 80’s rock music. Because this is totally sweet.
1 hour, 13 minutes in – Aw, there’s always another rainbow!

Classic Lines of Dialogue:
“Omar! MY song!!!” – Angel
“Word to the wise, guy. Be nice or be dog food!” – Toad (But, um, aren’t Toad and Omar both dogs? Wait…)
“Well, thank you! Little Miss Ambition!” – Omar
“Ah yesss. My beast! Their nightmare! All mine! For a song!!!” – Mok
“FFFFFFFFFFFIIIIIIINE!!!” – Officer Quad hole (What?)
“Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmee!!!” – Mok

~*~ Poetry Corner ~*~
MOK: “My name is Mok, thanks a lot! / I know you love the things I got. / You’ve never seen the likes of me! / I am the biggest thing since World War Three! / Girls!”
GIRLS: “His name is Mok, thanks a lot! / You think he’s laughing but he’s not!”

Things I Learned from this Movie/Book/Whatever:
* – Lou Reed needs to voice more action cartoon villains.
* – Old rock stars can teleport.
* – Comical minions and starving punk musicians can move at warp speed if they need to.
* – Summoning a Lovecraftian horror in a public venue is generally frowned upon by legal types.
* – In the end, we will all be saved by Furries singing early 80’s rock music. Nice.

Things I Learned from the Commentary Track:
* – The clouds are made of fish tank filters. The demon is made of… cow brains.
* – Voice credits for the demon = Iggy Pop, please note.
* – I am typing this review on a better computer than the one they used to make this movie. 😦
Hell, I am *reposting* this review on a puny little laptop that is better than the computer they used to make this movie.  I should be deeply ashamed that I have not made my movie yet. 😦

Things That Can Save Any Movie:
Cool Creatures?
I’d say Mok totally counts here.
Good Soundtrack? Yes.
Hot Guys? *Sigh*. Dog-Noses!
Pretty Scenery? Not really but see below.
Nifty Animation/Special Effects/Illustrations? Yes, especially given what they had to work with back then.

Drinking Game Potential? Drink when there is a scene where they pan over the city. Drink when there are long, long stretches of cars driving around. Drink when something in the movie reminds you of “Tron”. And, you knew it was coming, drink when you are distracted by Omar’s dog-nose (or, alternatively, by Angel’s gi-normous cat-eyes).

Head Movie Potential? And how!

Rating: Donnie rating (4)
Donnie with a distracting dog-nose.

A Nelvana Film released in 1985 by MGM/UA (DVD released in 2005 by Unearthed Films). Written by Peter Sauder and John Halfpenny, story by Patrick Loubert, directed by Clive A. Smith. Trippy 80’s electronic music by Patricia Cullen and trippy 80’s animation effects supervised by Dennis Brown.
Lou Reed, Don Francks, Debbie Harry, Susan Roman, Robin Zander, Paul LeMat, Dan Hennessey, Greg Duffell, Maurice LaMarche, Catherine O’Hara. Additional singing voices by Melleny Brown, Earth Wind and Fire, Cheap Trick and Iggy Pop.
Related Links
IMDB page
The “Rock and Rule” Homepage: A very, very extensive fansite.
“Rock and Rule” Page: Another extensive fanpage; this one has got early character sketches.
“The Critical Eye”: A review of the movie with excellent background information.



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