SUNDAY MATINEE: Terror On Tour (1980)

posted Sunday Dec 20th, 2015

Here we are, Finally! The elusive punk-shock-rock classic Terror on Tour is back in full, streaming right here uninterrupted, and ready to drop jaws across the land. Since we took a trollop through the bloody snow with last year's Christmas horror collection, it's time to give you what you REALLY WANT, and boy does Terror on Tour deliver. Played by actual Chicago area power pop band The Names who were one of the first bands released on the Cary Baker's seminal Chicago label Fiction Records, but here in disguise, they are known as The Clowns, and someone is claiming they are murdering their fans. The band is staged in outrageous KISS-meets-Phantom of the Paradise-meets Moloch style kabuki makeup, complete with clowny Gene Simmons-style hairdos.

Yes it's just as ridiculous as it sounds, and it's also one of a handful of films that fall under the "Rock horror" flag, and since the band involved is Chicago power pop royalty, it's a necessary watch for anyone intrigued with both 80s-style slasher films as well as underground pop aficionados, and look no farther than the Seinfeld 'Soup Nazi' actor in his first role, literally apologizing for his part in this disaster of modern rock cinema on his IMDB post, presented to you in full, below.

"For anyone who makes the mistake of sitting though this movie: I had just decided to become an actor and I knew very little about it. I was majoring in journalism in Junior college and took a theatre class to get a date with a girl I liked and got interested in acting. I drove a friend to the audition of Terror on Tour (originally called "Clowns") and the director (Don Edmunds) asked me to read. I told him I wasn't ready as an actor to do a film and didn't know anything about acting much less film acting. He cast me and talked me into doing it. I was patently awful. I over acted every word and indicated like crazy. Above that a year after initial filming when I knew a little more about acting they called me back to shoot two pick up scenes (easy to spot as my hair was much shorter--it went from '79 to '80 nuff said). I was told to yell my dialog as there would be loud rock music playing in the background. The other guy in the scene was producer Sandy Cobe who wasn't an actor and couldn't really handle yelling while imagining loud music. In the end they forgot to add the music so it seemed like I was over acting even more than in the rest of the film. When I saw the film I came very close to quitting trying to be an actor altogether. The only reason I didn't quit is that I figured if I could spot how awful I was maybe I had a chance to learn to do it right. The band members were a real band and had never acting before so you could forgive them their acting. Of the rest of the cast there was (in my opinion) one good actor. Jeff Morgan. In filming he actually seemed to be in the moment and connecting on an honest level when you were talking to him. When I saw the film I felt I could see it in his performance. I never heard from him again and don't know what he's doing now but I do think he escaped the horror of the acting in this horror film. Again I hope whoever has to see me in this film will understand my horror that it still exists."

- Larry Thomas

So kick that streaming window into full-screen mode and kick back with 1980's finest trash, Terror on Tour!