Punk Rock Holocaust
Independent Films, Film Profiles
Punk Rock Holocaust is a 2004 low-budget slasher film/horror-comedy directed by Doug Sakmann. It is about a serial killer on the loose at the Vans Warped Tour who tries killing off the bands one by one, and features bands such as Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, Less Than Jake, The Used, Big D and the Kids Table, Rancid, The Horrorpops, The Suicide Machines, Dropkick Murphys, The Phenomenauts and many more. It was principally filmed during the summer of 2003 on the Vans Warped Tour, and features live performances from many of the bands. The director also appears as the bandana-wrapped killer. With 110 onscreen deaths, it held the record for individual deaths in a horror film. Four of the five members of Simple Plan are individually killed, making them the only band to get such individual treatment. According to the director's commentary, bassist David Desrosiers did not want to be killed. The Phenomenauts' actual tour bus, the "Phenomebomber" was blown up specially for the film.The backstory to this film is that Warped Tour head Kevin Lyman once allowed a hideously bad band called Brutal Enigma on the tour since they submitted a phony demo tape. However, once Lyman heard the band play, they were permanently banned from the tour. The band acquired powers from the Devil, who is walking the earth as Mega Records head Belial, and the band now seeks revenge on the tour.The story is a retrospective, from the point of view of pit reporter Heather Vantress, who sits and remembers the horrors of the previous summer, the friends she made--few of whom survive.At first, the deaths that occur at the Warped Tour are ascribed by Lyman to negligence at the climbing wall or security being too hard on the kids. However, when Simple Plan's guitarist, Jeff Stinco, is impaled on his own instrument, this is harder to explain away. The deaths continue to mount.Heather is suspicious that a bandanna-wrapped, goggle-wearing, sword bearing killer who seems responsible for many of the deaths, might be Lyman. Her suspicions are substantiated when he is seen dragging away a blood-daubed punk rock girl, who feebly protests that she is not dead and is promptly killed by Lyman for her trouble (a possible homage to the "bring out your dead" scene in Monty Python and the Holy Grail). The dead kids are apparently being used at the commissary to feed the bands and tour staff. Still, Lyman can't possibly be responsible for all the deaths, ranging from Bert McCracken of The Used to dozens, if not hundreds of fans. Despite this, and despite the continuing attrition of members of Simple Plan (whose members are killed off one by one), the show must go on.Meanwhile, Belial is becoming increasingly concerned about the deaths of his bands, and sends two of his henchmen to scope out the situation. They find that the remaining members of Simple Plan and The Used have combined to form a new band, Simply Used (resulting in a scene where Pierre Bouvier sings the final stanza of "The Taste of Ink"). The new band and the henchmen are promptly electrocuted by the killer.Deprived of most of its headliners, the tour limps on until finally, all the fans and most of the bands are killed in the destruction of the Tour venue in Asbury Park, New Jersey--what is seen is the implosion of Philadelphia's Veterans Stadium. Heather goes to New York to confront Belial, who claims to be unable to retrieve the demonic powers he gave Brutal Enigma. But Heather and Kevin are able to stop the killers, who turn out to be zombies. The Tour will go on--next year--with the headliner the fictional band Atticus, given actual life thanks to Belial.
Year of Production: N/A
Country: United States