It’s obvious this generation and the previous one need to stop ripping off Rocky Horror Picture Show and get our own cult-classic to copy. And like Rocky Horror, we’re going to have to get used to seeing Tim Timebomb’s RockNRoll Theater outside of Halloween as a year-round show.
Tim Armstrong of Rancid produces this 12 episodic musical web series that creates a funny, dark, gory and ska-filled adventure to the center of hell. With only the first episode, “Dante,” released a few days before Halloween, it already had attention built. Is it as good as anticipated? Yes. Here’s why…
Don’t expect half-ass production by any means. Without giving too much away, there are some really quality built sets. There are no “this is funny because it’s done so poorly” effects. The musical numbers have classy choreography (think as dark as My Chemical Romance’s “Helena,” but more fun). There aren’t any normal or crappy handmade outfits. There is a serious wardrobe closet with nothing but the best: men in three-piece suits and ladies in ’40s style outfits of all kinds. RockNRoll Theater is cut into segments that focus around songs, one of which in “Dante” is done by a dead army better known as Fishbone.
I was utterly skeptical of the characters but they all won me over. Lars Frederiksen (also of Rancid) plays Dante, whose personality is best described in the verse of his song “We Did Alright,” “Power is a natural aphrodisiac/ If you got it/ Flaunt it/ Never look back.” Yes, he basically plays a corporate crook (although we don’t exactly know this) who has gotten into some trouble.
“Is there a sin you haven’t committed?” questions the Devil. Davey Havok (of AFI) confuses me more than a chess game but his portrayal of the Devil is phenomenal. Apparently, directors couldn’t say no to his suit choice: hot pink. Yet his acting is remarkably good for a singer (compared to Jared Leto), even if he’s rocking a creepy pencil-thin mustache.
Armstrong serves as the series’ narrator, frequently dropping into scenes with monologue that the characters don’t see. It’s very similar to anthology shows like The Twilight Zone meets horror flicks meet chaos. This is the point – we were just waiting for someone to roll it all under the same name.
The second episode has yet to be released, but check out “Dante” here. Get with the program.