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Murder Rock (1984) - Blu-ray Review

Hat pins through the heart!  She definitely IS a maniac. 

The massive worldwide success of Flashdance has repercussions, Ladies and Gents, even when it comes to the Italian giallo.  A musical murder mystery tour with T&A?  Sign me up, man.  Just don’t ask me to wear those leg warmers. 

Buoyed by a cheesy rock soundtrack written and performed by Keith Emerson, writer/director Lucio Fulci (The Beyond, Zombie) leads the giallo out on the dance floor for the pulse pounding theatrics of the headband wearing Murder Rock.  The film juices up the jazzercise routine with fierce dance numbers and genius moments of visual suspense thanks to Fulci’s masterstrokes of mood and mayhem, just don’t go in expecting blood and guts. 

"Murder Rock is a raucous upending of the popularity of the musical.  With its gratuitous nudity and its gyrating hips, the movie definitely puts the FLASH in Flashdance."

Because this one is bone dry when it comes to the goopy red stuff.  We just want to sweat to the oldies anyway.  Murder Rock, interestingly enough, is a kinder and gentler Fulci and, in my opinion, that makes for a fascinating misstep in this auteur’s filmography.  

That doesn’t mean this film isn’t good at what it does, though.  It just means that, when it comes to favorite Fulci flicks, this one isn’t going to make the list.  The film is enjoyable as it borrows from some of his other (and better) films for a couple of scenes and then casts it all in an artistic blue light that makes it stylistically in sync with the glitter and the POP of the 1980s. {googleads}

Starring Olga Karlatos (Once Upon a Time in America), Ray Lovelock (Almost Human), Claudio Cassinelli (Screamers), Murder Rock is a tale about the selection of three dancers from an upcoming television show.  The competition is fierce at New York's Artistic Dance Centre.  But is it enough to kill for? We already know it is. 

Thanks to a very long needle-sharp hat pin jabbed straight through the breasts of these fine-looking dancers, Murder Rock is a raucous upending of the popularity of the musical.  With its gratuitous nudity and its gyrating hips, the movie definitely puts the FLASH in FlashdanceMurder Rock (1984) - Blu-ray Review

Whether Murder Rock feels up Fame or tries to out step Beat Street, this murder mystery, gloved hands and all, is proof positive that the Italians know how to dance under the neon aesthetic, too. 

Call it Slashdance.   Call it Dancing Death.  Call it whatever you want, Murder Rock is now out on blu-ray thanks to a new HD 2018 scan with extensive color corrections from Scorpion Releasing.  It is only available to purchase through Ronin Flix and, while supplies lasts, includes a Limited-Edition Slipcover and 9x11 Mini Poster with artwork by Wes Benscoter.

There’s blood on the dance floor.  Find out why in Murder Rock!


5 beers


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Murder Rock (1984) - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: Unrated.
93 mins
: Lucio Fulci
Gianfranco Clerici; Vincenzo Mannino; Roberto Gianviti and Lucio Fulci
Olga Karlatos, Ray Lovelock, Claudio Cassinelli
: Mystery | Thriller
Save the last dance . . . for hell!
Memorable Movie Quote:
Theatrical Distributor:
BLC Services Inc.
Official Site:
Release Date:
April 20, 1990
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
November 9, 2018
Synopsis: The world of dance is brutal … the rehearsals are grueling … the competition is fierce. At the Arts for Living Center in New York, the best of the best are dying for a part in a major production, but only a select few will be chosen. Now the contenders are being narrowed down at the hands of a killer who uses a deadly hatpin to pierce their victim’s hearts.



[tab title="Blu-ray Review"]

Murder Rock (1984) - Blu-ray Review


Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Scorpion Releasing
Available on Blu-ray
- November 9, 2018
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
: English
English: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0; Italian: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Scorpion Releasing’s brand new 4K remaster of Murder Rock looks pretty damn good.  Edges are strong and the colors are bold.  Black levels hold their edges, too, which is pretty important due to some of the night scenes.  Saturation levels are consistently strong and the details in the backgrounds and in the clothing, are strong.  The audio is presented in a strong 2.0 Stereo track.



  • The film’s audio commentary is provided by film historian Troy Howarth.

Special Features:

Complete with a reversible cover and new subtitle translations for the English and the Italian audio, this supplemental material also includes new interviews with actress Garetta Garetta, make-up artist Franco Casagni, and audio excerpts by director Lucio Fulci.

  • NEW on camera interview with star Geretta Geretta
  • NEW interview with make-up artist Franco Casagni with audio excerpts from Lucio Fulci
  • Original Trailer



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Murder Rock (1984) - Blu-ray Review