Wednesday, July 12, 2017

THE ROCK-AFIRE EXPLOSION (2008)

For those who don't know, ShowBiz Pizza Place was a pizza/arcade restaurant back in the 1980's that was focused towards children and advertised as a place "Where a Kid Can Be a Kid."  It had all kinds of stuff like a ball pit, coin-operated rides, arcade games and...The Rock-afire Explosion.  The Rock-afire Explosion was an animatronic band that featured a singing mouse cheerleader, a guitar-playing polar bear, a piano-playing gorilla and others.  It was interesting and I remember seeing them many times as a kid back in the 1980's.  Finally, due to financial difficulties, ShowBiz went under and the Rock-afire Explosion was replaced with the lame Chuck E. Cheese band during the early 1990's.

I've never put any thought into The Rock-afire Explosion band ever...until I came across this documentary and I was thoroughly entertained from beginning to end.  It was a fun trip down memory lane, plus an intriguing look at some unique individuals.

The film starts out with a brief history of Showbiz/The Rock-afire Explosion and some of its modern-day (mid-2000's) fans.  There's more than one introduced, but honestly, the only one they needed was Chris Thrash.  He's an unassuming-looking little dude with a horrible diet (he drinks over 2 liters of Mountain Dew a day!!!), but his dedication and love for The Rock-afire Explosion is truly touching.  I really liked him a lot.  The other main attraction was Aaron Fechter, the guy who actually created The Rock-afire Explosion back in the 1970's.  He's a fascinating individual and a great storyteller.  I'd love to see a full-length documentary on him alone!

THE ROCK-AFIRE EXPLOSION might not be the greatest documentary ever made, but it's pretty cool and it sent me down a YouTube rabbit hole that lasted for hours!  I'd like to see another doc simply about ShowBiz Pizza and why it had so made financial difficulties.

This is waaaay off subject, but seeing people set up private Rock-afire Explosion shows in their houses gave me a ton of ideas for horror movies.  My current favorite being: dude sets up an Rock-afire Explosion show in his house and then due to whatever (spilt blood, Satanists, demon-possessed lightening, etc.), the characters come to life and start fucking shit up like the Woodland Critters in South Park.  That would be awesome!!!