Rock and Rule (partially lost original soundtrack of animated film; 1983)

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RockAndRule.jpg

The theatrical poster for Rock & Rule.

Status: Partially Lost

Rock and Rule is a 1983 animated feature film produced by the Nelvana animation studio.

The film features musical talents such as Cheap Trick, Iggy Pop, and Debbie Harry.

Production began in 1979. Some CGI was used in the film, and some photographic techniques were used to create special effects.

Plot

The film details a post-apocalyptic world where Mok, an aging, famous rock musician who wishes to keep his fame forever, goes on a search to find a "special voice that can unleash a powerful demon from another dimension to fulfill his wish of being immortalized".[1]

Production

Originally meant for a children's audience, the film was titled Drats! in its conceptual stages. With a budget of $8 million, over 300 animators were credited in the film; the movie itself nearly sent new production studio Nelvana into bankruptcy.

During production, the movie was picked up by MGM, who offered to help Nelvana market the movie to an American audience. Unfortunately, when management shifted at MGM mid-production, the new overseers were dissatisfied with the product, forcing Nelvana to change many aspects of the story and delaying its initial release. MGM also insisted that Omar, the male protagonist of the film, be entirely redubbed by a different voice actor and censored to remove some obscenities.

Release

Due to MGM's lack of advertising prior to Rock and Rule's theatrical release, the movie made a mere $30,379 at the box office.[2] Considered a loss, MGM subsequently shelved the movie entirely.

Years later, the movie gained a cult following after bootleg tapes of the movie were distributed at comic conventions, and the movie was aired late at night on HBO and Showtime, as well as other Canadian broadcasting channels.

Although the movie was re-released by Unearthed Films for the film's 25th anniversary, the master track is still somewhat muddled, and the dialogue and music are occasionally hard to hear. While Debbie Harry wished for the movie's soundtrack to be released as an album, MGM's lack of interest kept the studio from doing so.

Now, even with attempts to restore the original film, the original soundtrack is still partially lost, heard in the movie but only released in part (and slightly altered) by the artists involved. Artists Debbie Harry and Iggy Pop released their songs on their own albums as special tracks, albeit their released tracks are slightly altered.[3]

While it is possible that MGM or Nelvana may have the original music, restoration studios have only located master tracks from the initial release of the film in theaters. The existence of the original soundtrack is unknown, as it was never released on vinyl or CD.

Soundtrack

  • Deborah Harry – "Angel's Song" (re-written and released as May Be For Sure on the 1989 album Def, Dumb and Blonde)
  • Deborah Harry - "Invocation Song"
  • Cheap Trick - "Born to Raise Hell"
  • Cheap Trick - "I'm The Man"
  • Cheap Trick - "Ohm Sweet Ohm" (all three Cheap Trick songs were included on their 1996 boxset, Sex America: Cheap Trick)
  • Lou Reed – "My Name Is Mok"
  • Lou Reed - "Triumph"
  • Earth Wind & Fire – "Dance Dance Dance" (full version is available on iTunes)
  • Melleny Brown – "Hot Dogs and Sushi"
  • Iggy Pop – "Pain & Suffering" (released as an extra track on the 2003 re-release of his Zombie Birdhouse album)
  • Deborah Harry and Robin Zander – "Send Love Through"

References