B-Sides: Rolling Vengeance Coming Up on You
If you’re going to make a movie about a vigilante seeking Rolling Vengeance against the rednecks that murdered his family and raped his girlfriend by running them over with a custom-built monster truck, you’d better have a hard drinkin’ theme song like “Coming Up on You” to serenade the slaughter.
Rolling Vengeance is like Death Wish except instead of taking out punks with a snub-nosed revolver, the instrument of vengeance is a flame-shooting, drill-mounted, 8-ton monster truck that looks more like something that would have been more at home in a Mad Max movie than your typical monster truck rally.
An odd movie from 1987 in that the crimes committed by the villainous clan of rednecks led by Ned Beatty are rather heinous and treated fairly seriously even as they’re portrayed as dimwitted comedy figures straight out of “The Dukes of Hazzard.” Beatty’s performance could be positively Boss Hogg-ian. That weird dichotomy of serious revenge thriller and bumbling redneck smash & crash humor helps make Rolling Vengeance a cult film just waiting to be rediscovered. Olive Films, Shout Factory, I’m looking at you!
When it comes time for young truck driver Don Michael Paul to scour the local scrap yard for the parts needed to build his Frankenstein’s monster truck, a montage song of sorrowful grit kicks in that sounds like it escaped from the soundtrack of a Reagan era Sylvester Stallone flick. Performed by Anthony Della Reese, who sounds like Bob Seger by way of Glenn Danzig, “Coming Up on You” is the perfect song for the guy stumbling out of a bar at 2AM after having too many beers and having given way too much thought to all the people in the world he feels have wronged him. You feel like you need a shot of whiskey after listening to this song.
To the best of my knowledge “Coming Up on You” has never been released in any form except as the song heard during this montage from Rolling Vengeance. So be it. There are far worse ways for your music to be immortalized. Talk about a monster jam.
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