I was curious to find out more information about this movie after I had bought a video tape on Ebay titled "HBTV" (which was a compilation of Hanna-Barbera cartoon scenes set to popular music, much like the Disney Channel's DTV's of the 1980's). It was during their take on the song "Somebody's Watching Me" where I saw a clip that I didn't recognize, and my sister found out the clip was from the movie, "Rock Odyssey" (where she managed to find out, I'll never know, but I digress).
I learned this movie was never released in the United States because of graphic imagery, especially during a segment involving the Vietnam War and the sixties. I wanted to see this movie to see if it really *was* that graphic, or if it would be considered tame by today's standards (the movie was originally made in between 1981 and 1982). Well, I finally got to see the movie, and I can tell you, I wasted seventy-two minutes of my time with it (that's how long it was).
This movie was REALLY hard to follow. The basic gist of the show is a mysterious woman named Laura goes on a search through four decades to find her true love. Sounds simple enough, but really, it isn't. There's no dialog, except for these little bits introducing a decade by a talking jukebox (voiced by Scatman Crothers). The rest of the movie was just set to re-recordings of rock and roll songs. The movie is very surreal. There's a scene during the 1950's segment where the needle on a record player turns into a monster, and some pink liquid spilling out the windows morphs into snakes. I swear, the more I watched, the more I was thinking, "ok, what the HECK is going on here?!" It was easy to get lost in this plot.
I also have to nitpick over the addition the producers made when getting this thing set for a 1987 release. They added a "Character Parade" set to "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" in order to bring the movie up to date. I read the "parade" was to feature some of HB's characters like Yogi Bear, the Flintstones, the Jetsons, etc. I was expecting something like that to be at the very end of the film, just before or during ending credits or something. And new footage. What we got was an HBTV video. Clips of pre-existing footage set to the song. The clips were from the movies "A Man Called Flintstone" and "Hey There It's Yogi Bear," an episode of the Jetsons "My Date with Jet Screamer," and footage of a lesser known cartoon called "The Cattanooga Cats" (how that happened, I'll never know). And they just stuck it in after "Laura" pushed a button on some computer or another.
As for the graphic imagery regarding the 1960's segment, I found it wasn't as bad as I thought. It was just . . . . . trippy (then again, this *was* the 60's . . . . .) Really, it was way weird. Cops had flashing siren lights for heads, "Laura" turned into a mermaid briefly, her 60's love had a fish for a head at one point, and suddenly, they just popped back to normal. There were points where it looked like her boyfriend was losing his mind after this stern looking guy bangs on the door (and when the door opens, he's a skeleton) and hands the guy a piece of paper. It said "Death Certificate," but my guess is it was a draft notice, and it would appear that the guy went crazy. He started imagining everything was turning into guns, and at one point "Laura" hopped on a bus, ate a donut, and her hand turned into a rabbit, and flew out of her arm, then a plane flew out of her arm before her hand returned.
The whole movie looked like one serious drug trip in my opinion.