Judge Tom Becker, DVD Verdict-- For its first few minutes, Groupie had me stoked with its abundance of B-movie promise.
Imagine my thrill at the idea that director Mark L. Lester, writers Michael Feifer and Randall Frakes, and star Eric Roberts might be dusting off the classic Italian giallo formula and offering up a sleazy murder mystery/thriller, rather than the usual direct-to-DVD soft horror that's the current standard.
Unfortunately, after a promising 10 minutes or so, the film settles in to what it really is: a fairly slow-moving soft slasher that telegraphs its hand, thus avoiding any sort of shock or suspense.
The Dark Knights is a band with a gimmick: at the end of every show, lead singer Travis (Hal Ozsan, Dawson's Creek) sets himself on fire.
One night, a drunken, flaming Travis stumbles into a curtain, causing the club to go up in smoke. Fortunately, the casualty list is light--one guy gets trampled to death--but it's enough to give the band a reputation of being cursed and pull them out of circulation for a year.
Their manager, Angus (Eric Roberts, Star 80), books them on a comeback tour, and soon the Knights are enjoying the rock star life again on a tour bus complete with drugs and groupies.
Unfortunately, all that glitters isn't Malawi Gold. Travis refuses to do the flaming stunt, and this angers the fans, who boo and throw bottles at the end of each non-incendiary performance.
Then, a new groupie appears on the scene, the fetching Riley (Taryn Manning, Kill Theory). Travis finds himself taken with her, much to the chagrin of his main groupie, Nikki (Betsy Rue, Miss March).
As Riley gets closer to Travis, the other band members, as well as Angus, begin to resent her. They feel she's a disruptive influence and has some kind of agenda that they just can't figure out.
Boy, are they ever right.
The disc is serviceable: Clean image, surround and stereo audio options, and a useless "making of" as an extra.
-Full review at dvdverdict.com