Back in the heyday of heavy metal (the 80s), there were a good number of heavy metal horror flicks, several of which I cover here. They are kind of making a comeback, and so, I cover two of them in one blog.
HEAVY METAL HORROR (2014)
How’s that for a straightforward title? Heavy Metal Horror is a dark and moody film that feels less like a horror movie and more like a split documentary about a girl on the street and a metal band.
We meet Julia, who is recounting her life to a cameraman—including stories of a ghostly presence that haunted her at home, and a hole in her backyard that used to talk to her. The problem is, it’s like watching a campfire story instead of seeing a horror film. Meanwhile, we get loads of scenes interspersed of a heavy metal band rehearsing and just hanging out. However, the lead singer of the band, named Damian (both character and actual name), has a sexy look.
But really, nothing much happens for a majority of this film. Eventually, Julia befriends the band, they take her to a warehouse, perform a satanic ritual, and the shit hits the fan very briefly. It’s mostly CGI—but still kind of darkly effective—as some sort of red-eyed demon with tentacles is conjured and starts taking down all the members of the band. Although, here you can tell it’s just a guy in a monster suit…and white socks? It looks better when the CGI tentacles come out and edits are happening really fast, I swear.
Assuming Heavy Metal Horror had a low budget, it would have worked better as a half-hour short that got to the zinger ending quicker. It’s actual 80-minute runtime would have worked better if there were money to make this a more traditional, suspenseful demon creature feature, with the warehouse scene being the bulk of the film and delivering, chills, thrills, blood, chase scenes, and a cool monster.
The awesome animated heavy metal horror intro tells you right away you’re in for a party movie with Deathgasm. While some might want to compare this to 1986’s Trick or Treat because there’s talk of playing records backwards, this film is not a slasher. It’s essentially a heavy metal Evil Dead.
It’s safe to assume the movie takes place in the 80s, since there’s a record store and references to the likes of Kiss, Judas Priest, Rick Astley…and a jab at Poison. The new kid in school has the usual challenges—an asshole bully harassing him, girl trouble, isolation, and a couple of uncool buddies. But when he befriends a fellow metal head, they track down an iconic metal artist who has pretty much gone into hiding. As a result of the meeting, they score a mysterious piece of sheet music. And when they jam in their garage and play the song, everyone around them goes all drooling demon!
It takes a while to build up to the demonic fun, but once things start, it’s familiar territory—in a good way. The guys battle gruesome, blood-spewing demons, plus there’s gore and guts galore, tasteless humor, dildo fights, and eventually, a horned master demon. And let’s not forget…power tools. Also, director Jason Lei Howden is a bearded cutie.