Deathgasm (2015)

aka Heavy Metal Apocalypse

Written & Directed by Jason Lei Howden

Starring Milo Cawthorne, Kimberly Crossman, James Blake and Stephen Ure

I can sum up this film with one sentence, and you saw it on the link that brought you here: “Brutal Legend meets Evil Dead by way of old school Peter Jackson.”  That tells you all you need to know.

I’m done with this review right?  No?

OK then, here are the details: Deathgasm (or Heavy Metal Apocalypse as Wal-Mart would prefer you call it) is an absolutely bonkers splat-stick film that echoes the best of the horror-comedies of the eightie’s whilst encapsulating it all into a semi-parody metalhead culture aesthetic. The end result is supremely entertaining with blood raining down left and right, evil demons being conquered with sex toys, chainsaws a plenty and a few charming young actors giving it their all.

What I love about this film is how it absolutely does NOT hold back. Virtually every kill and every act of carnage (and there are a lot!) is presented for our sadistic little pleasures with no cut aways or heavy editing. This is a film that revels in the red and we thank it for that. It’s unapologetically silly… everything from the growling, taunting possessed to the clever filming techniques to the creative use of various weapons screams out Sam Raimi’s classic films. Layer it with the fantasy-rock aesthetic that punctuated the sadly underrated Jack Black starring 2013 video game Brutal Legend, and you’ve got the set list for (as the poster so accurately decrees) “The Party Movie of the Year”.

I do indeed adore the sheer audacity and immense entertainment value of the film but there are just a few faults. The practical splatter and makeup effects are top notch but on rare occasion the film segues into CGI, it’s of pretty poor quality and very noticeable. Our three main characters are fun and realistically portrayed but most everyone else are played for cannon fodder (which isn’t always a downside admittedly, but some seemingly important characters are taken out rather abruptly). Also for any Metalheads looking to view this: I invite you to leave you reactions to its depiction of the culture in the comments below. Personally I enjoy Metal but I’m not as passionate about it others and so I cannot accurately pinpoint the accuracy of the film in its depiction of Heavy Metal enthusiasts. I fear some will say it portrays a negative stereotype while others will adore its over-the-top portrayal.

Deathgasm is the type of film that knows what it is and doesn’t give a damn. It’s a legitimately funny and super violent New Zealand flick that sets out to have a good time and at this it succeeds immensely. It’s not the most technically sounds film ever made. As a fledgeling reviewer though, I seek to have fun watching movies and not critique them for their lack of plot or introspective dialouge. Hey, those aspects certainly can’t hurt but I want to have fun watching a movie.

And watching a horror film that involves a snarling demon get sodomized with a chainsaw sounds like a very special type of entertainment.

4/5 of these >>    \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/

Splatter Factor: 4.5/5 **** Deathgasm doesn’t hold back. To get a high score on my splatter factor a film needs to be drenched in red. And when every single evil being that appears onscreen is self mutilated in some fashion, you know the gore is going to flow. There’s plenty of head rips, heart rips, arm rips, chainsaw carnage, eye gouges, decapitations, heads cut in half, axes and power sanders, crushed bodies, blood vomting… if you want a gory film akin to the heydays of Peter Jackson, you’ve found your new modern miracle. **

The Collective speaks:

Through the forest and the frost and charred black spikes we find the true Metal. Those who would revel in the lyrics of the dark and the intense do so speak unto us and the Black Hymn that would call forth Aeloth the Blind. We’ve been to a few of his concerts, very similar to the Earthbound band known as Gwar. Aeloth’s debut and those hapless souls that would summon him entertain us greatly and provide The Hive with the perfect confection to while away the time when we are not tormenting the writer of this page. Now go forth and conjure the chords of carnage. 

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