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Deathgasm: Heavy Metal Horror
long as there are angst-ridden teens, there will be a market for really loud
music. Punk has the advantage of its cool anarchist ideology, but there are
more bikini-clad women in heavy metal videos. Of course, reality is nothing
like that for bullied metalheads like Brodie. However, the satanic apocalypse
could reshuffle the social order of Brodie’s white bread New Zealand high
school, if he survives it. Heavy metal and demons really do go together like a
horse and carriage in Jason Lei Howden’s Deathgasm
which opens this Friday in select theaters and also releases on VOD.
his mother is institutionalized, Brodie is forced to move in with his Ned
Flanderish Uncle Albert, whose jerky jock son goes out of his way to torment
him at school. Initially, the only people who will hang out with him are the
D&D playing band geeks (C’mon, doesn’t Howden know Pathfinder has taken all of their marketshare?),
until he meets Zakk, an older, more sociopathic metalhead. Naturally, they all
form a band: Deathgasm. Through an unlikely chain of events, Brodie comes into
possession of a heavy metal black mass that literally unleashes H-E-double
hockey sticks when they play it.
within earshot who was not jamming on the tune turns into a bloodthirsty demon.
It is all very inconvenient, but at least it gives Brodie an opportunity to
kill his family in good conscience. In fact, it turns out Medina, Brodie’s
out-of-his-league crush is one of the best demon killers around—and she is
developing an ear for heavy metal.
in Deathgasm you have heavy metal,
demons, shadowy satanic cultists, gore with chainsaws, and gore with sex toys—basically
everything that made Harry Potter popular with third and fourth graders. Yet,
underneath all the blood, guts, and contempt for easy listening, Deathgasm actually has a good heart.
Brodie’s halting courtship of Medina is nearly as sweet as it is unlikely. On
the other hand, his frienemy antagonism with the jackastical Zakk is certainly believable
enough. Still, what really sells the film is Howden’s feel for the disaffected
metalhead lifestyle and the outsider appeal of the music. The short-lived
character of Rikki Daggers, a legendarily reclusive former metal star is
does not exactly reinvent blackly humorous carnage, but he goes about it with
admirable enthusiasm. There are a number of spectacularly gruesome gags, which
Howden is never afraid to double-down on. As Brodie, Milo Cawthorne sometimes
gets annoyingly sad-eyed and mopey, in an Adrien Brody kind of way, but James
Blake and Kimberley Crossman bring plenty of energy as Medina and Zakk,
It should be noted Deathgasm has a stinger that is arguably worth sticking out the
credits for. It is a proud meathead movie that delivers the right vibe and the
right attitude. Recommended for genre fans who like their films loud and rude, Deathgasm screens after midnight this
Friday (10/2) and Saturday (10/3) at the Nitehawk in Brooklyn.
Labels: Horror Movies, New Zealand cinema