Sci-Fi Horrorfest – Heavy Metal (1981)

2018 Sci-Fi Horrorfest: Heavy Metal (1981)
Cast:      The voices of John Candy, Eugene Levy, Joe Flaherty and Harold Ramis

Based on the works of Bernie Wrightson, Dan O’Bannon, Richard Corben, Angus McKie, Jean Giraud, Daniel Goldberg & Len Blum

Screenplay by Daniel Goldberg & Len Blum
Directed by Gerald Potterton, John Bruno, John Halas, Julian Harris, Jimmy T. Murakami, Barrie Nelson, Paul Sabella, Jack Stokes, Pino Van Lamsweerde & Harold Whittaker

Plot: An astronaut brings home a strange green glowing orb as a gift for his daughter. Upon his death, the orb reveals itself to be the embodiment of all evil and proceeds to share stories with the girl about all the worlds it has traveled to.

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Richard’s Review: I have fond memories of this one from the 1980s when it seemed to be on constant rotation on HBO. The rock music soundtrack and the bizarre science-fiction and fantasy stories captured my imagination. With horrific creatures at every turn, the erotic and sexy female characters didn’t hurt any either. While the overall presentation seems a little dated today, the extras remind you just how much time and effort went into the production of the film. This type of animated adult storytelling really doesn’t exist today except in anime, which is a different style altogether. Well worth revisiting if you’re in the mood for a nostalgic trip.

Karla’s Thoughts: While I really loved the overall premise for the stories and the great music. I could’ve done without all of the nudity. It seems to have been made by a bunch of horny teenage guys. You could have told the stories without the sex. As a result, it comes across as very dated and a product of the day. However, the stories are good, especially with how they are all interconnected.

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Trivia:

  • Based on stories in the popular Heavy Metal magazine.
  • The soundtrack for the movie was incredibly popular, featuring Sammy Hagar, Don Felder, Blue Oyster Cult, Steve Nicks, Journey, Nazareth and Devo.
  • Music licensing issues prevented the VHS home release of the movie for many years.
  • The movie consists of eight different segments, with the second segment, Grimaldi, being the framing device for the anthology.
  • Robby the Robot sells the character of Harry Cannon a hot dog in the third segment.
  • The USS Enterprise from Star Trek is seen briefly in a ship graveyard.
  • One of the extras on the Blu-ray features preliminary artwork for the Neverwhere Land segment. Despite have superior artwork, it was thought to drag down the film and was but prior to release.

Availability: Heavy Metal is available on Blu-ray for less than $10. While the audio could use an upgrade, it’s a great bargain for the price.

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