By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)
Metalheads will certainly love the pointed stab at which bands truly belong to this musical subgenre in the movie Deathgasm. This film is now out on Video on Demand (VOD) in select markets, and it’s worth checking out for the absurdities that goes on. I had to laugh when Poison‘s Look What the Cat Dragged In is hurriedly put back in the record stacks in favour of one of Autopsy‘s albums when this film’s hero Brodie (Milo Cawthorne) meets Zakk (James Blake) for the first time.
From bashing glam metal to loving death metal, that’s a detail few will pick up on and I have to praise that kind of attention to detail by writer/director Jason Lei Howden in a movie that’s truly dedicated to the music. From its Frank Frazetta-style cut scenes of the heroes posing powerfully atop a mountain to the anime-inspired gore-fest that goes on, this movie is a gem coming out of Kiwi-land that also unleashed the vampire mockumentary What We Do In Shadows last year. I suppose more tentacles could be used, but I’m glad this film did not go down that vein.
if there’s ever a true Psycho Circus to really experience, this movie comes close to being it. When these two boys bear a similarity to the attitudes of what the Starman and Demon represent in KISS, all anyone has to do is look at how Zakk is dressed up to get that feeling. These two form a garage band after finding a strange page of sheet music from a stoned out guardian. They unwittingly summon evil hordes which takes over the quiet New Zealand town of Greypoint. Brodie wants to do what’s right than to unleash the chaos Zakk craves. Although these two vagabonds think they don’t belong in this sleepy community, that unison is displaced when their motives are revealed.
All Brodie wants is a brotherhood to which he can belong; just whom he meets are a pair of gamer nerds — Dion (Sam Berkley) and Giles (Daniel Cresswell) — than like-minded musicians. When there’s a girl involved, I’m not surprised at the fact he falls in love with Medina (Kimberley Crossman). The chemistry Cawthorne and Crossman share is certainly sweet. To see her transition from loving easy-listening music to metal is certainly like taking one shot of poison to help set her free. It’s a shame that the music of Lita Ford was not used. Instead, the music of Midnight, Nunslaughter, Pathology, Axeslasher and Skull Fist are featured. Had this movie been a Canadian product, I’m sure Lee Aaron would have been given a lot of love as Medina becomes the next Metal Queen.
The high school hysterics are familiar and fun. This film is like Todd and the Book of Pure Evil where there is an occult group searching for that stolen page Brodie and Zakk has. If there’s a sequel to this film, perhaps more of what this evil group represents can be explored. They seem to have gotten the shaft for being the true villains because their presence was only a blip on the radar. In what’s splattered with punk, this film is very sexually charged with the gorefest that also includes the creative use of adult toys to defeat the beast.
What this film delivers is a wonderful setup for more hijinks in a vein similar to Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure (and a tie-in to What We Do in Shadows) if Howden wants it to. The kiwi style humour in both products will gel. With this motley gang now united as a group, there’s no time to go smokin’ in the boys room.
4 Stars out of 5