Heavy Metal was the magazine to read during the 70s and 80s. The reason is that it was the place for talents to write or draw what they want–and not be restricted by censorship. In its original format, I was introduced to the works of Jean Giraud (a.k.a. Moebius). In the American edition, names like H. R. Giger, William Gibson and Harlan Ellison soon graced this publication.
Some of the writing and the artwork featured was once considered cutting edge; it’s very clearly a product of its time. The sexist works won’t hold up today for obvious reasons, and releasing this movie is mostly for those who are okay to the violence and adult themes portrayed. Fans of this anthology series have a remastered 4K presentation of the first movie to thrill to. An extra disc of the main and the second film on blu-ray was unusual. When comparing the prices of the Amazon USA and Canada edition, the former is the better place to order from.
In looking at the purchased physical release rather than an advanced online screener (that I had to wait to arrive by mail order), there’s plenty to like in this remaster. A bit of that soft grainy look is gone, and the better images come later in the film than earlier. Plus, for collectors, the Steelbook offering is a huge draw!
The new sound mix is not too overdone, and in a proper sound stage, the experience is certainly engaging. However, I prefer the 5.1 mix since that’s the default setting I leave my recieiver on (because of all the video streaming I do). The upgrade is only worthwhile for people who have a proper ATMOS home theatre setup with proper top mounted speakers than those units which fire the sound upwards for reflecting down to the listener. To not overpower the experience, the discrete effects were downplayed.
The music of the 70s and early 80s stands the test of time and as for the animation, not always. Parts of the work were rotoscoped and there’s been some advances in the technique since then. This movie still holds today because of the nostalgia. Plus, for newcomers to this anthology series, the documentary, “Heavy Metal: A Look Back” makes the first time purchase worthwhile. And for those wondering if there’s even a spiritual successor, I’d have to say Spine of the Night is it (review found here).
HEAVY METAL FILM SYNOPSIS
Based on the fantastically illustrated magazine HEAVY METAL, producer Ivan Reitman enlists the help of some of Hollywood’s animation masters to create the otherworldly tale of a glowing green orb from outer space that spreads destruction throughout the galaxy. Only when encountered by its one true enemy, to whom it is inexplicably drawn, will goodness prevail throughout the universe.
Richly and lavishly drawn, the vignettes of the orb’s dark victories include the character voices of John Candy, Harold Ramis and a pounding soundtrack by Black Sabbath, Blue Oyster Cult, Cheap Trick, Devo, Donald Fagen, Don Felder, Grand Funk Railroad, Sammy Hagar, Journey, Nazareth, Stevie Nicks, Riggs, and Trust. Highly imaginative and full of surprising special effects, HEAVY METAL set the standard for alternative contemporary animation. An intoxicating experience not to be missed!
DISC DETAILS & BONUS MATERIALS
ON THE HEAVY METAL 4K ULTRA HD DISC
- Feature presented in 4K resolution with Dolby Vision, reviewed and approved by Ivan Reitman
- New 2022 Dolby ATMOS soundtrack – a brand-new immersive experience utilising enhanced sound effects and much more, supervised by producer Ivan Reitman!
- Also includes the 2022 mix in 5.1, and the original 1981 theatrical Dolby Stereo audio
- Special Features:
(NEW) Heavy Metal: A Look Back – an all-new retrospective featuring reflections from producer Ivan Reitman, famous fans Kevin Smith, Norman Reedus, and more!
ON THE HEAVY METAL BLU-RAY DISC™
- Feature presented in High Definition with 5.1 audio
- Special Features:
Original Feature-Length Rough Cut with Optional Commentary by Carl Macek
Imagining Heavy Metal Documentary
Alternate Framing Story with Commentary
HEAVY METAL 2000 BLU-RAY DISC™
- Feature presented in High Definition (newly remastered), with 5.1 audio
- Special Features:
Julie Strain: Super Goddess