DEATHGASM

Discussion in 'Other' started by MorallySound, Nov 23, 2015.

  1. MorallySound

    MorallySound Mad Mutilator

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    [​IMG] Reviewer: MorallySound
    Review Date: November 23, 2015

    Released by: Timpson Films
    2015

    No other genre of music has been vilified and demonized as much as heavy metal music. Since its birth in the late '60s, spawned out of blues, psychedelic, and garage rock, it's been criticized and condemned for supposedly causing violence, rebellion, and moral erosion by upright citizens with straight-guided moral compasses across the world for as long as it has been around. But than again, they also pointed their fingers at the rock 'n roll invasion started by the likes of The Beatles, and previously before that jazz music, etc. etc. etc, on and on and on. The Video Nasties era? Satanic Panic? Lots of unfair finger-pointing going on towards metal music and horror films and those who enjoy them over the years. This so-called Devil's music was quick to adopt this dark cloak and the symbolism of the occult projected upon them in order to mock the moral majority whom just couldn't tap their feet to such angst-ridden tunes, as not only did loud shredding riffs, played at a variety of speeds and frequencies, sound totally heavy, but it made a statement. But what if the metalheads were wrong, and their music does indeed summon these demons?

    The Story

    inline Image Brodie (Milo Cawthorne, Blood Punch), a teenage metalhead, is sent to live with his ultra-conservative Christian relatives after his single mother is institutionalized for performing a sex act on a mall Santa. Already an outcast, he's further picked on by his jock cousin David and his entourage on the first day at the new high school. It's during this scruff that he meets the other school misfits, Dion (Sam Berkley) and Giles (Daniel Cressell), who invite him to play a lunch-time game of D&D and share a mutual loathing for the jocks. Already bored with his new surroundings, he heads to the local record shop - which also houses a psychic medium - to scope the metal vinyl selection. Amongst the Cannibal Corpse and the Posion Brodie meets Zakk (James Blake), the local trouble-maker whom also has a penchant for Devil horns and shredding guitars. They strike up a fast friendship and Brodie asks if he wants to start a band. Not just any band of course, but a heavy metal band.

    inline Image Forward to their first band practice, Brodie and Zakk on guitars, Dion on keys, and Giles on the drums, they may not be all that great to start but at least they've already got the best band name ever - DEATHGASM - spelled in all caps. Soon Zakk mentions a local legend that the famous leader of the metal band Haxansword may actually be squatting in an abounded house around town, so Zakk and Brodie break in to the place, and actually find the man himself, Rikki Daggers (Stephen Ure, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey), passed out and clutching an uber-rare Haxansword record. While trying to steal the record, Daggers startles them and threatens them before they confess they are just metal fans whom found out where he was because of a recent metal zine story he wrote. Rikki, appearing paranoid, quickly tells them that there are people after him and, after handing them the Haxansword LP, to guard the record with their lives. They bolt as soon as a few other uninvited guests show up at the squat looking for Daggers.

    Back at their jam space, aka Brodie's religious Uncle's garage, they find out there is no Haxansword LP in the sleeve, but instead some weird old sheet music written in Latin. So what do they do? They decide to learn it and play it! Turns out it's the Black Hymn used to summon The Blind One and unleashes a demonic force that soon takes over the town turning everyone into bloodthirsty demons. But it's not just demons that DEATHGASM has to worry about as it turns out the people after Rikki Daggers were a group of Satanists hellbent on getting that sheet music for themselves before the blood moon rises and the Devil's hour strikes! Now it's up to Brodie, his band mates, and love interest Medina (Kimberley Crossman) to shred- er, save the day!

    inline Image DEATHGASM simply started as a pitch and movie poster, which became the winning entry from a 2013 New Zealand contest called Make My Horror Movie headed up by producer Ant Timpson, whom was also responsible for developing The ABCs of Death and Turbo Kid in a similar fashion. First time director Jason Lei Howden obviously knows the genre and its New Zealand roots as DEATHGASM clearly references Peter Jackson's early work in its tone and splatter, going for laughs and gore gags. Hell, one of the characters sports a Bad Taste T-shirt in the movie. While the film may not be wholly original, as a lot of these ideas have been done before in films like The Gate and Evil Dead, DEATHGASM still remains a lot of fun. Howden also obviously knows the heavy metal genre, or "hivvy mittle" as it sounds like when pronounced with a thick New Zealand accent. The movie and soundtrack are littered with references, jokes, and a few classic cuts to raise those Devil horns to.

    inline Image
    Where DEATHGASM works is in its action sequences, practical effects, and humour keeping things inventive and gory and turning objects like double-sided dildos and vibrators into weapons against the demonically possessed. There's some great comic timing which includes a great bit in the first third of the film when we are first introduced to the Satanist high society and one of the minions is beheaded. Of course they would commit the act over an expensive carpet with no plastic laid down, so they are instructed to behead the beheaded again… which ends up being a ruse for another hilariously offensive gag altogether. It's these small moments, that harken back to the hilariously grotesque Bad Taste and Dead Alive, where DEATHGASM finds its strengths. But the film also has its fair share of weaknesses. Characters are fairly one dimensional and the story pretty self-contained, and the final act specifically seems too hurried in trying to wrap things up. When things get going it doesn't let up, but it almost could use a few more instances of calm to flesh out the characters and their relationships which are all fairly cliched here, and to provide and build more tension which is sorely lacking.

    Final Thoughts

    Overall, DEATHGASM is an entertaining 86 minutes of mayhem despite these flaws. It's a gory, fairly funny, first effort for Jason Lei Howden that pays homage to its predecessors in the genre by imitation. It might appeal more to the sophomoric horror crowd, and those specifically already with a taste for heavy metal, but may not necessarily fit much outside that box. There are far worse imitators you could waste your time on, but if you want outcast teenagers doing battle with Hellish demons using drills attached to their guitars (obviously another horror movie reference) DEATHGASM is worth a spin. It just may not have a whole lot of replay value for some.


    Rating

    [​IMG] Movie - B


     
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  2. x666x

    x666x Well-Known Member

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    Great review. I too liked the film but was not in love with it at the same time. A good film to watch with like minded friends. Perhaps while drinking. Maybe that was what was missing during my viewing. Still fun, though.
     
  3. Workshed

    Workshed a.k.a. Villyan Shit

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    Yes, it is heightened while watching it in the theater with friends and beers, I can confirm. Nice review.
     
  4. Katatonia

    Katatonia Hellbound Heart

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    This movie is awesome... can't wait for the Blu-ray!
     

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