Heavy Metal [DVD] 
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Based on the fantastical 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!
As long as there is a need for adolescent male sexual fantasy, there will be an audience for Heavy Metal. Released in 1981 and based on stories from the graphic magazine of the same name, this silly and senseless the movie is an aimless, juvenile amalgam of disjointed stories and clashing visual styles. Hundreds of animators from around the world were employed, resulting in a near-total absence of creative cohesion in the finished product. It remains, for better and worse, a midnight-movie favourite for the stoner crowd--a movie best enjoyed by randy adolescents or near-adults in an altered state of consciousness.
With a framing story about a glowing green orb claiming to be the embodiment of all evil, the film shuttles through eight episodic tales of sci-fi adventure, each fuelled by some of the most wretched rock music to emerge from the late 1970s-early 80s period. The most consistent trademark is an abundance of blood-splattering violence and wet-dream sex, the latter involving a succession of huge-breasted babes who shed their clothes at the drop of a G-string. It's rampantly brainless desire to fuel the young male libido becomes rather fun, and for all its incoherence Heavy Metal impresses for the ambitious artistry of its individual segments. Produced by Ivan Reitman (who went on to direct Ghostbusters), the voice talents include several Canadian veterans of the Second City improvisation comedy troupe--including John Candy, Harold Ramis, Eugene Levy and Joe Flaherty--many of whom went on to greater fame on the US TV series Saturday Night Live. --Jeff Shannon
DVD Special Features Feature-length Rough Cut with Optional Commentary by Carl MacEk, Production notes Theatrical trailer Documentary: Imagining Heavy Metal Art Galleries Deleted Scenes, Carl MacEk reading his book "Heavy Metal: The Movie" 1:85:1 widescreen anamorphic Dolby Digital 5.1
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Top Customer Reviews
Due to wrangles over the rights to the soundtrack, the film did not make an official appearance on dvd and video for many years. The only copies available were crass quality illegal ones. Its arrival on dvd is therefore, belated but the wait has been worthwhile.
The 5.1 soundtrack is good on the dvd and is actually at a lower level than that of the vhs which was very loud but tended to obscure the dialogue. The dvd restores the dialogue to its correct place with the soundtrack playing second fiddle. The soundtrack is still great in 5.1 though and gives the viewer a great experience when played on a full home cinema set up.
The plot revolves around a mysterious green jewel called the Loc Nar which corners a terrified young girl at the film's beginning. We learn that this Loc Nar is the sum of all evil as it recounts six tales to this girl.
The first tale is 'Harry Canyon' which is set in a futuristic but run down New York. A Chandleresque taxi driver by the name of Harry Canyon plies his trade amidst this decrepit city. There he encounters a girl and the Loc Nar. Sassy and full of humour, this is one of the best episodes.
The next tale is 'Den' which sees a geeky young lad transported by the Loc Nar to an alternate universe. There he is given a super hero's body and sets out to save the world (and the girl, naturally).Read more ›
This film begins when a mysterious and very evil green orb named Loc Nar corners a little girl and forces her to listen to Six Stories. Considering that Loc Nar is, as all evil in the world, a totallly self centered megalomaniac, all those stories are of course about Loc Nar...
1. "Harry Canyon". In a quite horrible future New York a cynical taxi driver named Harry Canyon meets a damsel in distress... This story, inspired by "film noir" classics, became such a cult thing, that Luc Besson copied large parts of it into his "Fifth Element" film, with Bruce Willis character being a copy of Harry Canyon...
2. "Den". A nerdy frail teenager gets sucked into a wormhole and, transformed into a superhero, meets a damsel in distress, who was about to be sacrificed to evil god Uhluhtc (in fact Cthulhu, just spelled backwards). Extremely funny, absolutely not-politically correct and life-threatening for any feminist who would watch it...)))
3. "Captain Sternn". On a space station a sniggering space pirate, Captain Lincoln Sternn is on trial for crimes which are too many to be described here... An absolutely hilarious and also slightly insane story...)))
4. "B-17". The shortest but also the toughest of all the stories. No humour here - it is a WWII horror story...
5. "So Beautiful and So Dangerous". A scientist and a voluptuous blond secretary are abducted by aliens.Read more ›
The obvious male-fantasy aspects will probably put off women from watching this title. That said, it is ALWAYS worth hiding in the cupboard.
The short stories, tacked together with a very shallow segment involving a green orb that is 'the root of all evil', are glorious in their own right. Each and every one of these bizarre little tales is worth watching again and again, you'll notice things you didn't before on subsequent viewings.
DVD extras are superb, with a rough-cut, which isn't even fully animated, but shows some aspects that didn't appear in the final picture. There is even a massive selection of Heavy Metal Magazine covers in a photo gallery, bonus! Add to this a 'making of & staff interview' featurette, and we're onto one fantastic DVD package, wonderful.
This is a film which you will either love or hate. Some people would never even submit to watching animated films in the first place (it's their loss). If, like me, you like to watch things that are unusual, and not 'by-numbers', then you should give this a try.
100% recommended to the open minded male (and his understanding partner).
Most Recent Customer Reviews
brilliant art and animation, no idea what the stories about. would recommend to animation fansPublished 25 days ago by ben
Ive been looking for many years for this movie on DVD and cudnt find it any where, when I saw it on Amazon I cudnt resist it and bought it and enjoyed it all over againPublished 9 months ago by Thomas Smith