Retro Review: ‘Heavy Metal’
Movies are such a powerful and visual medium that many movies become ingrained in the memories of fans. This could be for a multitude of reasons; strong characters, great action, thrilling scares, or any number of elements. But occasionally a film becomes a beloved classic to many purely because it is cool. That is why the Canadian/American animated movie Heavy Metal has a die hard cult following to this day. An adaptation of the popular magazine of the same name, Heavy Metal is everything awesome about 1980’s counter culture distilled into a single groundbreaking flick. High fantasy concepts; gratuitous sex and violence; stunning animation; and of course a killer soundtrack all converge into a single piece of art.
As an anthology film, there are nine tales all told connected by a green glowing orb which a representation of pure evil. Many complain that even though some of the stories have fascinating concepts, like the claustrophobic terror in B-17, they are rushed through and not fleshed out properly. But an engaging script is not the draw of this movie, it is the artistic aspects of the picture which make it unlike anything else. That is not to say the stories are drivel, in fact each segment of the anthology has its own unique voice. Harry Canyon is a neo-noir piece about a world-weary cabbie, B-17 is a terrifying take on a zombie story, and the grand finale Taarna is a fantasy epic too risque for its own picture.
Heavy Metal is truly an acquired taste in history of filmdom and it truly not for everyone. If the opening scene of a rotoscoped Corvette falling through space with the hard-hitting song “Radar Rider” by Riggs plays in the background does not hook you, then the rest of the movie will not be your cup of tea. But if those visuals has your adrenaline pumping, then you have just found a movie you will love for the rest of your life.