Here’s a New Year’s resolution for ya: I resolve to keep rockin’ yer F’n socks off! And to that end…
• RELEASE DATE: Available Now on Blu-ray
• WRITTEN BY: Jason Lei Howden
• DIRECTED BY: Jason Lei Howden
• STARRING: Milo Cawthorne, James Blake, Kimberley Crossman
I was going to start this ol’ revoltin’ review off with some of my award losing blather about how much I love the perfection of the heavy metal horror subgenre and how wonderful it is that DEATHGASM is a sparklin’ new gem in that creepy catagory, but F that, my fiends. You know me, you know what makes my pants tight, and let me tell ya—this is F’n that!!!
DEATHGASM concerns the adventures of two metalhead outcasts who join forces with a couple of D&D aficionados to form a garage band. What could go wrong there, I ask ya? Well, as it seems, plenty of s–t. Ya see, our heroes go and play a tune found within an ancient text and inadvertently turn half the town into blood-spewing demons! What follows is a whirlwind of insanity featuring bloody pants-s–tting, topless cultists, genital mutilation, and, naturally, ancient dark lords being summoned. There’s also a lil’ love triangle—ya know, in case you come to a grue-drenched splatterthon for explorations of human emotions.
The easiest way to describe what die-rector Jason Lei Howden has done here would be for me to tell you to close your eyes. All right, are they closed? OK, ignore any touching you think you may feel and imagine a world where Peter Jackson had made EVIL DEAD with a script by King Diamond and a splash of art die-rection by Frank Frazetta. Now, as awesome as that seems, imagine the final picture 4,568 times more rad than you imagined. That’s DEATHGASM.
As much as the main narrative of the flick is non-stop metal mayhem, special mention must be made of the interstitial sequences that feature some really cool animation and dream sequences that play out like the most metal imagery in the universe amped up even further than you would think possible. Eye lasers blast people’s clothes off, guitar solos are played on mountaintops rising above roiling seas, and normally sedate schoolgirls become axe-wielding metal maidens!
Hilarious, drenched in gallons of gore and surrounded by a sonic assault by some of today’s greatest underground metal, DEATHGASM die-livers like no other fright flick in recent memory. It’s that doodle of Eddie you did in your 7th grade history notebook come to screaming, bloody life; and for a lover of all things metal and horror, that is the greatest compliment you can pay a flick like this!
So grab a six-pack of lousy beer, gather up your denim clad friends, and throw up the horns with both hands… then, while still throwing the horns, awkwardly attempt to insert the Blu-ray into the machine and press play… and then get yer face melted by DEATHGASM!
HELL AND BACK
• RELEASE DATE: Available Now on Blu-ray, DVD, and VOD
• WRITTEN BY: Tom Gianas, Hugh Sterbakov, Zeb Wells
• DIRECTED BY: Tom Gianas, Ross Shuman
• STARRING: Nick Swardson, Mila Kunis, Bob Odenkirk
Ya know what I ne’er get to review? Adult themed animated features! Well, almost never. HELL AND BACK is a new stop-motion animated flick featurin’ Satan and swearin’… so we are already off to a rather killer start, my fiends!
Three slackers try to save a failing amusement park by making a blood oath involving an ancient tome (as anyone would do, naturally). The three are sucked into hell and are due to be executed. Before long they team-up with a succubus to seek out Orpheus, the one being in hell that can rescue them from their fate.
HELL AND BACK is the type of comedy that relies almost entirely on its raunchiness to generate laughs. Is this a bad thing? Not really, as long as the jokes are strong enough. In this flick that’s a bit of a hit or miss affair, but I will admit that when the jokes were on, they were dead on. Another mixed bag is the character design of the puppets utilized in the animation. While the main protagonists are rather dull design-wise, the demons and hell environments are really fun and well executed.
Another mark in the plus column for this flick is the rather strong voice talent on display: Swardson, Kunis, and Odenkirk are all strong performers in this, and the cast also includes Danny McBride and Susan Sarandon. No slouches in the lot, but as touched upon above, I wish they’d be given just a tad more quality dialogue to deliver.
The bottom line is this: if you enjoy the TV show ROBOT CHICKEN, which was produced by the company behind this film, Shadow Machine; then you will most likely enjoy this to some extent. If not, you may still find it a passable way to throw your brain on park for 85 minutes, but I doubt it’ll go into your “favorite films of all time” list.