Heavy Metal (1981)

Article 4994 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 11-19-2015
Directed by Gerald Potterton
Featuring the voices of Don Francks, Caroline Semple, Richard Romanus
Country: Canada
What it is: Animated SF anthology

A glowing globe of evil tells tales of the evil it brings.

This animated SF anthology was apparently modeled off of a graphic science fiction magazine of the same name. I’ve never read the magazine, so I can’t say whether this movie is true to its spirit or not, but if this movie does so, than I wouldn’t have really enjoyed it. The movie definitely tries to be an “adult” work of science fiction, which means it’s heavy on the gore, nudity and sex; however, the stories that support the gore, nudity and sex aren’t particularly engaging. I like the futuristic noir pastiche about a cabbie the best; for one thing, it actually feels like it’s more or less telling a complete story. The two epic fantasies come across as rushed and cramped (the second one would have worked better if it had been developed into a full length movie), the zombie story feels more like an undeveloped idea, the first comic story (about a man on trial who has an “angle”) has a disappointing ending, and the second one (which feels influenced by underground comix and drug humor) is a mess, though it does feature the voices of several SCTV alumni. There’s lots of rock music on the soundtrack, and from what I gather, it was getting the rights to all this music that kept the movie off the DVD market for ages. Overall, I admire the movie’s ambitions, but I can’t say I found it satisfying.


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