DEATHGASM: Proof You Can Be a Headbanger and Still Have a Sense of Humor

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Deathgasm Blu-ray New Zealand

DEATHGASM on Blu-ray disc from Metal Heads / Dark Sky Films is a Heavy Metal gore fest horror/comedy that is as serious as its name implies. What I mean is that when you read the title of this movie, the first thing that comes to mind is not “This is going to be scary, and terrifying.” No, the first thing that is going to come to mind is probably what came to mine: ”I bet this is a hoot!” And, my friends, it is.

Filmed in New Zealand with mostly local actors, DEATHGASM tells the story of a would-be headbanger, Brodie (Milo Cawthorne), who is sent to live with his straight-laced uncle and his family after his mother get arrested. He is immediately disliked by his jock cousin and his friends at school because he’s a headbanger and listens to what they call "devil-worshiping, heavy metal music."

Brodie, who I would classify as a heavy metal nerd, does find a couple of friends at his new school -- two definitely not-metal but definitely nerdy guys by the names of Dion (Sam Berkley) and Giles (Daniel Cresswell), as well as a stereotypical metalhead introvert who hates the world and only cares for himself, Zakk (James Blake). Both Brodie and Zakk are more fans of death/thrash/speed metal than of ACDC/Judas Priest/Motorhead (Rest in peace Lemme!), and decide to start a band (I guess it is a given that everyone into heavy metal can play an instrument), along with his two other nerdy pals Dion and Giles.

Our heroes decided to call their new formed band DEATHGASM because that’s what Zakk wants to call them (in all capital letters, because as Zakk says” lower case letters are for pussies”) and, to be frank, they are pretty terrible. That is until Zakk and Brodie stumble upon ancient sheet music while breaking into the home  of Rikki Daggers (Stephen Ure), the leader of their favorite Heavy Metal band--ancient sheet music that, when played, guarantees them success and--oh, yeah--summons demons.

And where would a movie about teenage nerdy headbangers be without the customary gorgeous high school girl that likes our hero Brodie but also happens to be the girlfriend of Brodie’s cousin and doesn’t like the way he picks on Brodie? Nowhere, so that is why we have one here with the beautiful Medina (Kimberly Crossman). Things go along until Brodie gets the snot kicked out of him by his cousin and friends, and decides he has had enough of being picked on and plays the music. Almost instantly, all the townspeople start plucking their eyeballs out and vomiting; no, spewing is a better word; no, still yet maybe erupting forth blood is more descriptive.

Knowing they must set things right, they realize they have to play the music backwards to send the demons back. But they can’t find the music, and they have to carve their way through family and friends who are not blood spewing blind demons. Carve is a good word; there are plenty of lopped limbs and heads, and bodies split in two to satisfy anyone's need for gore.

Did I mention this is a comedy? Well, it is, and let me just say that the comedy here works very well. Before things start to get too serious and dark, something is said that is either campy or just plain funny, and there are plenty of sight gags as well to lighten things up.

Now, one thing there is not a lot of is bare breasts. Yes, there are a couple but not as many as you’d think as is typical in this genre of movie. What there is, though, is cussing and a lot of penises--mostly in the form of dildos and other marital aids. Now, that may sound disgusting but when push comes to shove (okay bad choice of words there) you’d be surprised just how much damage a dildo can to on a blind, zombie-like demon…and never mind what a string of anal beads can do when used like a nun-chuck!

At the end of the day what carries this movie is the quite fine acting of the cast. You can tell they are having fun with what they are doing--and these are bonafide actors here! Kimberly Crossman (Medina) is a soap star living in LA who came back to New Zealand to be in this movie. Milo Cawthorne (Brodie) was a Power Ranger (okay maybe not the best example of a thespian, but still a fine actor). Even Stephan Ure (Rikke Daggers) worked with Peter Jackson as an orc on LORD OF THE RINGS (okay again maybe not the best example of someone giving lines, but you better believe it takes real skill to perform in makeup without dialog). The jokes also are never too much or too stupid; to me they were more witty and typical of what I would call British humor. (Yes, I know this was made in New Zealand, but how many people outside of there know what New Zealand humor is?)

From start to finish I found this to be a fun movie, because I was reasonably sure of what I was going to see. And that’s okay. Who needs surprises beyond shock value in a movie such as this.

The extras are done nicely, and make a nice addition to the DVD. They are:

  1. Brotherhood Of Steel: The cast of DEATHGASM -- This was good, showed the cast during some part readings, interviews with them taken obviously in between scenes. I learned that a lot of the scenes were filmed out of sequence, and that in one scene where an actor had been splattered with blood, pictures had to be taken so that the splattered blood could be precisely reapplied in order to come back to that shot later to finish it.

  2. Demon Seed: An Interview with Jason Lei Howden -- Some insights from the writer/director on how the movie came about and was made.

  3. Gorgasm: The FX Of DEATHGASM -- Pretty self-explanatory but cool all the same.

  4. Music Video: Bulletbelt “DEATHGASM” -- Not my kind of metal, good rhythm but could not understand a single solitary syllable being sung…er, shouted…er, screamed into the mic.

  5. Trailer

  6. Teaser -- Basically a shorter version of the trailer with less talking and more scenes from the movie.
4.0 / 5.0