Deathgasm (2015)

<strong class="MovieTitle">Deathgasm</strong> (2015)

(On Cable TV, December 2018) One of the best things about cheaper digital filmmaking equipment and the resulting explosion in smaller-scale independent productions is that it allows a greater number of people to express their point of view. It’s not quite outsider art, but it can often feel like it especially once those movies espouse niche passions and aesthetics. If you’re a New Zealander Heavy Metal fan, for instance, Deathgasm is there for you as it describes the experience of Heavy Metal high-school outcasts in confronting a demonic invasion of their hometown. Riffing off metal aesthetics and gory horror movie tropes, Deathgasm is made by and for a specific audience. In the film’s value system, rocking out is tops, fantasies have you on top of a mountain brandishing a sword while surrounding by cavorting nude girls (a fantasy that’s apparently common to both the male and female lead), and the devil exists … but he can be vanquished by the power of metal. While this is not exactly a unique concept (if I had a movie theatre, I’d try booking a triple bill with Trick or Treat and Tenacious D and the Pick of Destiny), it’s far enough from the norm to be enjoyable in its own way. The granguignolesque amount of gore is made palatable by the film’s overall comedic tone and dynamic energy. Hailing from New Zealand, Deathgasm is sure to reach a worldwide audience. I do admire the conviction with which writer/director Jason Lei Howden achieves his own objectives. I’m not a metal-head nor a gore-hound, but I did have a surprisingly good time watching Deathgasm.

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