“Symphonic post-apocalyptic reindeer-grinding Christ-abusing extreme war pagan Fennoscandian metal.”
That’s what bassist Pasi (Max Ovaska) answers when asked what kind of metal the band at the center of Finnish metal comedy Heavy Trip play. Pasi is the definitive historian of metal music and can recall every riff he’s every heard with uncanny ability. Pasi is joined in musical aspirations by frontman Turo (Johannes Holopainen), cheerful but always hungry drummer Jynkky (Antti Heikkinen), and guitarist Lotvonen (Samuli Jaskio). The four escape their mundane jobs in their small town by practicing in the basement of Lotvonen’s family owned reindeer slaughterhouse, with dreams of playing in Norways’ biggest metal festival. From there, what transpires is a journey of epic metal proportions; a corpse stealing, reindeer blood drenching, mental asylum escaping, badger fighting, guttural screaming quest with serious metal attitude.
In other words, Heavy Trip is the most joyous film 0f 2018. Though it’s not horror, its DNA is shaped by metal, and horror and metal are the genre equivalent of peanut butter and jelly. It’s also fitting that this black metal comedy is coming to theaters this Halloween season. Late-night theatrical showings will be taking place in top markets on October 5, 2018, with a nationwide VOD release set for October 12, 2018. In preparation, here are 6 horror movies steeped in metal music to watch before Impaled Rektum and Heavy Trip melt your face.
For the burgeoning metalhead, this is the best intro horror movie. Two twelve-year-old friends accidentally open a gate to hell in their backyard, unleashing demons, when they play a cursed LP by the band Sacrifix backwards. Young metalhead Terry (Louis Tripp) and hero Glen (Stephen Dorff) are excellent leads, and the practical effects are great. There’s a reason this remains a favorite in the genre.
So, this one is more garage rock than metal, but it still retains that hard rock spirit and a major sense of fun. The horror comedy is based on a simple setup: aliens are responsible for unleashing the zombie apocalypse and only Japanese rock band Guitar Wolf can save the day. Essentially playing out like one feature length music video that puts Guitar Wolf’s distortion infused, punk-influenced attitude and sound at the forefront while they slaughter zombies along the way. It’s an absolute blast.
This irreverent ‘80s creature feature sees its metal band Black Roses arriving at a small town and turning its teens into rebellious metalheads. But, the band is really a bunch of demons in disguise, and the kids aren’t just becoming rebellious, but actual monsters. It works because it’s directed by metalhead John Fasano (Rock ‘n’ Roll Nightmare), who brings together rubber-suited monsters and a catchy as hell soundtrack with bands like Lizzy Borden, Hallow’s Eve, King Kobra, and more.
Trick or Treat
Metal god Sammi Curr mysteriously died in a fire during the peak of his success. It turns out it was a Satanic ploy, as Sammi plans to return from the grave by possessing radio airwaves via his as-yet-unreleased final album. When his biggest fan Eddie (Marc Price) gets ahold of it first, Sammi uses Eddie to collect sacrifices until Eddie’s had enough and tries to fight back. If the title is any indication, this is a Halloween set metal horror mashup. Trick or Treat is one massive love letter to metal. Look for cameos by Ozzie Osbourne and Gene Simmons, music by former Motörhead guitarist “Fast” Eddie Clarke, and a ton of metal references throughout.
The Devil’s Candy
Often in movies, metal is synonymous with Satanism. Sean Byrne’s long-awaited follow up to The Love Ones refreshingly makes metal the vital tool against the demonic forces threatening to tear the Hellman family apart. The rural country home at the center of the film also happens to be home to a Satanic presence. The opening scene sees Ray Smilie (Pruitt Taylor Vince) playing his Flying V in front of a crucifix, trying to block out the voice of “Him.” That same voice seeks to possess and control Hellman patriarch Jesse (Ethan Embry) after the family moves in to the same house years later. It’s his love of his family, and his bond with his daughter over their shared passion for metal, that might keep “Him” at bay. A banging soundtrack that includes bands like Ghost, Slayer, Machine Head and metal references throughout, this one is a can’t miss for metalheads.
Written and directed by Jason Lei Howden, this New Zealand horror comedy is a definitive love letter to metalheads. Brodie is a social outcast, further ostracized because of his adoration of metal. He finds a kindred spirit in Zakk, who convinces him to break into an abandoned house to find metal musician Rikki Daggers. They succeed in finding Daggers, who hands them an album that contains “The Black Hymn,” before being offed by a Satanic cult moments later. Naturally, the boys play it and invoke a demon. Gore, death, and speed metal ensue. A soundtrack with artists like Axeslasher, Beastwars, Skull Fist, and Elm Street set against Howden’s ode to Peter Jackson’s early splatter work is a blood-soaked blast.
Bonus: Black Sabbath
This 1963 horror anthology by Mario Bava may not scream metal, but it inspired blues rock band Earth to reform as Black Sabbath, and they began incorporating occult themes and horror lyrics with a much more metal sound as a result. A stunning anthology that stars Boris Karloff and served as major inspiration to one of the most recognized metal bands should be required viewing for metalheads.
Heavy Trip thrashes into theaters on October 5, and VOD on October 12, 2018.