The SXSW Film Festival just had a Deathgasm, and the theater is covered in blood.
Deathgasm is a mix between Evil Dead 2 and “Metalocalypse”, and delivers on its promise to be the most metal horror film ever.
Drawing inspiration from Black Roses (1988) and Trick or Treat (1986), Deathgasm is a New Zealand horror comedy from Jason Lei Howden that pushes the film as far as it can go.
In Deathgasm, Brodie (Milo Cawthorne) is new to town. He meets Zakk (James Blake), a fellow heavy metal fan. The duo form a band, and sing lyrics to an ancient Satanic ritual, which unleash a horde of demons onto the town.
Other than some pacing issues, Deathgasm is the horror film a 15-year-old me would have creamed his pants over. The film revs up tons of chainsaws, decapitating dozens of demons; you’ll see giant dildos jammed into demons heads; and there’s plenty of sharp objects used to cut demons in pieces.
A slight flaw is that, in an attempt to push the limits of onscreen gore, the filmmakers ham up what could have been something a bit more impactful. What they do is, after a decapitation of sorts, hang on the shot a bit too long to where the audience can see just how fake the gag is. If it had been edited down a bit tighter, the impact would have been ten fold. Still, I admire the attempt to push the boundaries, even though nobody will ever top Dead Alive.
Frankly, the thing I liked best about Deathgasm, besides the heavy metal plot, was the relationship arc between Brodie and Medina (Kimberley Crossman). It’s rare when a horror film actually connects the romantic dots and creates real sexual tension.
Also, I think it’s important that Deathgasm felt authentic. At no point did I feel as if these kids (or the filmmakers) were posers. Can you imagine a heavy metal horror film in which the characters looked and felt like “Melrose Place” actors wearing dark makeup? Ugh.
Deathgasm isn’t perfect by any means, but it’s satisfying. It’s got spirit, a great heart, and it’s really fun. It’s a record you can spin over and over again with friends. It may just as well work itself into the lore of cult classic fandom.