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Heavy Metal (1981)

by on 2013/01/14

heavy_metal_1981“She doesn’t talk much, does she?”

* * *

The universe conspired against the completion of this review. First PlayStation’s Crackle channel failed me not once, but twice – abruptly stopping my screening of this infamous piece of animated jiggle physics.

When I finally managed to slog through the remainder using a convoluted and exhausting process, I was weary and cranky.

It was like a great, green, glowing evil was trying to stop me from reviewing this movie. No, not Sammy Hagar. Another evil.

As much as I would love to blame Sammy Hagar, rock vocalist, one-time Van Halen front-man and alien abductee, for my bad mood, I can’t. Not entirely anyway.

I’ve seen Heavy Metal once before, hustling it out of the video store like a piece of hardcore contraband years ago.

For the uninitiated among you, it is all rather like the sketches you’d find on the English binder of a sociopathic high school boy made into a moving picture. Zombie soldiers, super villains with long fingernails, nude mudflap lady-shaped women, giant bats, elephant-nosed aliens, warrior women in thongs holding great swords aloft.

I’m a huge fan of animation. Perhaps it was the completist in me, trying to expose myself to every possible form of animated feature film when first shamefacedly rented it. There’s nudity and violence a-plenty in this toon.

For lack of a better description, it is sort of like Arabian Nights, told by a green, glowing ball of evil, with full frontal nudity, substance abuse and hair-band metal power chords. A series of seemingly disconnected unseemly tales make up the balance of the film. There’s the tale of an astronaut, a balding cabbie, a hulking he-man transported to another dimension, WWII air force zombies, a corrupt space captain, the kidnapping of a buxom typist by aliens, and a warrior maiden.

The only thing that saves the entire, wobbly affair are the voice acting talents of John Candy (Uncle Buck), Eugene Levy (Second City: First Family of Comedy), Joe Flaherty (The Wrong Guy), Jackie Burroughs (The Dead Zone) and of course, the King of Kensington, Al Waxman.

Hearing John Candy’s great, familiar voice was a balm against the action on the screen. His nerdy science-loving teenage character is transported through time and space to a place called Neverwhere where he is a hulking, be-muscled bald man named Den dressed only in a banana hammock loin cloth.

Den gets the top-heavy chicks. Yes sir.

And that’s, um, good.

Now, I suppose you can argue that, in the end, a woman saves the universe. So there’s a positive message in there somewhere, betwixt all the jumblies.

Yes, a woman does save the universe. But how practical is a monokini with a thong as battle garb? I’d argue, not very practical at all.

I have to admit, Heavy Metal just isn’t my thing. Not really.

Come for the ladies in various stage of dishabille and stay for the amazing Canadian voice acting.

* * *

86 minutes

Rated R

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