Metal Hurlant Chronicles
Tales Of The Expected
Release Date: OUT NOW!
2012- 2014 | 15 | Blu- ray/ DVD/ download Director: Guillaume Lubrano Cast: Michael Biehn, Kelly Brook, Joe Flanigan, Rutger Hauer, James Marsters, Michelle Ryan
There’s only one way to enjoy Metal Hurlant Chronicles. Well, two if you include not watching it. The other is trying to predict how many minutes into any episode you can guess the twist. Hint: never bet on double figures.
This English- language Franco-Belgian co- production is basically Sci- Fi Twist Greatest Hits. Aside from “… and their names were Adam and Eve” the show boasts all the classics. Would we be giving away spoilers by listing them? Do “twists” that are self- evident count as spoilers? Possibly. Let’s just say, there is a child in one story whose name is – we learn in the last line of the episode – Adolf.
Admittedly, the show has an excuse. It’s based on classic science fiction anthology magazine of the ’ 70s and ’ 80s Métal Hurlant, which featured stories and art by such contemporary big- name SF creators as Moebius, Berni Wrightson, Dan O’Bannon and Jean Giraud. It’s the same magazine that inspired the US animated movie Heavy Metal ( 1981). There are similarities between that film and this series, besides both being anthologies and utter tosh. The stories in the film are linked by an evil artefact called the Loc- Nar; in the series they’re linked by the “Métal Hurlant” – the last fragment of a once- living planet, condemned to travel ceaselessly through space and time, screaming its sadness and despair.
All 12 episodes are adaptations of stories from the magazine, which explains why they feel so overly familiar; all the ideas in them have been used time and time again in films and television shows since then. There’s even a story based on an urban myth about Walt Disney that’s been thoroughly debunked since.
All of which may have been bearable on a “historical interest” level if the show weren’t also so appallingly made. Some big- name sci- fi guest stars try their best, but fight a losing battle against the amateurish direction, cheap effects and clunky dialogue. Watching this show, you’ll be the one ceaselessly screaming in sadness and despair.
His Pinhead costume still needed a lot of work.