DEATH­GASM

Death and axes

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Reviews -

re­leased OUT NOW! 2015 | 15 | Blu- ray ( Zavvi ex­clu­sive)/ DVD

Di­rec­tor Ja­son Lei How­den

Cast Milo Cawthorne, James Blake,

Kim­ber­ley Cross­man, Sam Berkley

Early on in this Kiwi hor­ror, its gui­tar- play­ing hero de­scribes ush­er­ing in the end of the world by turn­ing de­monic sheet mu­sic into heavy metal as “the big­gest dick move ever” – but there’s com­pe­ti­tion in that cat­e­gory. In one scene, he takes on a horde of the de­mon­i­cally pos­sessed by swing­ing around a prodi­giously­sized, wob­bly black dildo.

Not a film to watch with your nan, then – but it’s far more charm­ing than you might ex­pect. An unashamed throw­back to hor­ror- com­edy’s gory glory days of the ’ 80s, it com­bines its car­toon vi­o­lence ( high­light: a me­chanic hav­ing an en­gine dropped on their head) with an im­pres­sive ar­ray of witty one- lin­ers ( of a bully: “He’s hos­pi­talised more nerds than asthma”), to­tal mas­tery of the sight gag ( a met­al­head is sy­phon­ing petrol; the cam­era pulls back to re­veal he’s rob­bing it from an am­bu­lance), and a sur­pris­ing amount of heart.

Okay, it ain’t ex­actly orig­i­nal ( Evil Dead is at least 60% of the recipe) or in­tel­lec­tu­ally chal­leng­ing, and there’s some­thing of a se­cond- act slump, but debu­tant di­rec­tor Ja­son Lei How­den at­tacks his “What if metal re­ally was evil?” premise with such brio that even a be- san­dalled folkie may find them­selves throw­ing some devil horns.

Ex­tras None. Ian Ber­ri­man

The film was funded us­ing the $ 200,000 prize money for New Zealand film­mak­ing com­pe­ti­tion Make My Hor­ror Movie.

It’s got noth­ing to do with your vor­sprung durch tech­nik you know.

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