Dir: Jason Lei Howden
Starring: Milo Cawthorne, Kimberly Crossman, James Blake
UK DVD TBC from StudioCanal
Plot: Brodie’s a metalhead, forced to move in with his aunt and uncle when his mum goes nuts from too much meth. Adjusting to his new surroundings is hard, his love of metal making him a social outcast. He spends his time playing Dungeons and Dragons with his friends, or eyeing up Medina, his cousin’s hot girlfriend. That is until he meets Zakk, a fellow metalhead. When the two of them discover some ancient music sheets while investigating the squat of legendary metal singer, Rikki Daggers, they soon unleash hell, literally. It’s up to them to stop the forces of evil from taking over, fighting through the town’s demonically possessed population.
It seems like a long time since my teenage years of mosh-pits and twenty-sided die but Deathgasm appeals to those things I held dear back then (although I still love a bit of death metal). Howden brings his expertise as a practical effects man, and his natural talent for horror comedy that I assume comes genetically as a New Zealander, to wow us with Deathgasm. Contributing to the country’s tradition of horror comedy with such films as Brain Dead, Bad Taste, and the more recent What We Do In The Shadows, Deathgasm shows that the crown for horror comedy is firmly resides in New Zealand.
Deathgasm gives us a heavy dose of splatter that shares a kinship with films like Evil Dead and Brain Dead. The stylised appearance of the possessed as well as the vast array of weapons against them adds visual humour to match the many gags that this film barrages you with. Chainsaws, Axes (Both traditional axes and awesome guitars), paintball guns loaded with dice, and a few more I won’t mention because when you see you will laugh your balls off, Deathgasm keeps it’s kills fun and inventive.
Brodie is the every man metalhead that we can all relate too, and Medina is the girl next door that we’ve all lusted after. It’s the familiar aspects of Deathgasm that draw you in. I think if you ever listened to metal, you’ve had a friend like Zakk. Yet it’s the gory fun that keeps you watching all the way. It captures both the awkward reality and the powerful fantasy of the metalhead mindset.
As for any film that tries to encapsulate just what it means to be part of a musical sub-culture, Deathgasm has a great soundtrack (keep an eye out, it’s being released on vinyl if you’re a collector) full of face melting riffs. Deathgasm is to the metal community what Kevin and Perry Go Large is to dance music. Good fun and good music.
If there was a film to rival the popularity of Turbo Kid at this year’s Fright Fest, it’s Deathgasm and I have to say that for me, Deathgasm takes the crown. While Turbo Kid is nostalgic to the 80s, I feel more connected to Deathgasm’s love letter to metal. Both have the gore but this one just rocks harder.