Monday, January 4, 2016

DEATHGASM (2015) (Blu-ray Review)

Label: Dark Sky Films
Region Code: A
Rating: Unrated
Duration: 86 Minutes
Audio: English DTS-HD MA 5.1 Surround with Optional English SDH Subtitles
Video: 1080p HD Widescreen (2.35:1)
Director: Jason Lei Howden 
Cast: Milo Cawthorne, Kimberley Crossman, James Blake, Sam Berkley, Daniel Cresswell,Delaney Tubron, Stephen Ure

These past few years we have seen a good number of quality indie horror movies coming out of New Zealand, and they've done it yet again!  Deathgasm (2015) is a brutal metal horror-comedy about a misfit thrasher named Brodie (Milo Cawthorne) who is sent away to live with his lame Christian aunt and uncle. Which as you might imagine does not make for a perfect pairing, even worse is their soccer-jock douche nozzle son David (Nick Hoskins-Smith) who routinely harasses and beats down Brodie. Brodie manages to make a few outcast friends at school by way of Dungeons and Dragons nerds Dion (Sam Berkley), and Giles (Daniel Cresswell), and a fellow thrasher named Zakk (James Blake). The foursome join up and start a metal band in Brodie's garage, calling themselves DEATHGASM. 

when Zakk and Brodie discover through an underground  metal zine that their reclusive idol Rikki Daggers (Stephen Ure) of the band Haxansword lives in town they break into his house and find the aging rocker looking a bit worse for the wear and out of his mind. Daggers gives the teens a sheet of ancient music known as the Black Hymn which is said to grant Ultimate Power to whoever plays it. They do what any teenage thrasher would, they take it to band practice and perform the doomed dirge as fast as can be. As they play it strange things begin to happen, the kick drum bleeds blood, the neighbors vomit blood, and before you know it the whole damn town is inhabited by demonic forces. Yup, these studded-leather longhairs have unknowingly summoned an ancient evil entity known as Aeloth The Blind One who will threaten to destroy the world, and our thrashers are the only ones who can stop the demonic apocalypse. 

This spunky metal horror-comedy comes of as equal parts The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys and Trick or Treaty with a generous helping of Peter Jackson-esque gore throughout. On top of that we have a blistering Metal soundtrack that will have you cheering on our thrashers as you pump the devil horns into the air - this is a fuck ton of fun. As a lifelong metal fan I was pretty much guaranteed to love this with the teenage thrasher mentality, the witty script and spot-on metallic humor, there's just too much fun stuff happening here to not love it. 

The gore stuff exquisite, and fans of Evil Dead 2 and Peter Jackson's Dead Alive will enjoy the brutal and heinous bloodbath that ensues, with each scene of slaughter followed-up with a pitch perfect witty quips and loads of visual puns, these thashers truly give the demons metal up their ass. 

I looved the moments of daydreams and fantasy that are brought to life in a fun way in a few spots. Brodie daydreams of being a metal-god worshipped by teased hair metal whores - it's fun stuff. A young blond named Medina (Kimberley Crossman) is a bit of a virginal goodie-goodie who is dating Brodie's cousin at the start of the movie, but Brodie thrasher wins her over with his corpse paint, turning her onto metal in the process. When she first hears the heavy tuneage through the headphones of her Walkman she imagines herself as a viking metal warrior atop a mountain, which perfectly captures the empowering sound of metal to teenage ears.

Back to the gore, it's brutal and done mostly old school with loads of blood and guts spewing from decapitated heads, severed arteries and disembowlings. The weapons of choice for our thrashers range from barbed wire weed whackers, drill-pointed guitars, vibrating dildos, the classic chainsaws and of course axes - there's a pretty great variety to choose from, and all of it is violent and blood-soaked through and through.  

Blu-ray Special Features:

- Audio Commentary with Writer-Director Jason Lei Howden
- Three Behind-the-Scenes Featurettes (15 Mins) HD 
- Music Video: Bulletbelt "Deathgasm" (4 Mins) HD 
- Trailer (2 Mins) HD 
- Teaser (1 Mins) HD 
- Sleeve of Reversible Artwork 

I loved this one, the metal-humor and thrashing music were awesome, the characters are fun and the gore is non-stop. Deathgasm is a high-energy metal-thrashing mad horror-comedy that hit all the right notes for me. Having watched it four times just this past week I can speak to how well it holds up to repeat viewing, this one will be around for some time - a riotous blast of metal mayhem. 4/5