Saturday, July 25, 2015

Deathgasm (2015)

Director: Jason Lei Howden
Notable Cast: Milo Cawthorne, James Blake, Kimberley Crossman, Sam Berkley, Daniel Cresswell, Delaney Tabron

What happens when you take high school bullying, an immense love for metal, Satanism, tongue in cheek humor, and several doses of complete carnage and stick it in a blender? You get ninety minutes of Deathgasm. Being a complete New Zealand production, the country as of late has been churning out quality that Hollywood could only dream of. The booming film industry has been shining light on the country’s actors, writers and directors including Deathgasm’s Jason Lei Howden. Having dabbled with WETA, the veteran special effects workshop that worked on more films than one can count; Howden was well experienced in working with special effects which Deathgasm shows off in spades. But how does this love affair between metal and horror show its head? And even better, is it a worthwhile ride?  It’s probably best to buckle your seat belt because this is going to be one hell of a ride.

Our lead, 26 year old Milo Cawthorne, plays Brodie, a metalhead who unwillingly moves in with his uncle, aunt, and his jackass cousin. Being an outcast without a break, things seem to change for the better when he runs into fellow metalhead Zak. Along with two friends that Brodie shares his likelihood to get his ass kicked with, the quartet form a new band called, you guessed it, Deathgasm. Cue in Medina, Brodie’s cousin’s girlfriend who takes a liking to Brodie quite quickly. Things suddenly take a turn when Zak and Brodie decide to break into a metal legend’s hiding spot and uncover some ancient pages with notes to a mysterious song. When the two metalheads barely escape after a hostile stranger breaks in after them, they decide to play the song. Well someone better tell these kids that not all songs are meant to be played.

What Deathgasm’s strongest point is that it’s a film that takes two different but related passions and welds the two perfectly together. Sprinkled with humor throughout, Deathgasm is a love letter for both horror and metal fans which is made apparent with the wonderful intro alone! Howden is careful with the film’s humor as the comedic portrayal in the film is seen through the eyes of fans and not ridiculed as an outsider probably would. While it does take a considerable amount of time for the horror to kick in as the story develops, the payoff is huge and the carnage doesn’t let up. References to The Evil Dead have already been made to the film’s diabolical creatures, but I found myself more so comparing them to Lamberto Bava’s Demons. There’s definitely nothing wrong with the film’s cast both as each performs their parts perfectly and carry the film very well. You don’t necessarily need to be a metal fan to enjoy the film either which is a big plus for any horror fan looking for a fix. It wouldn’t be a horror and metal film though without some Satanism. The Fantasia premiere even took the advantage of this with a launch of a new book on the relationship between the media and Satanism if that doesn’t scream it loud enough! You could even say that Brodie is simply trying to fight his own inner demons but summons a whole bunch of them instead which in turn, gives him the ability to get rid of them for good this time. 

In the end, it’s safe to say that Deathgasm doesn’t disappoint. You can’t go wrong with this concoction of humor, horror and metal. You could love any genre of metal or none at all and still come out with your tongue out and metal horns because you haven’t heard or experienced the Black Hymn and its demonic influences until you’ve experienced Deathgasm

Written By Elise Holmes

Elise Holmes is not your average writer. Dedicated to her Evil Dead fan site The Deadite Slayer, she is doing Fantasia Fest coverage this year for Blood Brothers! Check out her site HERE!

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