DEATHGASM | AFF

Kernel Jordan, our Southern Australian Kernel is representing at the Adelaide Film Festival this year and I am oh so jealous – the line up is just epic. My excitement peaked seeing they played STARSTRUCK on Saturday – one of my all time favourite movies growing up as a nutcase kid living in the Blue Mountains, they literally ran the movie spool to spool and during the film one of the spools had not arrived from another cinema in time so we were treated to an MA15+ (equivalent at the time) horror movie while we waited, I was in bliss (mum was losing it) and the horror movie was scary, can’t remember its name but I was eight haha. But enough about me, AFF is running from October 15th-25th – about half way now, you can grab tickets and suss the program HERE. For Jordan’s first film off the rank we have DEATHGASM – I need to see this now :). Looks like BILL AND TED meets WYRMWOOD meets a KISS music video – it looks insane!!! Be sure to suss out their website HERE and their FB page HERE for where it is screening around the world or how you can obtain it. All the best………….JK.

 

deathgasm movie poster image
DEATHGASM | ADELAIDE FILM FESTIVAL 2015 | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | MOVIE POSTER IMAGE

 

BY JORDAN DODD

Finally, we have a film that takes the cheesiness of heavy metal (not that die-hard fans would call it cheesy) and mashes it with a bloody slasher flick. Did we know we needed it? No we did not. But here it is in all its brutal glory, and I feel the world of cinema is now a better place for it.

What is this incessant rambling? The film in question is the New Zealand horror comedy DEATHGASM – a name that might sound odd to those not into metal, but believe me there are bands with far worse names than that. Our neighbours to the east seem to have a knack for this sort of thing; last year New Zealand gave us WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS and HOUSEBOUND. This year we have something a little different.

DEATHGASM’s comedy is dark and very tongue in cheek, reminiscent of RED SNOW 2: RED vs DEAD – a Swedish blood filled fun-fest – though this is not quite as funny (and as plain wrong). This flick however knows it is silly and it revels in that fact. It doesn’t try to use gore to be scary, rather it is something to laugh at.

 

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DEATHGASM | ADELAIDE FILM FESTIVAL 2015 | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | MOVIE IMAGE

 

Our story is simple: a loner, teenage metalhead named Brodie meets a fellow longhair at a record store, and they come across the same record and meet. This is surprisingly on point, which I’ll get to later.

It turns out that Zakk plays bass, and he soon announces that they are forming a band, despite questionable musical skills from Brodie and his two friends.

Soon they manage to (conveniently) find a piece of music. Looking at it in the light, they see that it is a song, written in music on old, tattered paper. The title is in Latin and sounds ominous.

Of course Brodie, Zakk and his two friends (table-top RPG fans, of course) play the song, and suddenly the electricity goes bananas, turning the amplifiers to eleven – naturally – and subsequently the entire neighbourhood hears the song and begin bleeding from every orifice, as people tend to do when they hear extreme metal. The song they play is pretty great, it sounds like a somehow darker, more Satanic version of the classic song Black Sabbath.

Are they Zombies? No, these people were alive and well until they heard the Black Hymn. Still, they eat people, so we are talking semantics.

 

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DEATHGASM | ADELAIDE FILM FESTIVAL 2015 | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | MOVIE IMAGE

 

It is pretty simple really from here on – it mainly features these four friends (plus the pre-requisite hot girl) decapitating and castrating people-turned-demons. Here, anything goes and no one is safe, demon or otherwise. You can’t find a weapon you say? Use a dildo, or a vibrator. If push comes to shove, use some anal beads. Everything is a weapon. The humour is great as there are many funny moments within the carnage, and only a few are ‘inside-jokes’ for metal fans to snigger at. For the most part this is violent fun for the whole family! Even the hot girl is quite handy with an axe.

The makers of this film must have spent half their budget on special effects, as some of the kills are brutal and leave the victims in a state that David Cronenberg would be proud of. I’m not usually a fan of slasher flicks but there were some pretty gruesome moments once the five go on their rampage. I was impressed with the realism but was also quite shocked at some of the more bloody moments. This film almost has too much blood! One could say it is obsessed with blood, and that person wouldn’t be inaccurate.

The approach to making the film reminds me of WYRMWOOD, a similar low budget slasher. Most of the film seems to have been filmed using a handi-cam, though it isn’t any worse for it. The acting isn’t something that needs to be special in a movie like this, and while it isn’t anything brilliant, there are no cringe-inducing moments of bad acting to be found.

 

deathgasm movie image
DEATHGASM | ADELAIDE FILM FESTIVAL 2015 | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | MOVIE IMAGE

 

On a surprisingly serious note, this film offers a unique study of the culture that surround heavy metal if you have the eyes to see it. Metal is unlike any other genre of music in terms of the following it has and the dedication many fans possess. This theme is subtle but it is there, intentional or otherwise, such as when Brodie and Zakk first meet.

I used to be that guy: the long hair and the black metal band t-shirts, and it is amazing how many extremely nice people you meet who also have long hair, also donning a black band t-shirt. Metal is something that you could talk for hours. The amount of people I have met who have recommended me things is phenomenal. There is no doubt in my mind that there is a true culture surrounding heavy metal, and because it will always be on the fringe of society – for the most part at least – it will always be a link that two stranger can share and instantly have a three hour conversation over a few beers.

Culture lesson over, there is no doubt that this will strike more of a chord (see what I did there?) with metal-heads, though anyone faintly aware of the existence of heavy metal will be able to enjoy this non-stop gore-fest. It’s obvious the filmmakers had a blast making this, so watch it now and have a blast yourself!

 

3 and a Half Pops

 

 

Jordan Dodd is an aspiring novelist hailing from Adelaide, Australia. His first book is a chronicle of his experiences in a rehab centre that was more of a cult than anything else, and his goal is to finish it and pitch it to someone who matters. It can be found here. He also enjoys writing about film, which is probably his biggest obsession (apart from writing). When not writing for Salty Popcorn Jordan has his own website – he can be contacted via www.epilepticmoondancer.net