‘Heavy Metal’ – Fantasy Film Review




The Bottled Imp – Episode 088
The Bottled Imp takes a look (or listen?) to the 1981 Canadian-American sci-fi fantasy animated film ‘Heavy Metal’ directed by Gerald Potterton. Rock on!

I’d never seen this film before but was aware of the striking poster as a kid. Over time, I’d seen the image of a woman warrior, sword raised triumphantly in air whilst riding a dragon type creature many a time for one reason and another. Enough was enough. Time to peek into this animation that was “America’s number one hit!”

Based on the sci-fi and fantasy American magazine of the same name, published by Ivan Reitman and Leonard Mogal, which itself was based on the French magazine ‘Metal Hurlant’, the film is a collection of short stories. Good to know before you watch the film! I didn’t and was initially confused by the different amount of characters and storylines. There is an over-arching story to link them all into a modern day doomsday prophecy and helped me come to the conclusion that this was a collection of stories.

As you can imagine with such a film title, it must have some reference to that genre of music? Yes, it does. The sound track is made up of heavy metal tracks rather than being part of any of the stories. If you are a fan of this music then there are some treats for you here. Bands I recognise were Journey, Black Sabbath, Blue Oyster Cult and even Stevie Nicks. Another surprise was hearing the voice of the comedy actor John Candy. Listen carefully and you can hear him voice a few different characters.

With adult themes and graphic content, this is most certainly for adults. I was in for a shock I can tell you! I’m happy I’ve sated my curiosity and have seen beyond the poster. Will you be?

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The Bottled Imp
Exploring the Realms of Fantasy.

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Presented by Ken Boyter

Produced & Directed by Julian Newman Turner

Music by Greg Breden

Artwork by Richard Nairn

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14 Comments

  1. whitepiano23
    September 9, 2016
    Reply

    great review imp! subscriber count 2500 hype!

  2. Guylanda128
    September 9, 2016
    Reply

    It's just so weird that you were not very familiar with Heavy Metal. I'd been watching it all the time since I was a kid. It's totally awesome-bonkers!

  3. Bazooka J Rambo
    September 9, 2016
    Reply

    Love the sung intro haha! I thought I had this on dvd but I had a look for it and it turned out to be the sequel and it was a free dvd with Total Film magazine that I got back in 2003! I don't remember it that well, which is probably not a great recommendation lol.

  4. walaa aljaffre
    September 9, 2016
    Reply

    review ( red queen) book

  5. Rod Maughan
    September 9, 2016
    Reply

    Good grief, you'd not seen this classic till now? One of my favourites, and the soundtrack is just awesome. Yeah, some of the stories are weak, but it the overall vibe that sells it for me. I wouldn't bother with the very belated sequel, by the way Heavy Metal 2000, it's pretty bad.

  6. Dave Dogge
    September 19, 2016
    Reply

    I remember reading the Heavy Metal Magazines in English which were available on sale in Portugal during a beach holiday in the 1980s and they were very violent, very rude and sometimes quite surreal. I remember comic strips from Moebius, RanXerox the android and Valentina The Pirate !!! everything there to corrupt a young teenage boy.. I must admit when I read it .. my jaw dropped .. it certainly was better than 2000AD I thought .. but strangely I never saw it in the U.K. .. I wonder why … maybe it was banned or hidden in the top shelf or something.

  7. Coniffism
    September 28, 2016
    Reply

    Love this film! It's in my top 10 favorite animated movies of all time.

    Also been watching your talisman reviews and love them. Thanks for being detail orientated and comprehensive! You should check out Wiz-War and it's expansions if you like Talisman. There's not really any good reviews of the expansions for that game and you'd be remarkable at it.

  8. Will Lyon
    January 24, 2017
    Reply

    Can you do a review of Tale of Tales?

  9. Robert Frias
    May 4, 2017
    Reply

    And it is Metal Hurlant in French…

  10. BenwaysPatient
    August 11, 2017
    Reply

    This is my favourite animated movie of all time. you just don't find animation like this anymore today.

  11. Richard Koek
    August 14, 2017
    Reply

    One of my fav animations. You so don't give this the credit it deserves. This is from the 70-ies. You cannot judge it with your millennium look. The usage of real actors to create the marvelous animations. You have no clue about the fanbase of Heavy Metal which is the nerdy horror sci-fi male white kid. Exploitation of women and violence is standard. It also the aspirations and dreams of that fanbase. Such as the nobody becoming Dan. The cyborg having sex with a human being. The music completely serves the imagery. The different techniques which gave it a real comic book look. What a crappy review….

  12. blackburn9
    September 19, 2017
    Reply

    The secret that makes this film excellent was unlike today it was about ideas, not ideology, So you just sit back, don't waste time over-analyzing it just enjoy the ride. The magazine it was based upon featured very different artists, much of which is reasonably duplicated to match the original artists whose stories appeared in the original books. Heavy Metal back in the day never bothered with attempting to explain its different diverse perspectives, nor implore judgement for not using the format to preach ideology.
    The real failure of modern reviewers is that they are not capable of understanding any movie not drenched in PC and gender politics. Watching Heavy Metal is so refreshing because for a change you don't have to sit through gender studies 101 and be preached to about extreme leftist political ideology. Heavy metal was made for everyone not just the ideologically absolutists running around today.

    And though i say the film was made for everyone, it was in a strong sense made for boys and men, who back then were constantly derided for their attraction to sci-fi, fantasy and weird surrealist tastes. Heavy Metal catered to this base without judgement and surprisingly helped empower many young boys and men with active imaginations to eventually become almost solely responsible for saving Hollywood's ass with their initial innovations, risk taking and elevation of superhero stories, and great philosophical concepts that brought us some of the most amazing and thought provoking movies like Inception, or Interstellar.

    Complaints about it being exploitative of women is silly. Like today no one is equally concerned about the casual deaths of male characters that are far more excessive than female characters. And if you look at the movie without ideological feminist propaganda, virtually all of the women were equal participants and quite comfortable within their own sexuality. Male on female violence is portrayed far less than male on male violence and when seen on both sides quite appropriate to the context of the stories.

    In all likelihood a modern sequel or remake of Heavy metal is bound to fail because the ideas would have to give way to ideology, and once the feminists and SJWs are pandered to, lime a good feminist version of what they think everyone should think, The new Heavy metal will be a joyless, colorless, dry, cold and unimaginative movie. A movie more interested in ticking off the latest demands of feminists to insert their anti-male ideology and supplant original artistic vision with blind absolutist PC and anti-male narratives.

  13. MrGrim19
    October 14, 2017
    Reply

    Such a good soundtrack! Beautiful artwork, I guess I would have liked to see the stories tie in together for the overall plot a little better. But if you don't want to smoke pot while you're watching this you've missed out a bit on life . . . .

  14. Thisithis ithis
    December 3, 2017
    Reply

    Actually, The ‘Heavy Metal movie was an American/Canadian film. but still close. 🙂

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