Inspired by the popular fantasy graphics magazine, the animated feature Heavy Metal gained a rabid cult following in the 1980s, and the DVD release of the film is packed with enough extras to satisfy even the most jaded animation enthusiast. The images have been given a letterboxed transfer at the film's original aspect ratio of 1.85:1 (the disc has also been enhanced for playback on widescreen monitors), while viewers have a choice of two audio tracks -- one mixed for Dolby Digital 5.1, the other for Dolby Digital Surround. The feature has been closed captioned in English, while the disc is also encoded with optional subtitles in English, Spanish, and Portuguese. In addition to the original version of Heavy Metal, the DVD also features an alternate full-length "rough-cut" of the film, which features a different sequence and footage not used in the theatrical release of the film. The theatrical cut features an alternate commentary track from Carl Macek, who wrote a book on the making of the movie, while the disc also includes a 35-minute making-of documentary, "Imagining Heavy Metal." The disc is rounded out with production photos, pencil sketches from the film's artists, alternate artwork, production notes, and a gallery of cover art from the magazine.
Digitally remastered audio & anamorphic video
Documentary: "Imagining Heavy Metal"
Feature-length rough cut with optional commentary
Production photo gallery
Heavy Metal Magazine covery gallery
Pencil portfolio with animations
Single & layered cel porfolios
Conceptual art gallery
Carl Macek reading his book "Heavy Metal the Movie"
Audio: English two-channel [Dolby Surround] & English 5.1 [Dolby Digital]
Based on the cult magazine of the same name, HEAVY METAL is a an animated anthology of 8 stories featuring characters from the not-for-children comic magazine. From producer Ivan Reitman, this animated film is every teenage boy's dream (well, from the 80's anyway) with sci-fi action, violence, and girls, girls, girls. Bored with Star Wars? Check out HEAVY METAL!
Full animation cartoons are the best. This movie from 1981 is multiple short stories that revolve around the Loknar Orb that brings evil and destruction and the chosen one that wards off it's evil powers. Many of the voices for the characters are from the SNL actors and the Second City actors. The sound track to the movie has many great songs and could be it's own greatest hits album.
I remember seeing an old South Park episode parodying this movie and it made me always interested in seeing it. I am a fan of adult animation so when I saw this sitting on a shelf at Best Buy for $8 I couldn't pass it up.
Heavy Metal absolutely RULES. It's a movie made for teenage boy sensibilities and in that sense it knocks it out of the park. Superhero crap can't compare to the pure id on display here. I only wish it came in a cool steelbook or something, but oh well this was cheap.
A cult classic for good reasons. Not for kids, but cartoons aren't just for kids. An anthology of short films, all with different plots, settings and animation styles. All good and some great special features to compliment the film.
Cartoons aren’t just for kids. Though that’s more widely accepted today, in 1981, when HEAVY METAL debuted, it wasn’t. With copious drug use, gratuitous nudity, and graphic violence, the film captured the hearts of genre fans. Based on the adult oriented comic magazine, and featuring work from comic legends (most prominently Moebius, Bernie Wrightson, and Richard Corben, but also Neal Adams, Mike Ploog, and Howard Chaykin), it’s a beautiful film perfect for late night viewing.
The film is structured like an anthology, with a series of very different, though loosely connected, short stories, mostly of the sword and sorcery, horror, or sci fi variety. The framing sequence and interludes utilize a MacGuffin in the form of a supremely evil glowing green orb. Each story has the orb but some feature it more than others. Art styles and genres change drastically between segments and use different directors so it’s tonally all over the place. That doesn’t harm the film, though, as it adds to the charm. I didn’t immediately recognize any of the directors but the writers include Dan O’Bannon and Len Blum. There are some thrills to be found, and the film obviously aims to titillate (ahem), but stoner comedy is prevalent. Comedic actors, then, are appropriately the biggest names in the cast with John Candy, Eugene Levy, and Harold Ramis all doing significant work. Music is also an important element with druggy hard rock tracks providing an overt sonic landscape for the film.
This brings me to my first nitpick, though. For a film titled “Heavy Metal,” the soundtrack features almost no Metal all at all. Black Sabbath’s track is the lone exception. Now, the music isn’t necessarily bad, it just strikes me as a little odd. Tonally, the music meshes with the visuals for the most part, but it’s deployed somewhat uniquely. Typically, you see tracks used to punctuate visual cues or as kind of a tool to inform editing. Here, it’s more reminiscent of music videos with the music just playing out over the visuals with a much looser connection to what’s happening on screen. Again, that’s not a bad thing. My second nitpick is the animation. While the artwork itself is outstanding, with faithful stylistic translations of singular artists, the animation is a little choppy. If you’re used to the fluid movements of Disney films or modern big budget cartoons, you might find the presentation here to be a little harsh. Neither of these issues ruin my appreciation of the film, though.
HEAVY METAL is not for kids, though it might appeal to your inner stoned teenager. Some segments are stronger than others but I enjoy all of them, usually for different reasons. For this longtime comic fan, it’s an absolute blast to see the artwork of comic gods Moebius, Bernie Wrightson, and Richard Corben brought to life. Recommended for fans of UP IN SMOKE, CONAN THE BARBARIAN, CREEPSHOW, and THE FIFTH ELEMENT.