Monday, December 21, 2015

Heavy Metal (1981)

Within ten minutes of watching it, I knew I had a lot to say about Heavy Metal. Mostly, questions about the production and the art style that I've seen before in other 70s-80s non-children's animated films. So, I pressed on and tried to learn more about the actual content of this movie.

Heavy Metal story of The Loc-Nar, a green glowing orb that has the power to corrupt, and destroy the incorruptible, across multiple galaxies and dimensions. In eight-ish stories, we see it exercise that power. It would take too much time and space to go over each story, plus it's better to go into the movie pretty blind. Don't worry, I believe I can still find things to talk about.

Heavy Metal's strength lies in it's art-style. It's something I've seen before in Ralph Bakshi movies, and I don't know if it has a definite name. Basically, the inkers are the stars of the show. Textures really pop, and not just in the background art.

Heavy Metal's stories overall covers everything from mixed marriages, to multiple apocalyptic societies, to an original take on cocaine snorting that still puts The Wolf of Wall Street to shame. One of my favorite stories is the second major one, where a king or god similar to Watchmen's Adrian Veitd, except without the questionable, or any, morals and beliefs, asks someone to steal the Loc-Nar for him, so he can unlock it's power through a ritualistic, human sacrifice. There are many references to past and future material that people can imply or infer about sections of this movie, and that's what I really love about it. It's a movie where you get out what you put into it, so, knowing and/or seeing a certain homage to Heavy Metal, that was made in 2008, can cloud that a little.

My two major issues with the film are that homage feels more like a parody now, although I completely understand why it does, and The Loc-Nar's powers. The Loc-Nar's powers are not clear and sometimes feel contradictory. It's kinda whatever the writers need it to be. On the one hand, it gives the writers freedom to tell their stories, but on the other, it leads to some characters doing some stupid things, and wrapping up some of the stories a little too quickly and neatly. A few seconds of explanation maybe could've fixed this, but really this is just nit-picking.

I hope to expand on this review on the future, but for now, if you love animated anthologies, you'll love this. Just one warning, for those who don't know about the homage, this is rated "R" for violence and nudity.