Released: 2014, Bazillion Points
HEAVY METAL MOVIES was by far my most anticipated book of the last several years. Back on June 8th of 2011, I was browsing the very fine Bazillion Points website (http://www.bazillionpoints.com
) to see what was coming down the pipe and they had just posted a little announcement about the forthcoming book. I freaked. With a full-on, metal robot chubby, I immediately contacted the publisher and the author and offered my support for what was surely to be the coolest book since the invention of writing. I then descended into a 1111 day hell (3 years, and 16 days to be exact!) waiting for my copy to arrive, everyday was like a 1111 years of torture in the dentists chair, waiting, waiting, waiting...
In July of 2014 I learned that advance copies were getting out and those damn Yankees south of the border were getting copies before us Canadians, and reviews were popping up everywhere but I had yet to see a copy. I e-mailed the publisher/publicist several times a day (sorry Magnus!) wondering where the hell was my book! In a nice piece of cosmic karma, my copy did arrive two days before I went on my three-week holiday and it was worth the wait. I devoured it faster than a rabid pack of Gremlins/Critters/Ghoulies/Munchies can devour a nubile, teen cheerleader on a Friday night. Actually, that is not completely true, it’s a huge book, it actually took me the better part of my holiday.
HEAVY METAL MOVIES is the book I always wanted to write but I'm not nearly as good or cool as Mike 'McBeardo' McPadden head-dude at Mr. Skin, former writer for Hustler, scriptwriter for, among other things, The Devil In Miss Jones Part 5, and all round metal maniac. The basic premise is the book is a movie guide with 666 reviews of movies that have some Heavy Metal reference; a theme, tie-in, soundtrack, cameo, band appearance, etc. This beast is 560 pages long (but 666 pages in spirit) and contains a number of bonus features such as...
-The Unfit Fifteen: Metal Moments in Non-Metal Movies
-TV Causalities: Notable Headbanging On The Small Screen
-The 66.6 Most Metal Moments In Movie History
...and an interview with Alice Cooper about, what else, Heavy Metal movies.
The cover is eye-gougingly gorgeous and there are dozens and dozens of vintage cult/horror film posters laced through the book. Seeing them again brought back many nostalgic moments to when real artists created movie posters not like today where they just cut and paste a single digital frame from a CGI movie and slap the movie name on the poster. Boring! Back then, the posters were full-on works of art by commissioned by real artists and not just generated by some studio intern with a lap-top. The visuals (including the layout and design) in HEAVY METAL MOVIES really made the book come alive.
The core of the book is of course the hundreds of movie reviews with special emphasis on Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Horror, Action, and cult films, which naturally have multiple tie-in's with Heavy Metal. It's all here zombies, aliens, apocalyptic raiders, sharks and more. It is not all just old stuff, there are many modern film reviews as well dating up to 2014! McPadden is hilarious, witty and crudely entertaining, his enduring love of shlock and enthusiasm for filth are engaging and contagious. He has down a fine job reviewing pretty much every documentary abut Heavy Metal ever made, at least 40 of them from various countries around the globe. Of course, everything is loaded with cool and obscure Metal trivia. I can't over-emphasize how cool this book is, it ranks way up there with THE GOSPEL OF FILTH as one of the elite Metal/culture crossover books ever written.
Over the years I’ve made my own notes about Metal and movie info and I can tell you, I approached this book with a bit of a skeptics eye and really put it through it’s paces that first day on the beach. I was digging deep right off the bat into obscure movies and useless metal/movie trivia to see if he had what it takes. You know what? It was all there. ALL of it. I would say to myself, “He can’t possibly have included the fact that back in 1988 the band Malice was in the crappy 80's comedy film, VICE-VERSA…oh shit! He did! I thought I was the only guy who remembered that…AND he reviewed Butterfly Ball, Turbulence III and Detroit Metal City? This guy knows his shit!” Awesome!” My wife would look at me with a perplexed look and roll her eyes as I mumbled to myself excitedly flipping through the book at the beach while I probably should have been playing with my kids in the lake.
Even though my 'official' rating of this book is the 5/5, the REAL rating is BOMB, which according to McPadden is how when he was young, he would select the best movies to watch from Leonard Maltin's Film Guides. If a movie was rated a BOMB, Maltin thought that it was the worst possible score, and accordingly likely to be one of the best, if you were not one of the sheep (aka the general public) that Hollywood strives to placate with the inconsequential pabulum that masquerades as movie entertainment these days. I'm a kindred spirit with McPadden (a wolf among sheep) because I used to do EXACTLY the same thing, circle the BOMBS and seek them out. If Maltin's hated it, I was sure to love it. BOMBS rule. If you think that Mathilda May is the most beautiful space vampire of all time, or if the words Mok, Chud, or Fubar mean anything to you at all, you need this book.
The best compliment I can think to give HEAVY METAL MOVIES is...two pre-apocalyptic, thermonuclear, radioactive dirty BOMBS up!