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Montesi, Jorge (Director)
Turbulence 3: Heavy Metal (DVD)
March 2015
Released: 2001, Milestone
Rating: 2.0/5
Reviewer: JP

The initial Turbulance movie starring Ray Lolita was a decent, but largely forgettable, action film released in 1997 that did 11 million at the box office. It cost 55 million to make so it was considered a flop. I missed Turbulence 2 altogether. The only reason I picked up Turbulence 3 was because of the 'Metal' theme. I vividly remember finding this straight to DVD movie for $1.00 in the bargain bin at a discount retailer called Giant Tiger in Moosejaw, Saskatchewan...on my honeymoon. Yes, the quest for Metal related entertainment never stops. I instinctively knew this movie would suck but as a collector of weird Metal related stuff, I figured the dollar was worth it, and yes, I made my poor bride watch it. Oddly enough she did not immediately file for divorce.

Turbulence 3 actually has a few name actors including perennial B-movie villain Rutger Hauer who plays a pilot and Joe Mantegna (Criminal Minds) as (surprise!) an FBI agent. The star of the film is John Mann, playing is a Calgary, Alberta (my home town) native, born and raised while having a career as an actor and musician. I imagine the budget for Part 3 was far less than 55 million!

The plot is simple enough, global phenomena and controversial 'Death Rocker', Slade Craven is giving his final performance in a plane on a flight from LA to Toronto and the show is being broadcast via the Internet to 10 million viewers. Not bad. However, one crazed fan, and member of a satanic cult, plans to hijack the plane and crash it into a church, which would, in theory, start the apocalypse. Sounds reasonable. So as the shit hits the fan everything is being broadcast on the 'net and pandemonium ensues.

I'm not going to judge the movie too harshly in terms if production acting, pace, plot etc... because I'm not really a movie aficionado, but I do know it is a low budget action movie. Not much in the way of violence, no nudity and the special effects are minimal. The pace is pretty slow, the film is talk heavy and low on action.

In terms of Metal content and the portrayal of Metal musicians and fans it's pretty weak. Slade Craven looks a lot like the 'Crow', the main character of that fine action franchise. More specifically Craven has corpse paint but not really Black Metal style, it's more like Marilyn Manson. In fact the whole Craven character is patterned on Manson, the look the sound, so it is not really 'Metal' in the purest sense. The soundtrack is not really Metal it is more of an industrial sound. A couple of unknown bands, Deathbyday and Thickliquid, contributed some original songs to the soundtrack but they are not really well known, world-class Metal bands.

The movies portrayal of fans sees them in more of a punk or goth mode; heavy makeup and short spiky hair lots of piercings and dog collars and such, you don't really see long hair or people with Metal shirts in the scenes with the fans. They look more like a street gang in a 80’s Jackie Chan movie. There is some humour in a couple of scenes; one with the band backstage sipping champagne and listening to classical music and another scene at the airport where all the fans keep setting off the Metal detectors.

Ultimately the writers and producers have a fairly inaccurate and misguided idea of what Metal is and what Metal fans look like, sound like or act. It's almost like the (semi-negative) portrayal of Metal fans is the standard stereotype. Turbulence 3 is a slightly below average action film that uses 'Metal' as the framework but misses the mark. The film is a mildly amusing time-waster but holds little value to Metal fans.
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