So it turns out Death Metal really is the siren song for the underworld…
Two teenage boys unwittingly summon an ancient evil entity by delving into black magic while trying to escape their mundane lives.
Deathgasm (yes, you read that word correctly) is a heavy metal themed horror comedy from New Zealand. This low budget gem is Jason Lei Howdon’s directorial debut, and what an insane calling card this was.
Reminiscent of early Sam Raimi work, there are plenty of Evil Dead vibes in this throwback to old school grindhouse horror. It’s not an entirely new premise, we’ve seen it before, the “accidental summoning of the worlds biggest baddest demon” story, except in this case the characters are totally refreshing. We have Brodie (Milo Cawthorne) and Zakk (James Blake) our resident metal head teens who like to quote phrases like “Death to False Metal” and hang around in Brodie’s uncles garage coming up with grotesque sounding band names. Which brings us to the other half of the band, Dion (Sam Berkley) and Giles (Daniel Cresswell), their names alone paint the picture of their preferred school lunch time activity; Dungeons and Dragons.
The script delves into gloriously gory moments, while at the same time remaining genuinely funny. The tongue in cheek nature of the narrative allows for some pretty goofy humour, which makes the film easily immediately re-watchable.
For Deathgasm it really is the fun prosthetic makeup design that comes through as the winner. Leading man Cawthorne’s performance was at times sub par and for such a funny script his comedic timing and delivery just felt a little off. Fortunately, the Deathgasm supporting cast is strong – a certain scene involving decapitating an already headless body had me in absolute stitches and led me to rewinding the scene back several times to rid myself of giggles.
An annihilation of blood and guts, Deathgasm is a chaotic 86 minutes of heavy metal mayhem, with enough giddy glee to satisfy genre aficionados.
8.5 / 10
“DEATHGASM. All spelt in capitals. Lower case is for pussies”