Thursday, October 6, 2016

31 Days of Horror- Day 6: Deathgasm (2015)

(dir. Jason Lei Howden)

Dark Sky Films
A teenage heavy metal enthusiast unknowingly summons a demon and turns the residents of his small town into soulless minions after a playing a black hymn in the hopes of finding some control over his life.

Heavy metal and horror has become an inseparable pairing, what with all the Satanist icons, high-fantasy monsters, and lyrics of pain, suffering, and demon slaying. Jason Lei Howden’s Deathgasm taps into all of this in a film that both celebrates and satirizes the relationship between metal and monsters. Taking a page from Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead series, Deathgasm finds humor in the extreme levels of blood, gratuitous violence, and sexual references. Every moment of horror is a visual gag of some sort, an offering to the history of heavy metal and cinematic depictions of demonology. But between the buckets of blood, disembowelments, severed members, and improvised weaponry there’s a beating heart of optimism.

Deathgasm’s likeable leads do wonders for this film, elevating the material beyond exploitation and finding truth in the isolation and outsider identity that so many teenagers face. Milo Cawthorne, James Blake, and Kimberely Crossman not only give their characters distinct, yet recognizable character traits, they do so while balancing genuine humor and emotion. Their respective characters, Brodie, Zakk, and Medina give the film a surprising poignancy that doesn’t just exist between the moments of spewing blood and tangles of entrails but carries through it, adding weight to a style of horror that’s typically weightless. Deathgasm will have you cheering for its lead characters, it’s copious amounts of gore, and wishing more films could succeed so effortlessly at creating feel-good horror from traditionally feel-bad aesthetics associated with bloodbaths and heavy metal.

Scare Factor: 1/5 Deathgasm isn’t frightening but it’s an utter blast to watch, and for fans of gore and heavy metal it’s a triumphant horror film that will leave you begging for a sequel.

*Available to watch on Netflix Instant

No comments:

Post a Comment