Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Phil's Horror Watch: DEATHGASM (2015) from Dark Sky Films-February 5, 2016

DEATHGASM Blu-Ray (2015)
Starring: Milo Cawthorne, Kimberley Crossman, James Blake, Daniel Cresswell, Sam Berkley, Delaney Tabron, Stephen Ure
Written by Jason Lei Howden
Cinematography by Simon Raby
Edited by Jeff Hurrell & Gareth Van Niekerk
Produced by Sarah Howden, Andrew Beattie & Morgan Leigh Stewart
Directed by Jason Lei Howden
Production companies: MPI Media Group & New Zealand Film Commission
Distributed by Dark Sky Films

The problem I face these days is trying to get caught up with all the movies I've been wanting to see, especially my beloved horror films. Today's movie has been showing up on several "Best of 2015" lists from several websites and publications like Fangoria, Rue Morge and Dread Central. So I finally got around to seeing the ultra crazy, ultra gory, ultra metal and ultra hilarious New Zealand film DEATHGASM from our friends at Dark Sky Films.

The film's official synopsis: After his mother is institutionalized, misfit Brodie (Milo Cawthorne) is sent to live with his fundamentalist Christian uncle and aunt, whose son torments him. A heavy metal fan, Brodie forms a band called Deathgasm with his friends Zakk (James Blake), Dion (Sam Berkley), and Giles (Daniel Cresswell). When the bandmates break into a local house, they discover that one of their idols, reclusive musician Rikki Daggers (Stephen Ure) lives there. Daggers gives the band magical sheet music, which a cult later murders him to find. Skeptical of the sheet music's power, the band plays it, only to summon a demon. With the help of his crush, Medina (Kimberley Crossman), and his bandmates, Brodie must find a way to defeat the demon.

Theatrical Movie Poster (2015)
After watching the film, I can see why this bad boy was on every horror best of list. Seriously, this was such an ingenious, absurd, funny and bloody movie to watch. You can tell that this was a labor of love and director Jason Lei Howden (making his feature length debut) should feel pretty damn proud. Combining the common ingredients of horror, humor and heavy metal music, Howden was able to make something totally different and unique. His influences were there, taking inspiration from Peter Jackson's DEAD ALIVE, Sam Raimi's EVIL DEAD and Edgar Wright's SHAWN OF THE DEAD. His playful attitude towards directing, his visual look of the film, the smart and funny script that he wrote himself and all the awesome blood and guts he showcases for fans. But what really sold me was the characters that inhabited this wild and crazy world where the film takes place. Unlike Hollywood's typical fake, two-dimensional interpretation, Howden's characters look and sound like real teenagers, thanks in large part to the spectacular cast.

Our lead Milo Cawthorne who portrays Brodie is just like the guy you went to school with: different, loner, has teenage hang-ups, looking for something to do, hates his family, despises his teachers, loathes his school, loves the pretty popular girl, basically he could've been you back in high school. Cawthorne does a fantastic job of conveying all this plus being a cool and sensitive heavy metal hero. His love interest is popular girl Medina, portrayed the gorgeous Kimberley Crossman. Funny, sweet and who is very handy with an ax, Kimberley brings a lot of fun, depth and blood-drenched beauty to her role. And let's not forget the bad ass heavy metal bad boy Zakk as played by James Blake. He is Brodie's best friend and worse enemy. Blake excels in his role and is the asshole best friend we've all had at one point in our youth.

Wal-Mart DVD Cover (2015)
With its theme of horror and heavy metal, you know that it was going to have a killer soundtrack, but I had no idea how freaking awesome it turned out to be! Boasting songs from bands like Bulletbelt, Axeslasher, Nunslaughter, Elm Street, Midnight and Beastwars, the film will make you bang your head while raising your fist high up in the air and give the heavy metal salute! Freaking awesome soundtrack people!!

The film was released by Dark Sky Films here in the states and was met with accolades, acclaim and rave reviews from critics and fans. However, it was met with resistance from the evil soul-sucking, poverty wage paying, corporate entity called Wal-Mart. According to an article published on the Bloody Disgusting website, "Yet another case of horror movies getting a bum rap as it's been announced the the Wal-Mart DVD edition of DEATHGASM will be changing titles to HEAVY METAL APOCALYPSE and that the artwork has been changed, removing the pentagram but allowing a gun. After all, Satan is evil and cannot be promoted in any way, shape, or form, but guns are fine." The sheer stupidity and hypocrisy of this blatant form of censorship makes me angry. Basically, Wal-Mart is just swapping an imaginary evil for an all too real evil that's been plaguing society and taking away lives on a daily basis for decades. Now it's understandable why this has to be done. With Wal-mart being one of the largest retail chains out there, having your movie there will get exposure and sales at the register. I just think their logic is just stupid as hell. But then again, I fucking hate Wal-Mart and all that they stand for.

DEATHGASM is a heavy metal horror comedy masterpiece that will make you shout at the devil and laugh at the face of Death! It is the most outrageous gore soaked comedy horror film that I have seen in a long time! Fans of the genre need to see this movie! So go out and buy this movie right now! 5 out of 5 stars!! Highly recommended!!

DEATHGASM is currently available on Blu-Ray and DVD. Visit your local retailer or order directly from Dark Sky Films. You can follow the film on Facebook and Twitter. To learn more about Dark Sky Films visit their website at darkskyfilms.com. You can also follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

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