October 14, 2015 DEATHGASM (Movie Review)
The Horror genre and Rock-n-Roll have paired well together since the Metal scene exploded over three decades ago. Movies such as Trick or Treat (1986), The Gate (1987), and Rocktober Blood (1988) combine the two elements and have become cult classics. Following suit, DEATHGASM is a New Zealand Horror/Comedy that incorporates Metal, gore, and the dark arts. DEATHGASM is Writer and Director Jason Lei Howden’s full feature directorial debut and was released for streaming, cable, and VOD on October 2, 2015 via Dark Sky Films.
Teenage Metalhead Brodie (Milo Cawthorne: When We Go to War 2015, Blood Punch 2013) is forced to live with his overly religious Aunt Mary (Jodie Rimmer: Young Hercules 1998, Agent Anna 2014), Uncle Albert (Colin Moy: Xena: Warrior Princess 1995-2000, Emperor 2012) and demented cousin David (Nick Hoskins-Smith: The Brokenwood Mysteries 2014) when his mother is institutionalized for a meth addiction. He soon becomes the outsider in the school and gets heavily picked on by his cousin David and his friends. David’s girlfriend Medina (Kimberley Crossman: Black-ish 2014, Power Rangers Samurai 2012), however, is not impressed with his attitude towards Brodie. It seems that she has taken a liking to him, which further enrages David.
Brodie soon meets fellow Metalhead Zakk (James Blake: Hot Rob 2012), as well as two nerdy outcasts, Dion (Sam Berkley: Jake 2013, Go Girls 2011) and Giles (Daniel Cresswell: 3 Mile Limit 2014, Henchmen 2013). Together they form the Metal band DEATHGASM and come in possession of music that unleashes an ancient demon that could bring about the end of humanity. Without knowing the power it possesses, they play the music and transform their neighbors and family into blood-lusting demons. Now the band must find a way to undo what they have brought into the world before it is too late.
From a young age, Director Jason Lei Howden was heavily influenced by Peter Jackson’s splatterfest Bad Taste (1987) and even wrote fanfiction for the film. After getting an idea for the type of movie he wanted to make, Howden entered a contest in 2013 called Make My Horror Movie and presented the movie’s premise and artwork. Out of five-hundred entries, DEATHGASM won and the cash reward was put towards production. The practical effects were created by Main Reactor, the same company responsible for Evil Dead (2013). This does not come as a surprise considering the extreme amount of gore in both movies, although DEATHGASM is much more over-the-top.
In addition to Horror elements, the film’s humor ranges from silly sight gags to smart and subtle. Actor Milo Cawthorne was a great choice for Brodie and has a comedic timing that helps make the entire movie. The original Metal soundtrack fits perfectly and will be available in the near future from Death Waltz Recording Company. With fantastic gore, acting, and music, it would be difficult to find serious fault with DEATHGASM since it does so much right. CrypticRock gives DEATHGASM 4.5 out of 5 stars.