Friday, August 15, 2014

Heavy Metal Movies: Guitar Barbarians, Mutant Bimbos & Cult Zombies Amok in the 666 Most Ear- and Eye-Ripping Big-Scream Films Ever!

Today I want to point you guys toward an amazing new movie guide that's recently come out from Brooklyn's Bazillion Point Books: Heavy Metal Movies, also known under its complete - and way more metal title Heavy Metal Movies: Guitar Barbarians, Mutant Bimbos & Cult Zombies Amok in the 666 Most Ear- and Eye-Ripping Big-Scream Films Ever! 

From the back cover:

Heavy metal and high-thrill cinema have been joined together like mutant twins since before the band Black Sabbath adopted the name of a chilling Italian horror film. The unadulterated journey of Heavy Metal Movies spans concert movies and trippy midnight flicks, inspirational depictions of ancient times and future apocalypses, and raw handheld digital video obsessions. As brash, irreverent, and visceral as both the music and the movies themselves, Heavy Metal Movies is the ultimate guidebook to the complete molten musical cinema experience.

Exploding with way over 666 true headbanger classics—raging with disturbing documentaries, bulging barbarians, Satanic shockers, spluttery slashers, post-nuke dystopias, carnivorous chunk-blowers, undead gut-munchers, midnight mind-benders, concert films, killer cameos—plus witches, werewolves, bikers, aliens, lesbian vampires, and vengeful vikings galore...the heaviest sin-ematic sensations of all time!

The massive tome that is Heavy Metal Movies starts off, fittingly enough, with an introduction from McPadden who explains how he first discovered and fell in love with these kinds of movies in a chapter titled Mighty Monsters, Delinquent Double Features, and Sticky Seats: My Life in Heavy Metal Movies. In an interview with Fangoria from a couple of months back McPadden explained exactly what he considers a "Heavy Metal Movie":

“First up, there are the obvious documentaries and concert films; then come narrative movies where the music is an essential subject, like THIS IS SPINAL TAP. From there, it’s films where characters love heavy metal, such as WAYNE’S WORLD, and/or the musicians appear on screen, as with Lemmy in HARDWARE and EAT THE RICH. Rob Zombie’s features fall under this same umbrella. After that, you’ve got movies that inspired band names and/or song lyrics, and soundtracks dominated by heavy metal certainly qualify—AC/DC’s work in MAXIMUM OVERDRIVE, for example. Now, past the direct, tangible connections is the really interesting stuff, where you have to say, ‘I know a heavy metal movie when I see it.’ This is the realm of aesthetic embodiments, influences and inspirations—movies that crystalize and catapult forward the spirit of heavy metal: CONAN THE BARBARIAN, THE EXORCIST, the MAD MAX and TERMINATOR series, George A. Romero’s zombie epics, Italian cannibal gross-outs, ’80s slasher films, banned ‘video nasties’—even something as beautiful as 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY.”

Following Mike's intro, we get 5 pages from Alice Cooper, himself no stranger to heavy metal movies having appeared films like Monster Dog and Wayne's World. Alice gleefully discusses his several movie appearances starting with his own concert film Welcome To My Nightmare, all the way up to his most recent appearance in Tim Burton's critically maligned (but actually not that bad) Dark Shadows.

After the Alice Cooper piece we get into the meat of the book, over 666 reviews of the most metal movies of all time. As you can tell from the bit I quoted from Fangoria's interview Mike covers a massive variety of film genres; horror, comedy, horror comedy, metal documentaries, sword & sorcery, biker flicks, disco slashers, animated viking films, post-apocalytic frog-people films - even the odd metal celebrity sex tape or two. From true classics like This Is Spinal Tap to some more obscure concert videos from bands like 3 Inches of Blood and The Obsessed all the way to delightfully daft turkeys like Howard the Duck (the best movie ever made that features a scene where Lorraine McFly fucks a midget in a duck suit), Mike has included a little something for everyone in his book.

McPadden and I seem to share a very similar taste in cinema. I've seen over 2,000 movies in my lifetime - in fact for the past few weeks I've been slowly compiling a list on IMDB of every movie I've ever seen just to see how many, no matter how awesome (I Saw The Devil), awesomely bad (Shock 'em Dead) or just plain mind-rapingly awful (Goremet Zombie Chef From Hell) - and it's amazing to see how many of the movies I've seen and loved appear in this book. I can't go a full page without finding a favorite, and better still I'm finding tons of stuff I'm dying to check out after reading Mike's reviews.

McPadden's writing is insightful and frequently hysterical which makes Heavy Metal Movies a pretty difficult book to put down once you start reading. If you enjoy heavy metal, heavy metal movies, or even if you just happen to enjoy more offbeat movie guides like Bleeding Skull, or Cinema Sewer I definitely recommend picking this book up at once. It's currently on sale directly from Bazillion Point Books, and many other online retailers like Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

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