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File:Heavy metal movie.jpg


 "Blue Oyster Cult, Black Sabbath, Sammy Hagar and Riggs take you to a universe you've never seen before. A universe of magic. A universe of mystery. A universe of sexual fantasies. A universe of awesome good, and terrifying evil."

If you were looking for the music genre, go here.

The 1981 Canadian-animated film anthology of stories from the magazine of the same name. Laden with sex, violence, profanity, decent animation, and a rippin' soundtrack.

The framing story for each short concerns the Loc-Nar, "The sum of all evil," a sentient, floating green orb that kills people by painfully melting them into goo or turning them into monsters (and a plot device that figures into each short), showing a young girl its influence across space and time (after killing her astronaut father, who had just brought it back to Earth).

  • Harry Canyon, New York taxi driver, gets caught up in a fight between a gang and an archeologist's daughter over the Loc-Nar. She screws him more than once.
  • Den, originally a skinny, nerdy kid named Dan (voiced by John Candy), gets sucked into Neverwhere, becomes a bald, naked, musclebound hunk (still voiced by John Candy) that every woman in the story (equally naked and buxom) apparently throws herself at, and involves himself in a fight between an evil queen and an unkillable dandy to save the girl he encountered upon arrival. Due to the fairly consistent female nudity, this segment is generally excised from TV prints of the movie altogether.
  • Captain Sternn, on trial for multiple crimes (including a moving violation), gets more than he bargained for when Hanover Fiste, the man he paid to act as his character witness, goes berserk under the Loc-Nar's influence.
  • B-17: limping home after a World War II bombing run with most of the crew dead, a USAAF B-17 encounters the Loc-Nar, which then reanimates the dead into flesh eating zombies. The pilot bails out and lands on an island filled with plane wrecks and more zombies. The scariest part of the film. Among critics of the movie, also regarded as the strongest segment, and rarely spoken of in anything but a positive light.
  • So Beautiful, So Dangerous: aliens abduct a buxom Pentagon secretary, and the robot leader takes a shine to her. The pilots ingest a massive amount of plutonium nyborg and fly home utterly stoned, while the robot gets into the secretary's knickers. The Breather Episode after B-17, and seems to be playing things for laughs.
  • Taarna, the last Taarakian, is called to defend a peaceful civilization from Loc-Nar-mutated barbarians. She arrives too late, and she turns to vengeance to fulfill her pact.

At the climax, Taarna's defeat of the Loc-Nar echoes, and the orb menacing the girl is destroyed. A purple bird of the same kind that Taarna flew arrives at her side, and she flies off, her hair turning white and the Taarakian crest appearing on her neck.

Once noted for Keep Circulating the Tapes because music rights kept it from being released on home video. Bootleg tapes of it would routinely turn up, some taped off airings on pay cable channels. Now legally available as well.

The film is adapted from a number of stories in Heavy Metal Magazine, an American version of the French comic Métal Hurlant founded by Moebius and Philippe Druillet. A number of other adaptations have also been made, including the film Heavy Metal 2000 (which had almost nothing to do with the first film) and the Third-Person Shooter F.A.K.K.2 (which was based upon Heavy Metal 2000). Somewhat strangely, the film Heavy Metal 2000 is also sometimes seen under the title Heavy Metal: F.A.K.K.2.

A new version is in development. Lots of big names are floating around to direct segments.

As of August 2011, the David Fincher movie has been cancelled, as Robert Rodriguez has acquired the rights. And the Fandom Rejoiced.


The original 1981 film contains examples of:

 Prosecutor: Lincoln Sternn, you stand here accused of 12 counts of murder in the first degree, 14 counts of armed theft of Federation property, 22 counts of piracy in high space, 18 counts of fraud, 37 counts of rape...and one moving violation.

 The Agony Booth: Revenge-seeking warrior, with boobs! Just think every strong, silent fantasy hero cliché, and you’ll get the idea. Plus, boobs!

  • Most Writers Are Male - There was almost no female character that behaved in any way, shape, or form the way a reasonable and intelligent person would act. You had a woman who worked at the Pentagon, whose first reaction to being abducted by aliens was to complain that she was going to miss her gynecologist appointment, and who later fell in love with a robot who didn't look remotely human. (Of course, the archaeologist's daughter was trying to manipulate Harry, which makes her behavior to that point make sense. And as for Gloria...even the most sensible of us will panic and babble about random things while in shock—although, admittedly, that only explains her going off about her check-up, not jumping in bed with the robot.)
    • The main exceptions are Taarna (a Badass and grim Lady of War, even dressed like that) and the girl in the bridge segments. The girl is appropriately terrified of a green ball that just vaporized her dad. Even when she transforms into the new Taarna, she's never portrayed in a lurid manner as Taarna was in the last story (Taarna was ogled, whipped, sexually abused, and ogled.)
  • Never Trust a Title: This movie really does not focus on the metal. The soundtrack is subdued enough that most of the music is barely audible in the background, there are long gaps between songs, and by today's standards most of the songs would not really be considered heavy metal. The name comes from the magazine the stories were taken from rather than the music.
    • As far as the soundtrack album goes, only the Sammy Hagar, Riggs, Nazareth, and Black Sabbath songs were considered "metal" (or hard rock, at best). The Donald Fagen and Stevie Nicks songs were soft rock, the Journey song was a power ballad, the Devo song was New Wave, and everything else was regular rock.
  • Normally I Would Be Dead Now: The Trope Namer.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: Most of the magazine-based stories are altered to fit the format. In particular, Den, who is perfectly comfortable being buck naked in the original comics, gets a loincloth. On the plus side, the comic's stiff english translation of the dialogue is replaced by a much relaxed tone that sounds more natural and humorous with a horny teenager's take on the macho fantasy story.
    • Originally there wa going to be a lot more overlap between the stories (e.g. Hanover Fiste is seen traveling on the same ship as the stoner aliens and declares that Sternn WILL go free). However this became impossible due to the filming of each segment being handled by different studios, with collaboration between them being incredibly difficult.
  • Private Eye Monologue: One of the segments has it.
  • Punny Name: Hanover Fiste. Harry Canyon.
  • Ridiculously Human Robot
  • Right-Hand-Cat: The giant rat-like pet of the Big Bad Barbarian Leader in "Taarna".
  • Robosexual: Gloria and the robot, somehow.
  • Rotoscoping: Much of Taarna's actions, especially the dressing scenes. Also some of the B17 footage.
  • Rule of Cool: The entire film not only uses this, it runs wild with it.
  • Rule of Funny: During the "Captain Sternn" and "So Beautiful, So Dangerous" segments.
  • Samus Is a Girl: Taarna.
  • Scenery Porn: Particularly in the alien abduction segment and the Taarna segment.
  • Sex Bot

 Robot: Earth women who experience sexual ecstasy with mechanical assistance always tend to feel guilty!

  • Shameful Strip: When Taarna is captured by the Barbarian Leader, he has her stripped.
  • Shout-Out: In the "Den" story, the name of the eldritch god whose favor the villains are trying to win is clearly "Cthulhu" spoken backward (the sacrificial altar also clearly resembles Cthulhu).
  • Shrouded in Myth
  • Sickly Green Glow: The Loc-Nar.
  • Sissy Villain: Ard, "Leader of the Revolution, and Next Ruler of the World."
  • Smoking Hot Sex: Gloria lights up after sleeping with the robot.
  • So Unfunny It's Funny: "Goddamn illegal aliens..."
  • Space Does Not Work That Way:
    • During his rampage through the station, Hanover Fiste causes a part of it to collapse inwards (complete with a settling cloud of dust), instead of outwards (which would have sent debris floating away into space).
    • At the end of Hanover's rampage, Sternn disposes of him by pulling a lever, which drops him through an ordinary trapdoor into space... just as if he were on a planet with gravity, and without an airlock to keep the atmosphere in.
    • Though he's not entering a planetary or solar atmosphere, Hanover Fiste somehow catches fire in the vacuum of space. (Although you could Hand Wave this by saying that it's the Loc-Nar's doing, or even solar radiation. But still.)
  • Spiritual Successor: Den -> Brutal Legend, in many ways.
  • Stab the Sky: The film poster
  • Stripperific: Taarna, in reverse (although her battle gear doesn't cover much either, and sports Combat Stilettos).
  • The Renaissance Age of Animation (1981)
  • Thong of Shielding: Taarna
  • Thrown Out the Airlock: Hanover Fiste.
  • Twenty Minutes Into the Future: the future of 1981, anyway. Manhattan looks like it did before the cleanup in the 80's and 90's , with sex shops, dirty sidewalks and the World Trade Center.
  • Unstoppable Rage: STEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEERNNNNNNNNNNNN!!!!!!!
  • Villainesses Want Heroes: The evil queen really wants Den to "please" her.
  • Wish Fulfillment: Horny busty women who get naked at the drop of a hat and screw anything that moves? See Most Writers Are Male.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: "So Beautiful, So Dangerous" starts out with government officials discussing mysterious human mutations, and Dr. Anrak seems to be part of a cover-up that is later implied to involve Zeke, Edsel, and the robot. Except the mutation story is completely and utterly forgotten when said aliens abduct Dr. Anrak and Gloria.
    • The behind-the-scenes material on disc implies that this story was heavily edited from the original treatment - apparently to the point where it just stops arbitrarily instead of ending.
      • In fact, much that went wrong with this film (particularly the inconsistent animation style, some poor writing in places, and sections that just stop or don't really make sense or were entirely left out like an intended link between Captain Sternn and B17) can be seen as a combination of inexperience, poor planning, and just plain not enough time and money being spent on the project.
  • White-Haired Pretty Girl: Taarna
  • Wretched Hive
  • Zettai Ryouiki: Grade A with the girl in the Harry Canyon segment.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: The B-17 segment.

The 2000 sequel Heavy Metal 2000 contains examples of:

  • Actor Allusion: In the 1980s TV series V, one of the important characters is a battle-hardened Resistance leader fighting against the Visitors, a group of extraterrestrial lizard-people. In this movie, the main villain is a psychotic human warrior fighting with a group of lizard-men as their leader (see below). Both characters are named Tyler, and both roles are played by Michael Ironside.
    • Older Than They Think: The character was named Tyler in the original miniseries the movie was adapted from, The Melting Pot, over ten years before the movie's production.
  • Ax Crazy: Tyler. Justified by the fact that the key to the Chamber of Immortality has that effect on whomever owns it.
    • Plus, Word of God says that the mineral he finds at the begining is actually the Loc-Nar and drives him to madness.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: When Julie and her sidekick are chasing Tyler through Neo Calcutta space station, there is an advertisement briefly visible for Six Foot One And Worth The Climb, the autobiography of Julie's voice actress.
  • Conspicuous CG: At the climax of the movie, the Chamber of Immortality is clearly not rendered in the same 2D animation used for the rest of the film, nor is Odin, once he unmasks himself.
  • The Danza: Julie is voiced by Penthouse Pet and B-movie queen Julie Strain. The character is even designed to look like her.
  • Kill Him Already: Subverted when the heroine displays some common sense - as soon as she sees the Big Bad that nuked her town, she opens fire on him. In a bar filled with 'civilians' (think Mos Eisley's Cantina.) With a Laser Minigun. Unfortunately, it turns out that with the immortality water, he's Not Quite Dead.
  • Make Sure He's Dead: Tyler provides the page's quote.
  • The Mole: Odin reveals himself as such, just after Julie kills Tyler.
  • People Jars: Tyler gets his immortality water by distilling it from the fluids of the bodies of people captured from Julie's home planet.
  • Pound of Flesh Twist: The Man Behind the Man gets his immortality... of course, he then gets sealed in a chamber that can only be opened from the outside with a key lost in the depths of space.
  • Sex Bot: Malfunctioning, of course, and about as sexy as Curly Howard.
  • Shout-Out: There are two shout-outs to the original Heavy Metal movie. First, the Chamber of Immortality is located on a planet in the Taarakian star system (Taarna, the heroine of the final Heavy Metal story, is the last of the Taarakian bloodline). Second, the scene in which Julie disrobes, swims across a pool of water, and gets dressed up for battle is taken directly from the original movie, in which Taarna does the same thing.
  • Stripperiffic: A good number of females. It is Heavy Metal though...
  • You Kill It, You Bought It: Tyler kills the king of a tribe of lizard people and takes his place as their leader.
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