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article imageReview: ‘Deathgasm’ hooks audiences right up until the big finish Special

By Sarah Gopaul     Oct 31, 2015 in Entertainment
‘Deathgasm’ is a heavy metal horror story that regales audiences with its loud and gory tale of a group of kids who mistakenly summon a world-ending demon.
The relationship between heavy metal and horror movies is a longstanding one that’s reciprocal, even if it’s not always balanced. Bands like Gwar have their own monster mascots on stage and others dress in disturbing costumes, while film soundtracks have incorporated the musical genre countless times over the years as its forceful tone lends itself to the sometimes visceral imagery. This correlation has generally been assumed rather than explicitly stated, but Deathgasm puts the connection front-and-centre in its plot.
Moving in with his white bread relatives was not one of Brodie’s (Milo Cawthorne) top choices, but it was his only one. His severe appearance and tastes in music are in absolute conflict with their Middle America, wholesome ideals. Save for three fellow outcasts, Brodie is also ostracized at school where he is regularly bullied (by his cousin). One day they stumble upon the hiding hovel of a formerly popular metal singer who entrusts them with a valuable piece of music; but he fails to warn them that performing the song will bring about the end of humanity via the rebirth of a destructive demon. As the town devolves into a den of the undead, the four metal bandmates and one teen girl must find a way to undo the spell and send the evil back to Hell.
A scene from  Deathgasm
A scene from 'Deathgasm'
Dark Sky Films
Every so often the best part about a new feature writer/director is their ability to adapt and improvise to their resources. Constraints and accessibility are not always a detriment to a film and can occasionally result in some interesting developments. In this case, some borrowed props from a local New Zealand production results in a battle against zombies in which the only available weapons are sex toys. It’s certainly as ridiculous and sometimes ineffectual as it sounds, but its absolute absurdity contributes to the picture’s uniqueness and humour. And most importantly, it bizarrely fits into the overall tone of the movie. Another instance of adaption is casting a man in a particular role because he provided his own decapitated head, which allows for another hilarious scene in the film about getting it right the second time.
The premise is somewhat similar to the TV series Todd and the Book of Pure Evil, but not at all appropriate for general audiences. Everything about this movie is geared toward entertaining its audience. In spite of the occasionally flimsy segment, Jason Lei Howden succeeds in his goal by establishing a solid backstory before splattering the screen with blood. Diehard horror fans will appreciate the gore and gruesome monsters. It’s not just stupid for stupid’s sake, but rather true to its adolescent personalities who are impulsive and inexperienced. The young cast perfectly captures their characters’ irrational behaviour, while demonstrating commendable comic timing. Without their creditable performances, this movie would never have been able to convince its viewers to stay on for this ridiculous journey.
The film screened at the 2015 Toronto After Dark Film Festival.
Director: Jason Lei Howden
Starring: Milo Cawthorne, James Blake and Kimberley Crossman
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