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Heavy Metal

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Canada, United States · 1981
Rated R · 1h 30m
Director Julian Harris
Starring Rodger Bumpass, Jackie Burroughs, Joe Flaherty, Harold Ramis
Genre Adventure, Animation, Fantasy, Music, Science Fiction

In this outlandish animated anthology film, an evil, glowing orb terrorizes a young girl with a collection of stories of dark fantasy, eroticism, and horror. Zombies, aliens, and robots feature in tales ranging and from gore and violence to sex and erotica.

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What are critics saying?


Washington Post by

Heavy Metal is one of the worst ideas ever to be translated into a movie. [8 Aug 1981, p.C10]


Chicago Reader by Dave Kehr

The film never transcends the racist, sexist, neofascist implications of its base material, but it works entertainingly within them, and even manages a bit of auto-analysis in John Candy's ironic, adolescent narration of the "Den" episode. Better than it had to be, for which some honor is due.


Empire by Ian Nathan

That it is a cartoon that takes kids right out of the equation is the best recommendation of all.


The New York Times by Janet Maslin

For anyone who doesn't think an hour and a half is a long time to spend with a comic book, Heavy Metal is impressive. Though it owes some slight bit of its toughness and nihilism to Ralph Bakshi, this animated feature is off on its own track, combining science fiction, mysticism, sex, violence and rock music. Much of the time, these elements do what the film makers want them to, and make for a heady mix.


Austin Chronicle by Marc Savlov

A genuinely outrageous and occasionally brilliant coupling of American animation and classic early-Eighties heavy metal (does anybody even remember Riggs and Trust?).

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