Lead singer Ricky Daggers claims he doesn’t give a f**king c*** about three teenage boys who were a part of a suicide cult.
Funerals were held today for the families of Randy Hyman, Harry Ballsman and Johnson Tip…
The 80s was a hell of a decade for horror movies, I was a teenager in the middle of it, two of my favorite films were Evil Dead (1981) and Trick Or Treat (1986), and what we have here in Deathgasm is Trick Or Treat meets Evil Dead. It would make sense that if any authentic remake of Trick Or Treat were to ever happen it would be a much more nihilistic movie, the same would go for any movie inspired by it just because the world is in a more nihilistic place than it was back in ’86. The antagonist of that flick, Satanist/Heavy Metal Rocker Sammi Curr, was a great horror villain, but his unofficial counterpart in Deathgasm, Rikki Daggers, makes him look like a lightweight.
Sammi Curr died during the movie but came back from the dead when a teenage fan played his last record backwards. I don’t think there was much of a personal backstory with hm other than the dude was big into satanism, but as you can tell by the two newspaper clippings I copied from a scene in Deathgasm, we learn a little bit more of Dagger’s past antics as well as his interest in the occult.
BREAKING: HAXAN SWORD’S RIKKI DAGGERS SENTENCED FOR STEALING ANCIENT ARTIFACTS
Controversial Metal singer claims he doesn’t know how ancient religious texts, shrunken heads and priceless sword got in his car boot. Ricky Daggers (Real name Richard Nicholson) was sentenced to two months prison for breaking into London museum and stealing dozens of ancient artifacts…
Dagger’s interest with demons and devils culminates with the acquisition of some very rare parchment-looking pages that look like they could’ve been stolen right out of the Evil Dead’s Necronomicon. But these ancient pages are actually sheet music known in wider occult circles as the Black Hymn. Playing it will bring down a powerful demon known as The Blind One, but anyone within earshot will become possessed by Evil Deadish demons that are supposed to pave the way for the coming of The Blind One, which is during a blood moon at the Devil’s hour of 3am. Once he’s back he’ll posses the blackest soul in his vicinity. And when I say “pave the way” I mean kill any human they can get their hands on, and when I say “kill any human they can get their hands on” I mean kill any human in the worst way possible. Yes, the movie is a blood bath once it gets revved up, but that’s not to say there aren’t good guys to offset the carnage with carnage of their own.
This is where we meet Brodie (Milo Cawthorne), an metal head who has to move in with his religious uncle and his family because his meth addicted mother tried to blow a Santa Clause at the mall and got put into a mental hospital. His aunt, uncle and cousin hate him at first sight and to make matters worse his cousin is the local bully at school. Brodie isn’t totally alone though, he has a couple of friends, Giles (Daniel Cresswell) and Dion (Sam Berkley), and pines for the resident smoke show, Medina (Kimberley Crossman), who as (horrible) luck would have it is dating David. But it’s clear early on she’s getting tired of dating this jock bully.
One day while visiting a local record store he bumps into fellow metal head, Zakk (James Blake), who on his best day is a borderline dick. Though throughout he shows moments of compassion, but it gets derailed when he does dick things like not give Brodie a note Medina wrote to him asking him to meet her in the park. He shows up instead and tells Medina Brodie isn’t interested and then nails her, or once the town is overrun by the possessed destroying the note Medina, Giles and Dion left on his front door telling him they’ve holed up in the school. At times he’s a tough character to sympathize with because he’s just so damn near psychotic. But Brodie finds a kindred soul in him and that’s all that matters.
Daggers comes back into the picture because Zakk knows a secret and since he knows Brodie is a fan of Daggers and his band Haxan Sword he takes him to this seemingly abandoned house in Greypoint. You see when Dagger “retired” in 1988 he secretly moved to New Zealand. This is Dagger’s home and soon to be final resting place and this is where Brodie comes across those newspaper clippings and, surprise. surprise, Daggers sleeping in the other room clutching a record album!! A Haxan Sword album presumably, but after they get back home with it all they find is a Rick Astley record inside (if I heard that line of dialogue correctly) and the Black Hymn.
Brodie can read sheet music and might be able to play it, and they try and play it with strange consequences. Everyone almost passes out and the effects on those that can hear it is demonically obvious, but they didn’t stay with it long enough for the possessions to become permanent. That all changes when David and a douchebag friend seriously fuck up Brodie one day at school because of his interest in Medina. Parts of the Black Hymn he could translate seemed to indicate the person who can play it will be granted power, so sick of being picked on he gets the Deathgasm band together and plays it all the way through!
There’s a subplot of what appears to be some highly funded occult group looking to bring back The Blind One themselves and after Brodie and Zakk have left Daggers’ place a representative from that fine institution pays Dagger a visit having finally found him. This leads to an obvious confrontation and one of the nastiest throat slittings I’ve ever seen in a movie, thus ending Dagger’s life, but he makes one more appearance, a nastier one than Curr’s when he came back from the dead thanks to the Black Hymn. Of course Curr had the advantage of dying at the height of his career while Daggers “fermented in his own juices” for decades before death finally took him, which kind of explains why he looks like an aged meth addict.
I only had one gripe with the movie, though it wasn’t one that derailed my enjoyment, just a character deviation that made me wonder if that would even be possible. After Brodie finally realizes Zakk kind of is a pile a shit, confronts him about it and they get into a fight that ends with Zakk leaving the group (which all makes total sense for his character), there’s a scene later on when Brodie, Giles, Dion and Medina are captured, tied up and tossed into the same room Daggers was killed in . . . just when a demon possessed dead Daggers is about to do something heinous to one of them, Zakk shows up and saves the day. That didn’t make a lot of sense to me seeing that everything he’s made us believe up to then is that he’s an anti-social scuzz. I don’t know, I guess given the circumstances of being in a constant life-or-death situation with demon possessed humans a 180-degree character shift like that might be possible.
Did I mention this is a horror comedy from New Zealand? New Zealand has a good track record with horror flicks. I mean they gave us Peter Jackson. Last year I reviewed Housebound (2014) another New Zealand horror comedy that strikes just the right cords, plus sometime soon we should be getting another one, this time a straight horror flick about a haunted house called The Dead Room.
For gorehounds Deathgasm is loaded with gore of all shapes and sizes. Aside from the aforementioned throat slitting, there are two other cringe worthy moments: one involving a hooded satanist getting a live chainsaw shoved up his ass, and a possessed human with his dong hanging out getting it cut off for all to see, with a slow motion shot of it flying all bloody through the air and plopping down on the ground. I’d say most of the FX is practical with a small portion, like 1%, CGI augmented.
There are five main characters in this flick and by the end only two of them live to see tomorrow. Just a heads up all three of them die in the final moments when Deathgasm is trying to play the Hymn backwards to reverse the effects.
Back on January 5th Dark Sky Films released Deathgasm in separate DVD and Blu-ray editions!
Video/Audio/Subtitles: 1080p 2.35:1 high definition widescreen—2.0 English Lossless, 5.1 English DTS-HD Master Audio—English SDH subs only
Video & Audio were great. Didn’t have a problem with either. The disc comes with the reverse cover art of the “sign of the devil” poster, which you can see at the top of this review, except “Evil Is Coming” has been replaced with “Totally Brutal.” Also the disc itself looks like a record. Nice retro-styling there.
Extras included . . .
- Audio Commentary With Writer/Director Jason Lei Howden
- Brotherhood Of Steel: The Cast Of Deathgasm (5:02)
- Demon Seed: An Interview With Jason Lei Howden (5:24)
- Gorgasm: The FX Of Deathgasm (5:14)
- Music Video: Bulletbelt—Deathgasm (4;19)
(Note: If you’re looking to buy this at Walmart it’s been retitled Heavy Metal Apocalypse. See cover art above. Walmart also did this with A Christmas Horror Story changing that one to “A Holiday Horror Story”).
Back in December Jason Lei Howden announced news of a sequel via his Instagram account—Deathgasm Part 2: Goremageddon stating:
“So I just finished this. There is literally more gore in the first 10 minutes than the entire first #deathgasm. If you kinda liked the first, this will make your head implode. If you thought the first Deathgasm was puerile, juvenile and dumb then Goremageddon will melt your face off and force you to barricade yourself inside, safe with some Terrance Malik and Coldplay.”
One more thing . . . stick around for the credits there’s an after credits scene on this one. Nothing revelatory, just some black humor from Brodie and Zakk.