Yes, I’m one of those movie fans who has never dipped a toe into the bloody waters of heavy metal horror films like Trick Or Treat, Rock & Roll Nightmare, Rocktober Blood, or Black Roses. So I wasn’t sure if I was the target audience for Deathgasm, the new outrageous horror comedy from New Zealand. After attending the film’s Fantastic Fest screening, however, I can’t imagine any fan of horror comedy not throwing the horns for Deathgasm.

In addition to being a loving homage to the heavy metal horror films from back in the day, Deathgasm pays tribute to Evil Dead. Two metal head miscreants find sheet music that can conjure demons. What’s hilarious is that they don’t even realize it; they just think it looks badass. The theme of “nerdy dudes trying desperately to be cool” is prominent throughout Deathgasm.

Main character Brodie is an outcast in his school; his mom is in prison and the aunt and uncle who take him in are hardcore Christians who are intimidated by his long hair, metal posters, and loud music. Yet, even though Brodie tries to look tough, he’s a good guy (and a bit of a nerd) at heart, trying to defend a fellow outcast (Dion) from bullies at school. When Brodie meets fellow metalhead outcast/nerd Zakk, things start to fall into place. Along with Dion’s equally goofy friend Giles, the four form a band. Soon Brodie’s crush on classmate and total babe Medina looks like it might be reciprocated, and it seems that being an outcast might not be such a bad thing.

If you think Deathgasm will provide a gooey candy center, however, you’ll be wrong. After all, the movie comes from New Zealand, and if you’ve seen Housebound or any of Taika Waititi’s films (What We Do In The Shadows, Eagle Vs. Shark), you will understand that you’re going to get some sour with your sweetness.

The practical effects in Deathgasm are incredible; the demon characters ooze blood, filth, and fury, and are nasty as hell, another respectful nod to Evil Dead. Killing these foul creatures gets messy as buckets upon buckets of blood drench the screen.

Deathgasm also boasts more than its share of laugh out loud moments and most of these are so bizarre that you won’t see them coming, which makes them even funnier. Best of all, it is obvious that the filmmakers genuinely love heavy metal. Besides Deathgasm‘s impeccable soundtrack, the peek inside Brodie’s mind when he listens to music is gloriously and perfectly conveyed.

Despite being a love song to heavy metal horror movies of the past, Deathgasm doesn’t try to go full retro. The time period is vaguely modern but not so on the nose that it runs the risk of dating the film within the decade. A funny, frightening, and fresh take on misfits and mayhem, Deathgasm seems like it’s destined to be a timeless classic of the genre.

deathgasm poster