First, a word of warning: I’m not a “metalhead”, for whom – by writer/director Jason Lei Howden’s own admission – this movie was primarily made for. Thus, I’m not the main target audience, and probably not the best/right guy to review it. Then again, for those non-metalheads like myself outhere, it might be interesting if the movie works even though you don’t count yourself to this elect group of people – a question that I can answer with a subdued “Yes”.
What I probably liked the most is the concept, and the self-ironic idea behind it. I mean, we all know those people who claim that metal is the work of Satan, every metalhead a devil worshipper, and that this kind of music will bring the end of the world as we know it. “Deathgasm” now has fun with this prejudices by proving them right in an extremely exxagerated way. When Zakk and Brodie visit the shack of the leader of a legendary metal band, they stumble upon some sheets of music that look extremely old. And when they start to play them, they bring about the end of the world, and then have to find a way to stop it. Even though the idea of satanic music leading to some form of possession is not entirely new (“Lords of Salem” comes to mind, and I’m sure that horror buffs could tell you many more examples), it still worked for me. I also liked the setup, and the first half of the movie offers up a couple of neat ideas and very funny moments. Unfortunately, the second half didn’t really manage to live up to that. By the time the apocalpyse is upon them, one splatter scene follows another, and while they were all very well done, it got old pretty quickly, and also felt slightly repetitive here and there. Overall, I couldn’t shake the feeling that they started to run out of – new, fresh, funny – ideas long before the movie finally ended. Other times, they simply milk their ideas for a little too long, like with the sextoy-fight. It’s great and funny when it starts, but it just goes on for too long, and overstays its welcome. The showdown also was kinda of a letdown. It might have to do with the fact that they had to shoot it in a single night, since they ran out of time, but I didn’t find it particularly funny, clever and/or gripping. So overall, I guess my reaction to “Deathgasm” is a little like my reaction to metal music in itself: At first, it’s quite intruiging and interesting, but when I listen to it for too long, it starts to get a little dull.