Heavy Trip (2018), by Juuso Laatio and Jukka Vidgren

Heavy Metal often takes itself too seriously or does not take itself seriously enough. Whatever the case, it tends to be a laughing stock.

If that is true for music, then genre-devoted films are even guiltier. Spinal Tap is much to blame and its mockery of rock star mannerisms. Then we have other guilty parts for the whole ridicule, such as Rock Star, a fake Judas Priest-inspired bio-pic, in which Mark Whalberg – the worst actor in the world, once known as the cousin of one of the New Kids On The Block – plays what can be considered a fictional version of Rob Halford. And let’s not forget the role of Some Kind Of Monster.

Then we have Heavy Metal movies, like this Heavy Trip, in which the number one goal is to make metal blokes laugh at themselves without neglecting the others around, without losing the pose. This is not always easy and Waynes World is a good example of that. But Heavy Trip comes from a different lineage, particularly when we consider that it was made in Finland, land known as the birthplace of major Black Metal bands, and not in Hollywood. So, their directors, devoted metal fans, already have a proper pedigree in the right references and they know how to use them.

To begin with, the original soundtrack does not sound like a poorly conceived band and, even though a Stratovarius member is behind it, it is not exactly cheese. The film’s 80s overtone certainly helps to keep the viewer’s interest, as well as the situations in which the four friends in the band, named Impaled Rektum, get together to play in a renowned festival. Obviously, there is a boy-meets-girl thing in the middle without falling into clichés, and of course there is also a rival in that love conundrum. But what remains is the array of episodes that these 4 metal lads experience in a small town in a northern European country. From constantly being called pussies to making music, which the bassist describes as symphonic metal, post-apocalyptic, deer-doer, christ-abuser, pagan war extreme, fine-Scandinavian.

To push things even further, there is blood, vomit, loud music, and geek moments around Heavy Metal, which makes this whole thing like Stranger Things for metal fans, former metal lovers and friends or girlfriends of metal devotees.

The Portuguese premiere of Heavy Trip is still unknown, but for now you can watch the film on Video On Demand mode, on some platforms around the world globe.

Hugo Filipe Lopes writes sometimes under cover, other times out of the closet. Some days he’s a copy, in the others he is an author and, in the others, still, he manages to be both. He likes to write more about the things he loves or about things he doesn’t have a clue. If no one asks him to write, he does nevertheless, in the black diary he carries anywhere. He writes because he doesn’t know how to draw and because it’s cheaper than making movies or taking pictures and also because it’s easier. But sometimes, though, this is the hardest thing in the world.

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