Heavy Metal, a classic Canadian animation film made in 1981 based off their magazine by the same name. The creators of South Park did an episode called ‘Major Boobage’ which was a sort of homage to the original Heavy Metal. They nailed the animation perfectly as you can see in the video below.
If it wasn’t for this episode of South Park I’m sure only a few ‘underground’ people would have ever heard of Heavy Metal. Basically it is an animated movie compiled of different animation shorts written and drawn by different people. This gives each short a distinct style and storyline which makes the movie as a whole, hard to stop watching. The premise of the movie is simple: a green orb who talks with an evil voice over forces some poor girl to listen to his tales of greatness, from across all time spans. Each short therefore has only one thing in common, they all somehow tie the green orb into it. I have uploaded a few scenes which are definitely worth watching:
This is the intro scene and it is called ‘Soft Landing’, it was written by Dan O’Bannon (the writer of Alien and Total Recall!) and contains the iconic white corvette flying in space animation, the song playing is called Radar Rider by a band called Riggs…
This is probably my favourite segment in the entire film. It’s a film noir style animation short set in a dystopian New York City in 2031. It follows a taxi driver named Harry Canyon around as he struggles with the day to day happenings in this futuristic society, he eventually finds himself taking care of an attractive woman and well.. you’ll have to watch it for yourself!
On second thought, I think this is my favourite segment in the entire film! This short is nothing short (pun) of amazing story telling and animation from the start to the finish. It’s about the space trial of a man called Howard Sternn; it also includes a bad ass chase scene which is reminiscent of those crazy chase nightmares that we all have on our bad nights.
This is the second and last short written by Alien’s writer Dan O’Bannon, and it really shows. This one is probably the most iconic short in the entire film as it contains the B-17 Bomber flying through space to the classic Don Felder track ‘Takin’ A Ride’. Apparently Don Felder wrote this song specifically for the intro scene, but I’m glad it was chosen for the start of this scene instead. The animation in this is flawless, the intro music is completely bad ass and will be stuck in your head for the rest of your life, and the pacing and suspense is terrific. You can really see the creative genius behind Alien at work here, watch it now, you won’t be dissapointed!
Finally I leave you with a short scene from one of the last scenes of the movie, it details a sweet little raid that a horde of alien soldiers unleash upon some unsuspecting city. This scene always stuck out to me as being really well animated, it captures a really dark and dystopic future in 1 minute better than most full length films.
All in all, Heavy Metal is one hell of a ride; any one of the above clips alone is worth the cost of admission. But if you decide to watch the whole thing you’ll be rewarded with lots of gratuitous nudity and good classic rock (not heavy metal thank god) music! You can buy it here!