• Heavy Metal Movies: Guitar Barbarians, Mutant Bimbos & Cult Zombies Amok in the 666 Most Ear- and Eye-Ripping Big-Scream Films Ever!



    Heavy Metal Movies: Guitar Barbarians, Mutant Bimbos & Cult Zombies Amok in the 666 Most Ear- and Eye-Ripping Big-Scream Films Ever!
    By: Mike McPadden
    Released by: Bazillion Points
    Released on: June 24th, 2014.
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    In the intro to his book, author Mike ‘McBeardo’ McPadden (who has written for outlets as varied as Mr. Skin and Hustler to Esquire) notes how he was essentially born into heavy metal and movies through an interesting incident involving his grandmother. From there, he succinctly gives us some background on his younger years, the Times Square viewings that warped his young mind and from there… we’re off. As the press materials for this 560 page paperback duly note, “heavy metal and high-thrill cinema have been joined together like mutant twins since before the band Black Sabbath adopted the name of a chilling Italian horror film” so it makes sense that someone would pen a tome about that relationship. And here it is, an infinitely readable resource that basically follows a simple, albeit effective, formula – give up a plot synopsis, and then discuss what makes that specific movie ‘metal.’

    As such, there’s a lot of emphasis on horror, sci-fi and action movies simply because those genres tend to have more in common with elements of heavy metal music than, say, British costume dramas or romantic comedies. Each of the six hundred and sixty-six movies reviewed in the book have a criteria listed at the top of each review that notes their ‘metal qualities’ and some of these are amusing. Beyond The Door touts “Satan, Demonic Possession and Satan Spawn” for example, while The Omega Man scores points for “Post Apocalypse, Mutants and The Last Man Alive.” Aside from covering movies like that, however, McPadden spends a lot of time talking up classic concert films and documentaries, so the content here is all over the place in one regard, but he manages to tie it all in to aforementioned metal qualities like those few noted above.

    Of course, some of his choices are more obvious than others. Lamberto Bava’s Demons and John Fasano’s Thor vehicle Rock N Roll Nightmare are obvious and essential choices, we couldn’t take this book seriously if they weren’t included and properly written up as they are here. Of course, Conan The Barbarian gets written up extensively as well, and for obvious reasons, it’s inclusion here is essential. McPadden can think outside the box, however, and when he does he makes the case for the metal-worth of some films that might not be such obvious contenders like the 1986 Walter Hill film Crossroads starring Ralph Macchio, the 1982 Rankin-Bass film The Last Unicorn or Carter Stevens’ XXX classic Teenage Twins. McPadden even gives equal coverage to the ‘lighter’ side of metal by including Stryper’s Soldiers Under Command video (yeah, I had it as a kid and it fucking rocked so shut up) and gets both esoteric and ‘erotic’ by including not just the Stevens film just mentioned by even the infamous Tommy Lee/Pamela Anderson video, working in some info about a follow up Ms. Anderson would make later on with Poison’s front man Brett Michaels. Work your own Unskinny Bop joke in there as you see fit.

    There are a couple of slip ups here and there (it was Veri Knotty who starred opposite Louis de Jesus in The Anal Dwarf and not Vanessa Del Rio) but for the most part the research here is solid. McPadden writes with passion and enthusiasm for the subject matter and it’s obvious throughout the book that a lot of this material is very near and dear to his heart and when it comes to movies and music that can always make a big difference. McPadden is savvy enough not to go for a literal definition of ‘metal’ as it relates to film. Instead he just sort of calls it as he sees it, offering up opinion and humor alongside facts and figures. A lot of films in the book quality for soundtrack work (Alice Cooper’s work on the Friday The 13th series, for example) or cameos (Twisted Sister’s appearance got Pee Wee’s Big Adventure written up in the book), other films get included because they would go on to inspire bands to write songs in their honor or based on their themes and content (plenty of Hammer films are included for this reason as are Jackson’s Lord Of The Rings films). He’s not afraid to include mainstream choices here when warranted, but neither if he afraid to delve deeper into niche genre content. This results in a wildly series of reviews but again, there are threads throughout each and every entry that validates their inclusion here.

    In typical Bazillion Points fashion, the book is nicely put together. We get a pretty great painted cover and a few black and white photo selections as well as a nice full color gallery in the middle of the book. Alice Cooper himself writes a forward talking about his work in front of the camera and after you finish the book proper we get some fun additional material including the 66.6 Most Metal Moments In Movie History and a second section called The Unfit Fifteen: Metal Moments In Non-Metal Movies (Anvil’s appearance in the Seth Rogan version of The Green Hornet is included here and should give you a good idea of what to expect) followed by a third and final bit entitled TV Casualties: Notable Headbanging On The Small Screen where shows like The Paul Lynde Halloween Special and The Osbournes are discussed. The main section of the book is laid out in alphabetical order which makes it a handy reference volume. All in all, this is a fun read and with so many movies covered, it’s almost a certainty that no matter how well versed you are in both movies and metal that you’ll come across a few noteworthy titles to add to your ‘gotta see this’ list. Metal heads and movie geeks alike should have a blast with this one.