Wednesday, 9 September 2015



Confession: I don't get death metal. I don't like it, I don't listen to it, I don't understand it. That's not to denigrate death metal or those who do like it: it's like marzipan or Richard Curtis romcoms in that there are those who like these things and those who don't, it's all subjective and no-one is wrong. That I can't tell the difference between death metal, heavy metal, sludge metal, black metal, speed metal, brute metal and Viking metal* is entirely a reflection on me and my tastes, and not the music.

So I'd pretty much expected a film called Deathgasm, in which a bunch of spotty outcasts and high school rejects get together to thrash out the Devil's music at maximum volume, to be an intolerable nihilistic shriek of despair and angsty whining in between indecipherable bellowing to a thudding percussion line. What a pleasant surprise, then, to find it's actually a sweet, funny and light horror comedy which occupies that same nerdy horror comedy niche as Dance Of The Dead, where the weirdo kids that nobody likes end up saving the day (admittedly after they've caused the demonic infestation in the first place by inadvertently performing a Satanic invocation from a piece of sheet music).

It also has that absurdly unrealistic teen wish-fulfilment subplot in which the whiny adolescent weirdo hooks up with an unfeasibly glamorous "normal" girl who would in real life be completely unattainable to anyone but the quarterback and the class president (see also the Transformers movies in which Shia LaBoeuf of all people gets to cop off with walking boner machines Megan Fox and Rosie Huntingdon-Whiteley). In this case the tentative relationship is rather sweet and allows for childish friction between the Brotherhood Of Steel, as the two leads have dubbed themselves. Deathgasm isn't a masterpiece and it gets silly from time to time, notably in the enthusiastic gore scenes (practical rather than CGI) when it goes for gags like death by sex aid, but mostly it's surprisingly light and engaging and I enjoyed it far more than I thought I would. Still not bothered about the Various Artists soundtrack album (including the likes of Nunslaughter and Axeslasher, apparently) though!


* One or more of these may be made up.

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