October 2, 2015
Jason Lei Howden
Jason Lei Howden
Milo Cawthorne as Brodie
James Blake as Zakk
Kimberley Crossman as Medina
Sam Berkley as Dion
Daniel Cresswell as Giles
It seems every feature to pay homage to another great work that arrived before it trips up somewhere. It isn’t easy tipping the cap to films of old while maintaining a purity in respect. Look at Rob Zombie, for example; he constantly pays tribute to vintage films, and yet always seems to take things one step too far (I still love you, Rob). Those things happen when making a movie inspired or influenced by another picture. It kind of comes with the territory. So when a movie arrives and its salute to another classic picture is plain as day, but handled in masterful fashion, we tend to shake our heads in stunned belief, form an ear-to-ear grin and throw our hands up in excitement. You duddits!
Wherever you are, Sam Raimi, I hope you’re taking this one in and enjoying every last second!
Deathgasm has a respectable dose of everything a true horror fan craves. It’s a gross picture, at times quite creepy and the special effects are awesome and practical-heavy. The performances are impressive, the chemistry between the cast is top notch and the proper honoring of the Evil Dead films feel as though they couldn’t possibly have been executed in superior fashion.Deathgasm starts big and it ends big, and unlike the bulk of films we see land in our laps these days, this one thoroughly thrills for an hour and a half. There’s no down time to be found inDeathgasm and underwhelming is a word no one in this crew ever contemplated. That’s obvious.
The story follows outcast Brodie, who’s mother’s been tucked away in an insane asylum after attempting to blow “Santa Claus” in the middle of a mall packed with anxious kids; they just wanted to sit on his lap and disclose their holiday gift wishes, after all. Brodie gets sent to live with his uncle’s family and immediately learns that metal heads – which Brodie most certainly is – don’t fit in around the new area. He’s picked up, he’s lonely and he just wants some damn heavy metal to carry him through the rough times. That desire leads him to the town’s only record shop, where he finds the tunes he craves as well as a new friend in Zakk, the local bad ass rebel who doesn’t give a shit about his own family, let alone anything else in life. The two somehow click and before we know it they’ve broken into a rock legend’s home, stolen some strange sacred sheet music, formed a band and got to work making those notes into beautiful noise. But what follows after playing this new tune could never have been predicted, and when the gates of Hell open up it falls on the shoulders of Brodie, his band and his new love interest, Medina to save the world.
Oh boy… there’s so much more I want to say about this storyline it almost hurts.
Must… not… spoil… movie!!!
The overall concept of the story is going to immediately remind you of the Evil Dead flicks (yes, we’re harping on this, but with pure intentions – honestly), but there are an array of isolated scenes that also express love for Sam Raimi’s iconic film. Here’s the lovely thing aboutDeathgasm: It doesn’t feel anything like a ripoff. This is a new story, with new players and new conflicts (for the most part). And every layer of the production is nurtured in a way we just don’t see too often these days. Writer/director Jason Lei Howden gifts us a brilliant production that brings terror, humor, disgusting visuals and unadulterated entertainment in equal measures. The picture is an astoundingly good time!
Milo Cawthorne absolutely slays as the unsuspecting hero. And when you introduce co-stars James Blake (Zakk), Kimberley Crossman (Medina), Sam Berkley (Dion) and Daniel Cresswell (Giles) you get true magic in every last shooting location. This group fits together like a John Hughes bunch. This is The Outsiders on a trip to New Zealand. Everyone knows their role well here and they fire off one another in stunning fashion. It’s just a stellar cast top to bottom.
It’s almost tempting to avoid jumping into the special effects aspect of the film, because that could leave me rambling for two hours and ten pages. But let me control myself by simply saying this is an amazing looking gross out piece. Heads are cut from shoulders; heads are split in two, vertically. Limbs fly about like confetti at a party and once the first drop of blood is spilled, it never seems to stop flowing. It’s a freak’s film all the way and this makeup crew new there would be zero punches pulled in the making of the film. This is just another coating of an amazing production that instantly catapults itself into “Best of the Year” (it may have actually taken an immediate lead) contention.
Don’t let the relatively mild promotional campaign fool you, because that does happen and it isn’t always indicative of how good a picture is or isn’t. It doesn’t matter if you’ve seen just one trailer for Deathgasm, or the sites you frequent have been plugging it to Hell and back thrice over, it’s a piece of gnarly artwork that absolutely must be seen to be believed. Deathgasm arrives on October 2nd here stateside, and you’ll want to keep a few bucks tucked away for a worthwhile purchase. Watch this one just a single time and you’ll know it definitely needs a home in your personal collection!