6.7/10
26,143
152 user 65 critic

Heavy Metal (1981)

A glowing green orb - which embodies ultimate evil - terrorizes a young girl with an anthology of bizarre and fantastic stories of dark fantasy, eroticism and horror.

Writers:

(screenplay) (as Dan Goldberg), (screenplay) | 9 more credits »
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2,265 ( 1,022)

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ON DISC
4 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Caroline Semple ...
Girl (segment "Grimaldi") (voice)
...
...
...
Rudnick (segment "Harry Canyon") (voice)
...
Alien (segment "Harry Canyon") / Henchman (segment "Harry Canyon") (voice)
...
Glenis Wootton Gross ...
Whore (segment "Harry Canyon") (voice)
...
...
Katherine (segment "Den") (voice)
Martin Lavut ...
...
Norl (segment "Den") / Taarak (segment "Taarna") (voice)
...
...
...
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Storyline

An astronaut brings home a glowing green orb for his daughter. However, the green orb wipes him out and corners the girl for its purposes. Claiming to embody ultimate evil, the malevolent sphere, known as the Loc-Nar, terrorizes the little girl by showing a series of bizarre and fantastic stories it has influenced. The first is "Harry Canyon", a cynical taxi driver in a squalid futuristic New York who finds himself involved with a damsel in distress who is relentlessly pursued by murderous thugs who desire the Loc-Nar her archaeologist father found. The second is "Den", which chronicles the adventures of a nerdish teenager who is thrown into the fantasy world of Neverwhere, where he is transformed into a studly naked muscle man, desired by beautiful women, who must get involved in a conflict revolving around possession of the Loc-Nar. The third is "Captain Sternn", where the title character is a handsome but irredeemable scoundrel who stands accused in a trial that Loc-Nar throws into... Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@home.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A step beyond science-fiction. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

7 August 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Métal hurlant  »

Filming Locations:


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Box Office

Budget:

$9,300,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (premiere)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film is made up of eight segments.
  • Soft Landing: A 1959 fiberglass-bodied Chevy Corvette is deployed from a space shuttle, lands on Earth, and drives up to a house.
  • Grimaldi: The astronaut goes into the house and shows his daughter what he found. When he opens his case, a green glowing orb rises out and melts him.
  • Harry Canyon: A 21st-century New York taxicab driver gets caught between a covetous gangster, the beautiful daughter of an archaeologist, and a green gem called the Loc-Nar.
  • Den: A nerdish teenager's consciousness is translated through space and time to another world into the body of a muscular warrior named DEN.
  • Captain Sternn: A square-jawed antihero is on trial for numerous serious charges and only his character witness can save him.
  • [Neverwhere Land]: Cut segment about how the Loc-Nar guided the evolution of life on Earth through violence and anger.
  • B-17: The remaining crew of a damaged B-17 bomber must survive the machinations of the Loc-Nar.
  • So Beautiful, So Dangerous: An Earthwoman is accidentally taken onboard a starship when it tries to retrieve its android.
  • Taarna: The Loc-Nar is corrupting an army of followers and will overwhelm the world with its cold, murderous violence. The last scion of a warrior race, seeking to avenge the deaths of the people she was sworn to protect, is the only thing in its way.


The Grimaldi segment is the link device that ties this movie together. The Loc-Nar features in some way in the six stories that follow. It narrates to the captive girl tales about its great power before it begins to devour her. See more »

Goofs

The two final scenes of "So Beautiful, So Dangerous" are reversed. The robot and the secretary exit the ship onto the space station before the ship lands. If you look closely at the lower right corner of the screen as the ship grinds to a halt in the hangar bay, the escalator ramp used by the robot and the secretary only seconds before is deployed. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: A shadow shall fall over the universe, and evil will grow in its path, and death will come from the skies.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The rolling text of the credits stutter upwards in rhythm with the machine sound that opens the song "Working in the Coal Mine" performed by Devo. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Nostalgia Critic: Starchaser: The Legend of Orin (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Taking a Ride (on Heavy Metal)
Performed by Don Felder
Written by Don Felder
Publisher: Fingers Music, ASCAP
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A true Cult Classic, and well worth seeing.
1 February 2001 | by See all my reviews

I have to admit, I loved this movie from when I first saw it. A true cult classic, and second in Midnight Movie viewing only to Rocky Horror.

I think one reason that this movie was looked forward to for so long is that it was unavailable for so long. I remember around 1984 when a release was planned, and a dispute with the multiple musicians caused it to be pulled. But thankfully this was finally resolved, so we can own it again.

I bought a pirate copy when i was in Japan in 1988 (On Beta no less), and almost played it to death. And having been a fan of the comic when I could find it, I think it told the stories very well. I admit that the "green sphere" link was silly and did not work, and that the original "carousel" concept would have been much better (watch the DVD release for details on this). The simple fact that I have bought 3 copies of this time and still own all 3 of them says something about the movie.

Harry Canyon, Den, and Taarna are the be the most remembered pieces of this movie. Each in itself could even be fleshed out to hour long length, and still be enjoyable. So Beautiful, So Dangerous is enjoyable, and Harold Ramis and John Candy steal the show with their voices ("Hey man, you got any of that plutonium niborg left?"). And I admit, the film version of the story was MUCH more enjoyable then the original one from the comic.

PS: Watch for the cameo of a destroyed USS Enterprise. I love pointing that out to people that miss it.


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