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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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1,932 ( 231)

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Grimaldi (segment "Grimaldi") / Co-Pilot (segment "B-17") / Barbarian (segment "Taarna") (voice)
Caroline Semple ...
Girl (segment "Grimaldi") (voice)
...
...
Girl (segment "Harry Canyon") / Satellite (segment "Harry Canyon") (voice)
...
...
Alien (segment "Harry Canyon") / Henchman (segment "Harry Canyon") (voice)
...
Desk Sergeant (segment "Harry Canyon") / Dan (segment "Den") / Den (segment "Den") / Robot (segment "So Beautiful and So Dangerous") (voice)
Glenis Wootton Gross ...
...
Whore (segment "Harry Canyon") / Queen (segment "Den") (voice)
...
Katherine (segment "Den") (voice)
Martin Lavut ...
...
Norl (segment "Den") / Taarak (segment "Taarna") (voice)
...
Prosecutor (segment "Captain Sternn") (voice)
...
Sternn (segment "Captain Sternn") / Male Reporter (segment "So Beautiful and So Dangerous") / Edsel (segment "So Beautiful and So Dangerous") (voice)
...
Lawyer (segment "Captain Sternn") / General (segment "So Beautiful and So Dangerous") (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:

Columbia Pictures takes you beyond the future into a universe you've never seen before. A universe of mystery. A universe of magic. A universe of sexual fantasies. A universe of awesome good. A universe of terrifying evil. 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  »

Box Office

Budget:

$9,300,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (premiere)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Elmer Bernstein worked on the scores for both this and the John Landis film An American Werewolf in London (1981) at the same time. See more »

Goofs

The color of the spaceship's thrusters in "So Beautiful and So Dangerous" changes from green to red between shots. 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.
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Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Featured in Nostalgia Critic: Heavy Metal (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Passachaglia
composed by Krzysztof Penderecki
Original recording #1 performed by Andrés Segovia
Produced by Lawrence Collingwood
Original recording #2 performed by the Krakow Chamber Orchestra and Chorus
Produced by Stanislaw Gaflowski
Recordings remixed and compiled for this film and score cue performed by Ross Bagdasarian Jr. and Roger Waters
Produced by Steve Vining, Howard Pfeifer and John McClure
(Neverwhere Land sequence in 1996 reissue version)
(reissue version only)
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Comic fantasy ... and nothing more
2 April 2001 | by (Washington, DC) – See all my reviews

Trying to con Harry Canyon in futuristic New York City ("big deal"), striking a deal with Den, having sex with a robot (or, as he puts it, using "mechanical assistance"), bribing Hanover Fiste to testify on your behalf in court, praying for Taarna to save you. None of these things have anything in common except for the Loch-nar, a green ball supposedly containing the essence and entirety of evil.

It doesn't matter if none of this makes complete sense or if it's even that good in terms of plot construction. This is Heavy Metal!

The concept of this 1981 animated experiment is two-fold: show good and evil in a constant state of flux, and bring to life the richness and erotic energy of the popular animated magazine. Add to that some science fiction, a slight reverence for history (in the beautiful ghoul scene in the WWII B-17) and a juvenile insight into drugs and sex, and you have the definition of my '80s youth culture.

I was one of those kids who'd sneak an issue of Heavy Metal, found on the magazine stands in the local drug store next to the grocery store where my father did his weekly shopping, inside another magazine and stare at the drawings, looking for some violence and humor ... and naked women with bi g breasts. I did the same thing whenever I got my hands on a National Lampoon and, if I was lucky, Hustler.

It's pre-pubescence at its hormonal best! And seeing it again as an adult brings all that excitement back to me. Every story, every piece of music ... God, every shot for that matter -- they all bring me back to being 10 years old and wrestling with my older cousin as she tried to block my eyes when the chick Harry Canyon picks up off the street strips and slides into bed with him to the tune of Journey's "Open Arms."

This movie wasn't meant to be cinematic greatness. It was meant to be a boy's fantasy and his coming of age. Sometimes we take these things too seriously. A good movie is a good movie, and a good memory is a good memory. Let's leave it at that ... and let me get a whiff of that stuff the spaceship pilots have lined along the floor...


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