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Heavy Metal Parking Lot (1986)

A look at the wild scene outside a Judas Priest concert

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A look at the wild scene outside a Judas Priest concert

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The wildest rock 'n' roll documentary of all time.


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Not Rated

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30 October 2007 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

While widely available as a bootleg for years, the first known theatrical showing outside of Washington, D.C. was in 1997. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Violent Shit (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

You've Got Another Thing Comin'
Words and Music by Rob Halford, K.K. Downing and Glenn Tipton
Performed by Judas Priest
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User Reviews

 
Priest rocks always. This vision of their fans is... interesting!
31 August 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Well, Judas Priest *still* rules, long as they don't retire (though even then they can rule in perpetuity for another decade or so), so that's a given, I suppose.

But what about what this represents? This is like getting a time capsule or an anthropology class; having gone to some metal shows over the year (and, in the interest of full disclosure, Priest played with Ozzfest in 2004 and arguably did better than actual reunited Black Sabbath at the concert, if just by a smidgen, but I digress), this is fairly accurate. Of course for this time and place it's young people getting f****d up before going in to see their favorite band (and Dokken, lol, Dream Warriors man!), but that's what's compelling about it: it's honest, and that's what matters.

There's nothing else to it except that this filmmaker wanted to see what it was like in a parking lot before a metal concert. Of course it can't be helped that they all react like animals to the camera being there - hey, it's time for a concert, let's have fun - but the energy is certainly different than in the days of Woodstock or Altamont, where people didn't pay the camera too much mind unless if someone actually asked the hippies a question. For these "old-school" metal-heads who love Priest and Metallica and Scorpions and Ozzy (though one guy snorts that "he's gotten chubby!") it's all about showing the PRIEST RULES state of being for the cameras.

You won't exactly get a ton of insight into the culture at large - Spheeris' Decline II: the Metal Years is the place for that as it's a feature - but it's a nifty little 16 minutes that is kind of funny for how passionate these guys and ladies are (sometimes it's hard to tell them apart due to the hair!) and there are little moments that stand out like when a girl says she's 13 (is she really, who knows, who would lie about something like that), or when one of the token Hispanic metal-heads chugs down some whiskey. Metal time!

I think when I say this is anthropology it's that the filmmaker isn't showing us anything that's other than seeing a culture in its natural state of being or habitat: metal-heads are to this parking lot what the earliest homo sapiens were to a cave as they prepared their fire and had their women and Quest for Fire days. One might think it's almost cheesy to see by today's standards of audiences (i.e. Slayer or on the opposite end those EDM shows where people completely zonk out on ecstasy), but there's now a charm to it seeing this 30 years later, back when it was thought that metal was brainwashing young people's minds or even doing things like bringing them to violence.

Are these metal-heads animated? Oh sure. May they be missing some brain cells? Possibly, or they will be more-so by the time they've gone and done their two hours of head-banging and whiskey swigging (or, if you're a groupie, screw Glen Tipton apparently). But they're ultimately, in the vision of this director, harmless. What a... nice trip down memory lane this will be for people of this time and age.


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