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Heavy Metal (1981)

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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:

Daniel Goldberg (screenplay) (as Dan Goldberg), Len Blum (screenplay) | 9 more credits »
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3,989 ( 767)
4 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Don Francks ... Grimaldi (segment "Grimaldi") / Co-Pilot (segment "B-17") / Barbarian (segment "Taarna") (voice)
Caroline Semple Caroline Semple ... Girl (segment "Grimaldi") (voice)
Richard Romanus ... Harry Canyon (segment "Harry Canyon") (voice)
Susan Roman ... Girl (segment "Harry Canyon") / Satellite (segment "Harry Canyon") (voice)
Al Waxman ... Rudnick (segment "Harry Canyon") (voice)
Harvey Atkin ... Alien (segment "Harry Canyon") / Henchman (segment "Harry Canyon") (voice)
John Candy ... Desk Sergeant (segment "Harry Canyon") / Dan (segment "Den") / Den (segment "Den") / Robot (segment "So Beautiful and So Dangerous") (voice)
Glenis Wootton Gross Glenis Wootton Gross ... Whore (segment "Harry Canyon") (voice)
Marilyn Lightstone ... Whore (segment "Harry Canyon") / Queen (segment "Den") (voice)
Jackie Burroughs ... Katherine (segment "Den") (voice)
Martin Lavut Martin Lavut ... Ard (segment "Den") (voice)
August Schellenberg ... Norl (segment "Den") / Taarak (segment "Taarna") (voice)
John Vernon ... Prosecutor (segment "Captain Sternn") (voice)
Eugene Levy ... Sternn (segment "Captain Sternn") / Male Reporter (segment "So Beautiful and So Dangerous") / Edsel (segment "So Beautiful and So Dangerous") (voice)
Joe Flaherty ... 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 handsome muscleman, 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 the Loc-Nar throws into ... Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@home.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Louder and nastier than ever. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Canada | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 August 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Métal hurlant See more »

Filming Locations:

England, UK

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Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (premiere)

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Taarna storyline was illustrated by the acclaimed artist, Moebius. He's concerned about the environment, which is why the background has a great deal of randomly-placed water pipes. See more »

Goofs

In the Den segment, when Katherine is first going to be sacrificed, she goes from being tied up to untied and struggling to tied up again. 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 »

Alternate Versions

Aired in the mid-1990s, the TNT version removes all sexual material (Harry and the woman, Den's two encounters, etc), most of the language, and the drug references during the alien abduction segment (Zeke and his partner do not snort the white powder, though Zeke still makes his 'let your hands work the controls like you're straight' line, and a still of the snorting scene is in the closing credit montage). This version has not aired in several years; this was part of TNT's 'adult animation' nights (with an edited Vampire Hunter D, Robot Carnival, and Rock 'n' Rule). See more »

Connections

References Flesh Gordon (1974) See more »

Soundtracks

Veteran of the Psychic Wars
Performed by Blue Öyster Cult
Written by Eric Bloom, Michael Moorcock
Publisher: B.O. Cult Songs, ASCAP
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Fine showcase of a great magazine.
25 February 2003 | by grendelkhanSee all my reviews

Heavy Metal, the movie, is great encapsulation of Heavy Metal, the magazine. Heavy Metal was and is an anthology of the best of American and European comic writers and artists. It has carried the work of such masters as Moebius, Druillet, Liberatore, Bernie Wrightson, Howard Chaykin, Walt Simonson, Arthur Sydam, Enki Bilal, Richard Corben and Simon Bisley. The movie adapts some of the great stories from the glory days of the magazine.

The movie is much like the magazine: a mixed bag of sci-fi, fantasy, horror, comedy, and erotica. Some of it is good, some not. My personal favorites are Harry Canyon, Den, Captain Sternn, B-17, and Tarna. Harry Canyon is a sci-fi tale of thugs, femme fatales, and cynics ala Dashell Hammett and Raymond Chandler, transported to the future. It has been cited as an inspiration for The Fifth Element, by some; but it bears some resemblance to the works of French artist, Moebius, who created designs for The Fifth Element. Moebius also factors into Tarna, as the entire look of this sequence is almost xeroxed from Moebius' Arzach stories.

Captain Sternn is the anti-hero/criminal from Bernie Wrightson, co-creator of Swamp Thing and illustrator of a beautiful edition of Frankenstein. This is a fun sequence, full of comedy and chaos, much like the Sternn stories. Sternn has more than a slight resemblance to a certain Kryptonian.

B-17 captures the flavor of the old EC horror comics, like Tales from the Crypt and the Vault of Horror. The sequence features design work from Mike Ploog, a horror comics master and artist of Marvel's Man-Thing. It has a nice creepy, decayed atmosphere and lets the visuals tell the story.

Den is adapted from Richard Corben's tales. The melon-breasted women that Corben is known for are on fine display here. We also get the humor that also permeates Corben's work. John Candy was quite good here, giving Den the perfect adolescent voice.

Tarna is the most lush sequence, with sweeping vistas and the use of rotoscoping for the character. It is also quite violent. Again, it owes a great deal to Moebius' Arzach.

So Beautiful, So Dangerous is pretty forgettable, with juvenile humor and boring animation. Soft Landing is fairly pointless, except to serve as a title sequence. The whole linking device is unnecessary, as the segments bear little relation to one another and are stronger as separate entities. The soundtrack is great, with most pieces capturing the flavor of the animation.

Ultimately, the uneven stories and lower budget animation holds this movie back. The movie is best viewed as an anthology, rather than a complete story, and with a forgiving eye to the budget. With that said, it's still entertaining and an important work of adult animation.


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