Cinemetal

THIS IS A REAL MOVIE?

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So I just read about this movie Heavy Metal Strawberry Pickers over at Bring Back Glam; the always-wonderful Allyson B. Crawford writes that the flick “focuses on the fictional Glam band Kitty Kitty Bang Bang [How was there never a real glam band by this name?!? -AR] after grunge took over the metal scene,” which, I have to say, sounds like a fantastic idea for a really interesting movie. I’m not even kidding around here — it must have really sucked to be Warrant or Pretty Boy Floyd in 1993, and the story of a band suddenly falling out of public favor due to a shift in trends could be fraught with drama. (And by “drama,” I don’t mean the movie should be tonally similar to Schindler’s List. I guess I really mean “conflict,” a.k.a. “the material from which good stories are made.”)

Unfortunately, Allyson’s description of the movie is more interesting than the movie itself — ’cause in case you’re wondering why the words “strawberry pickers” appear in the film’s title, it’s due to the fact that the band in the movie ends up picking strawberries. Seriously.

How did this not-very-funny idea come about? A statement by the director (I think… it isn’t actually credited to anyone despite the fact that it’s written in the first person) on the film’s website explains:

“The idea for ‘Heavy Metal Strawberry Pickers’ was conceived from a conversation I had with a colleague, regarding the illegal immigration policy enforcement that was taking place in California in 2008 as well as the economic crash that was occurring worldwide.  I thought it would be funny to have average Caucasian Americans performing a job they would normally never do… picking strawberries.”

Which is also not a terrible idea for a movie, although what the what it has to do with a hair metal band dealing with the fact that their salad days are just about over is beyond me. Is it supposed to be a metaphor with larger implications — e.g., the best times for caucasians are over, same as glam bands? I think I may have just put more thought into this than the filmmakers did.

My point simply being that, even without having seen the film, I think two things went wrong here:

  • Two potentially good ideas that really have nothing to do with one another have smushed together, and the results are a mess.
  • The people who made the film just aren’t very good at making films. I mean… not only is that trailer horribly unfunny, but if you’re trying to make some kind of point about illegal immigration policy in America, you should probably not make your protagonists British. Setting the movie twenty years ago probably makes it a lot harder to comment on current illegal immigration policy, too.

Anyways, if any of you are brave enough to watch this thing and find out whether or not I’m right, you can buy it here for all of three bucks. at least you’ll be supporting independent film, I guess.

-AR

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