The 66.6 Most Metal Movie Scenes of All Time: #59 through #50
On June 9th, independent heavy metal book publisher Bazillion Points will release Heavy Metal Movies, the ultimate guidebook to the complete molten musical cinema experience that features lavish illustrations and more than 666 of the most metallic movie moments of all time.
To celebrate, we’ve partnered with the book’s author, Mike “McBeardo” McPadden, to count down the 66.6 most metal movie scenes of all time right here on MetalSucks! Every other day through the book’s release on June 9th we’ll be revealing Mike’s picks along with brief write-ups penned by the author himself.
Monday we got started with #66.6 through #60, and today we continue by counting down the 59th through 50th most metal movie scenes of all time.
59. As the Palaces Burn (2014)
• Randy Blythe beats the (bad) rap.
Documentarian Don Argott followed-up his acclaimed 2011 Pentagram feature Last Days Here with the even better As the Palaces Burn, a chronicle of the manslaughter trial of Lamb of God frontman Randy Blythe after a Czech fan’s stage-diving death. Argott’s directorial skills mesh perfectly with Blythe as a smart, sympathetic, caring, distraught, and compelling subject, so that when the verdict renders the singer a free man, we feel relief but no less a sense of loss for the teen who perished in pursuit of a simple fun night out seeing his favorite band.
58. August Underground’s Mordum (2003)
• Killjoy Desade of Necrophagia shows off his dead body collection.
August Underground (2001) translated the human-loathing sexual violence and gleefully detailed mutilation accounts of grindcore most effectively to a movie format, slamming together (fictional) camcorder incidents of rape, torture, and murder with unprecedentedly believable visual effects and a palpable reek of pain-born misanthropy. No dearth of extreme metal devotees took the movie to their hard, black hearts, including Killjoy DeSade, the cinephile mastermind of Ohio death metal cabal Necrophagia. DeSade cameos as a corpse-collecting serial killer in the sequel, August Underground’s Mordum, adding an outstandingly brutal sequence to the overall soul-battering experience. Brace yourself for what’s in Killjoy’s bathtub. [Warning: clips is NSFW. Also, we couldn’t find this exact clip, so we used another, just to give you a feel for the movie. -Ed.]
57. Flash Gordon (1980)
• Prince Vultan: “Hawkmen, DIVE!”
Glam-rock pop art for Hollywood’s insane cocaine era, the 1980 Flash Gordon is a moment-in-time whirlwind of ironic love for the old pulp serials, Queen’s brilliantly lunatic soundtrack, eye-bulging costumes and art direction, and burly, bearded Brian Blessed as Prince Vultan, the lusty, trusty, rockingly robust leader of the winged Hawkmen. Vultan uncannily forecasts the look of the twenty-first century’s abundance of bulky, fur-faced stoner rock dudes and his war-whoop as his fronts his flying army into battle—“Hawkmen, DIVE!”—will resonate forever with its sheer force of enthusiasm and myriad double-entendre implications.
56. Horror Hospital (1973)
• Mystic weaves a pre-med musical spell.
The comic shocker Horror Hospital bleeds pure early-1970s British notions of heady, heavy fun. It opens in a fog-enshrouded rock club with doom band Mystic bulldozing through “The Mark of Death” while a glammy transvestite lies in trance at their platform boots.
55. Jesus Christ Superstar (1973)
Director Norman Jewison’s holy-peyote-in-the-desert adaptation of the smash acid-rock stage musical (itself born of a concept album on which Deep Purple’s Ian Gillan sang the title role) plays up the torments of humanity’s supposed savior. On the eve of his crucifixion, J.C. sweats blood and, in song, begs his heavenly father to “take away this cup of poison,” building to a searing horn crescendo accompanied by a visual bombardment of gory, agonized images from medieval passion paintings. Also, Judas is the hero of Jesus Christ Superstar — that’s right, the hero.
54. The Gate (1987)
• Here come the homunculi.
The Gate is a great heavy metal horror movie for and about kids that makes the most of its potent premise — backward messages on a metal record pry open a backyard portal to a scary underworld — and takes advantage of the then-useful PG-13 rating to deliver goosebumps and some jumps to a preteen audience. It still stands, as well, as an apex of pre-CGI special effects wonder using forced perspective, stop-motion animation, and, in one of metal moviedom’s most delightful “How’d they do that?” visual achievements, the creepy-crawly factor of utterly believable pint-sized ghouls running rampant all over your otherwise lovely childhood home.
53. The Stoned Age (1994)
• E. Bloom and Buck Dharma peddle parking lot contraband.
From their very moniker, Blue Öyster Cult have always figured as one of metal’s wittiest outfits, making them a perfect fit for this rip-roaringly funny mid-’70s nostalgia trip that was overshadowed instantly by the simultaneously-made Dazed and Confused. Both movies are essential metal cinema, yet only The Stoned Age ends with its hesher heroes heading for a convenience store after a BÖC concert and getting hustled by bootleg t-shirt sellers played by BÖC vocalist E. Bloom and guitar wizard/mastermind Buck Dharma.
52. Darkness (1993)
• The age-old vampire menace finally makes it to Witchita.
Writer-director Leif Jonker’s scrappy super-8 outburst of raw talent and teenage guts, Darkness opens at a convenience store in the wake of a heavy metal concert where our young hero witnesses a vampire slaughter that forever after turns him into a hunter of the undead. All the fake blood in Kansas flows in torrents from there.
51. Mazes and Monsters (1982)
• Tom Hanks flips out in a Times Square phone booth: “There’s blood on my knife!”
Cashing in on the Dungeons and Dragons craze by playing to the “concerned parent” demographic that associated role-playing games with heavy metal and, therefore, Satan, the high-camp TV movie Mazes and Monsters casts Tom Hanks as college student who gambles with his sanity with every roll of a twenty-sided die — until he finally craps out. Convinced he’s a cleric named Pardieu, Hanks dons a cloak and descends into the tunnels beneath the World Trade Center to hunt the monster Gorvil, emerging only to make a phone call and hilariously panic over the sanguine evidence on his pocket weapon.
50. Woodstock (1970)
• Jimi Hendrix runs “The Star-Spangled Banner” up a metal flagpole.
Woodstock, the three-hour-plus documentary of the inescapably monumental 1969 rock festival of the same name, is studded fitfully with metal between Wavy Gravy’s goofy-groovy stage announcements, muddy hippies, and Sha-Na-Na doo-wopping out what they deem “Grease for Peace.” Although the movie excised a performance by Mountain, Santana’s epic-length set is pure hard rock pummel and Ten Years After frontman Alvin Lee’s lightning-blues shredding on “I’m Coming Home” is a throw-down to all subsequent guitar gods. The closing act is the real before-and-after demarcation, though: Jimi Hendrix storms the stage at first light of the festival’s final day, bombarding the National Anthem with his one-of-a-kind cosmic hellfire and reconstructing it as a heavy metal war-cry for the dawn of a new consciousness. In time, everybody else caught up.