"Metalheads - The Good, The Bad, The Evil" (DVD)
Reviewed by xFiruath on December 21, 2009
The slew of B-movies available in the budget bin has managed to cover just about every conceivable outlandish situation, from zombie hookers to vampire slaying saviors. Now B-movie director Bill Zebub has turned his low budget lens onto something a little more grounded in reality: a day in the life of a group of bumbling, drug addicted metal heads. While the subject matter seems like it could lead to either a real laugh riot or a serious exposition on an important sub-culture, “Metalheads: The Good, The Bad, The Evil” really fails to be anything more than mildly humorous schlock with occasional nudity to keep up interest.
Potential viewers should already have a pretty good idea about what’s in store when they consider that some of Bill Zebub’s other movies have titles such as “Jesus Christ Serial Rapist” and “The Worst Horror Movie Ever Made.” The movie synopsis describes the flick as a “tragic comedy that finally offers an accurate representation of the heavy metal lifestyle,” which is odd, as it never deviates from heavy metal stereotypes. Every male character falls into the category of long haired deadbeat, overly aggressive redneck, or nerd.
While the movie is called “Metalheads,” it really could have just as easily been called “Losers,” as metal has very little connection to the story or characters. It’s more about a bunch of lazy underachievers going through the motions of living, who happen to wear Celtic Frost t-shirts, than about heavy metal music. Every scene does feature metal in the background, even during dialogue segments where it’s completely out of place, so there is a tenuous connection there. Although the music selection is diverse and enjoyable, covering death metal, black metal, gothic metal, and doom, the songs are almost always placed at inappropriate moments. Death metal is great, but it becomes an annoying distraction when it’s played through a ten minute long discussion in which absolutely nothing exciting is happening. The only instances when the music actually works are when ambient black metal drones in the background of a bad drug trip, and when female-fronted folk metal is played while a naked lady dances in the woods.
The main “story arc,” if that term really even applies, is the quest of the main metal head Bill to get high and make money for his demanding girlfriend. It’s actually not a bad premise, as the same idea has been used for any number of blockbuster and indie cult comedies. As would be expected from a film of this caliber, pretty much every opportunity for either humor or drama is bungled on a spectacular level. Most of the staples of the drug comedy genre are present throughout the movie, such as the tripping character trying to act cool under pressure or the car full of stoned characters getting pulled over. All the components are there, they just get slaughtered by inept camera work, bad writing, and the horrendously wooden delivery of lines.
The dialogue does occasionally manage to get a few chuckles, which is more than could have been expected, but for the most part it just drags on in an anti-Tarantino sort of way. It seems like the acting was supposed to be bad on purpose, but that idea got mangled by the fact that the cast really is legitimately bad at acting. They even fail to entertain with the full female nudity, as the context around the dancing naked women is never even close to sexy. Clearly everyone wants to see a strip tease scene that is interspersed with extended close-up shots of an unattractive man furiously masturbating, or at least that’s what the director thought.
While “Metalheads” is mostly terrible, there are a few moments that shine through when the cast manages to bring out some modicum of effort. One of the highlights of the movie occurs when Bill rants to his girlfriend about how any song with the word “baby” in it should only be about killing babies, and towards the end suddenly realizes her dad has been standing there the whole time. There are also a few laughs to be had when two guys battle over donuts in the library to a backdrop of full-force technical death metal, but it’s still the sort of scene that’s funnier in theory than in execution. Bill Zebub does need to be commended for his ending too, as he manages to make the main character at least mildly sympathetic to the audience by the time the credits roll.
“Metalheads: The Good, The Bad, The Evil” is meant for that small section of film fans who enjoy cult B-movies and aren’t bothered by things like atrocious acting or lack of plot. Half an hour could have easily been cut out of this movie without losing anything, not that there was really that much to lose to begin with. The flick does have a good selection of metal throughout its run time however, which may make it worth a try for actual metal heads who want something absurd to watch while drinking.
Highs: Dancing naked women.
Lows: Shots of ugly men flogging the bishop while there are dancing naked women; the "acting" also leaves something to be desired.
Bottom line: A typically terrible low budget B-movie that also happens to have metal music played in every scene.