A Call to Arms

I just want to say that I am not a fan of heavy metal.

Never been.

Never thought I would.

Watching Heavy Trip for the first time, made me willing to watch it again twenty times through because I never laughed that hard with a foreign film.

Everything about it was amusing– the characters, the setting, the costumes, the jokes and even the cliché plot twists.

In this film, we resonate within the bounds of metalheads that society stereotypes to be druggy crackbrains and spawns of satan who really have a way of disrupting the peace and order of neighborhoods with their pandemonic sounds.

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Other films would celebrate the rock & roll of it all, the glamorous and alluring road shows, with the fame, women and fortune-(e.g. Bohemian Rhapsody and Still Crazy)

Here we see, a group of men who still seem to act like they are still teenagers, dreaming but also fearful of materializing their crafts and having their own spotlight in the future. Futile with their livelihoods, outcasted by their neighborhood, solitary in their own homes with no ongoing relationships, even being labeled as Homo on the streets and criminals by the police— for them, music was the only thing that kept them going.

Lead singer Turo powerfully states, “This music is our thing. Other guys can play hockey and drive around chasing pussy. We play metal.”

A feel-good film, it derides the geeky band culture, the goofiness of it all, but at the same time celebrates its art and the undying passion of its members.

Co-directors Juuso Laatio and Jukka Vidgren brings into the film, a conjunction of both old and novel comedic elements that makes the film fresh but also keeps it classic. I don’t think you’ll see a film with a rock band crowd-surfing corpse or an aggressive mental patient suddenly becoming the greatest drummer in town.

From their accustomed frivolous band practices in a basement underneath a reindeer slaughtering factory, came a big break when the band bumps into the Norweigan Metal Festival director. With an ounce of hope and a sparkle in their eyes, the band members attempt to play their “Symphonic Post-Apocalyptic Reindeer-Grinding Christ-Abusing Extreme War Pagan Fennoscandian metal” music on the road for the first time after twelve years. With an iconic official band photo taken by a traffic speedcam, Impaled Rektum sets out their love for metal to the world. 

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Taking off in a stolen van, with their dead bandmate roped to the top, they enter the border of Sweden, witnessing a miniature civil war with drunken bachelor entrants wearing Jesus costumes with Norweigan troops. Having been mistaken for the best band in town, they had one shot of playing their sound. Despite lead singer Turo vomiting, the crowd went wild as they played their one and only reindeer-slaughtering demo.

This film, amusing in all aspects is a call to the underdogs, with a love for something that celebrates alienation from the outside but vitalizes togetherness with the people that share the same passion as theirs.

Really, really a must-watch if you just want to laugh your pants off while celebrating the music genre together with the characters of the film. Maybe somehow, you’ll get  inspired with materializing your own personal dreams, whether it is accepted by everyone around you or not.

 

–161997–

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