Heavy Trip’s protagonists are impossibly soft and adorable. For all the odes to Satan they sing and accompany with the raw, threatening sound of pure Nordic Metal, the band is as laughable and foolhardy as their band name, Impaled Rektum implies. However, the film takes on a journey that changes them into the men they want to be, men lauded and vilified for their power as artists, which until the film begins, was trapped as potential in a small town known best for its flowers and livestock – the perfect origin story for a band as hard as theirs. The catch? Their journey is one that makes them twice as soft and deluded. But it’s also one that makes themt wice as lovable as they already are.
Not much can be said about Heavy Trip’s artistic qualities as an entry in the highbrow, intelligentia-controlled canon of European cinema. The film is an approximation of the mockumentary-like Rock n Roll road film subgenre that’s flourished in the mainstream of filmmaking since the time of This is Spinal Tap, a trend continuing into films as recent as Popstar: Never Stop Stopping. However, like another film seen in this class that initially looked like a wrong turn, Good Bye, Lenin!, Heavy trip actually proves European Cinema’s ability to fit into the mainstream without tarnishing the name of European Cinema as we know it.
By taking the adventurous formula of films like Get Him To The Greek and combining it with a look into a group of grim but impossible-not-to-love outcasts as seen in What We Do In The Shadows, and placing this blend into the context of petty, overly-polite Finland, Heavy Trip is able to transcend its status as a slapstick comedy intended to be consumed and discarded by mainstream audiences. The film is a look into a subgenre that is, as presented in the film, smacked with the juvenile labels of freakish or weird and presenting how this manifests in a tongue-in-cheek traditional European setting. If forgettable, Heavy trip is at least lovable for as long as you can stand listening to its upbeat, outlandish sound and story.