A Heavy Trip for the Softest of Hearts

Johannes Holopainen and Ville Tiihonen

Heavy Trip was a whole adventure in itself and one of the more enjoyable films of the class. I’m not particularly a fan of metal music, but turned into a fan of the movie. The film exhibited an ability in connecting audiences with non-traditional characters that are often subjects of being frowned upon. Characters that aren’t conventionally portrayed with warmth were suddenly characters to root for and cry over. The main characters, or should I call them, Impaled Rektum, had real-life aspirations and worries that made them unsurprisingly easy to connect with. Like I previously mentioned, I am not exactly a fan of the comedy genre, but this film turned out to be much more than an enjoyable fable. It has a surprising tender side in the midst of head-banging metal music and is made with careful consideration of its characters and its characters’ aspirations.

Goofy, ridiculous, & enjoyable without the cringe of comedies. I mean there was plenty of cringe every time icky vomits fill the seen, but all the cringe was intentional. Everything was funny from the character’s dialogues, to how they move, to how they look, to them just being there, on screen, as awkward quirky metal fans. I think some gags would’ve worked better if I had known more about the metal music background. But despite not being a fan of this type of music, I still was able to completely enjoy the film.

However, some of the scenes of the movie still became victims of the formulaic comedy trope. Much of those were on the second half of the film, which sort of lost its momentum. The journey to Norway became much more predictable and slightly childish. Yet on the other hand, the amusing moments sprinkled throughout the script, such as the running joke about their “symphonic post-apocalyptic reindeer-grinding Christ-abusing extreme war pagan Fennoscandian metal” music, were still enough to carry the film towards the end, and be an overall amusing adventure.

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Heavy Trip

Heavy Trip is a musical-comedy film by Jukka Vidgren and Juuso Laatio. It is about a group of friends who are in a band but never plays in public until they get an opportunity of a lifetime.

Despite not being a super fan of metal, I very much enjoyed this film! The characters were so dumb and lovable that I can’t help but root for them in their journey to fame. Watching them fight for their dreams was so inspirational that the cynic in me gave up on thinking that they will fail.

The film was very nicely structured in a way that it didn’t feel dragging. The comedic timing was on point and the emotions were pretty balanced.

I would recommend this film to dreamers who love music. I would also recommend this to people who want to watch something light.

Eleventh

Heavy Trip by Juuso Laatio and Jukka Vidgren

“Other guys can play hockey and drive around chasing pussy. We play metal.” Turo narrates to the audience as his band plays hard core metal in the basement of one of his band mates. I’m pretty sure that describes a whole lot of the movie from just that line in the beginning. Heavy Trip is a great film that had me laughing and having a whole new respect for heavy metal bands (but something I still would not listen to in my free time however).

Seen as homosexuals, hippies, or even drug pushers by some, Turo Lotvonen, Pasi, and Jynkky are so much more than that. They go beyond the stereotypes of who they are physically, a heavy metal band whose members have long hair that has not taken a shower in x amount of days. Their story of going from a bunch of amateur musicians playing “symphonic, post-apocalyptic, reindeer-grinding, Christ-abusing, extreme war pagan, Fennoscandian metal” in a basement above a reindeer slaughter farm to going on an adventure with a mental institution patient that they busted out and a dug up coffin of a dead body (spoiler: it was Jynkky’s) to play at a Norwegian music festival as a band named “Impaled Rektum”. Going beyond all the crazy events and funny mishaps that the band goes through (such examples being Turo wrestling an animal, maybe a possum? in a local zoo or him having intense stage fright that leads to some very violent puking) the movie has a whole lot of heart and gives a win for the underdogs. The protagonists have a whole lot of passion and love for what they do even with people judging them and only seeing them negatively. What’s so wrong if their ‘thing’ just so happens to be playing heavy metal music? They are proud and free enough to do what they want and chase after their dreams no matter what obstacles stood in their way, sticking it to The Man and also for Turo’s case, getting the girl. In the end although they did get arrested just as Turo said, it is not the end of their band, ending the movie with a sense of hope for the future of Impaled Rektum.

I really enjoyed this move. It was really funny and light hearted compared to the intense and deep plots that our previous movies had. In a sense there was not anything ‘heavy’ about the movie at all except for the music itself. The plot was nothing but light, enjoyable, and easy to follow. The kind of comedy that although slapstick and kind of crazy it still made sense for the characters to follow through with it. It kind of reminded me of the movie “Almost Famous” that it also followed a somewhat up and coming rock band (but in the eyes of a teenage journalist who became their somewhat groupie). Over all I give this movie two thumbs up and would highly recommend even if you were not a heavy metal enthusiast.

Heavy Metal?

Image Source:
https://www.episodi.fi/uutiset/bandi-nimelta-impaled-rektum-vaihtoi-nimensa-hevi-reissuksi-trailerilla-kohelletaan-kuin-kummelissa-parhaimmillaan/

At first glance, comedy and heavy metal seem to be a strange combination. How would you expect something intense and powerful to be comical? I can’t really imagine these men with long hair and face paint to be laughter-inducing. To my surprise, that is what Juuso Laatio and Jukka Vidgren did with their spoof entitled Heavy Trip. I consider it a feel-good movie just because of the good vibes and laughter that it brings. Despite the language barrier and difference in cultures, I was still able to appreciate the humor of this film. It made a lot of references that heavy metal fans would particularly enjoy but its comedic factor is something to be cherished by the wider audience. It may even teach a thing or two to the audience about the stigma that is attached to Heavy Metal. The characters in the film are being discriminated for being different. But then, you get to see how these Heavy Metal artists live a “normal” life after all and are capable of getting involved in wacky and goofy circumstances. They have their own dreams as well as seen in their pursuit of the chance to play in the music festival in Norway. The film bears similarities with other comedy movies about bands and their journey to stardom. In watching Heavy Trip, I was reminded of School of Rock and Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny. The characters are actually comical in themselves given their own backstories and complexities. Their collective naivety also adds to what makes them lovable. They may be facing their own troubles and misfortunes but as a viewer, you do know that they will eventually figure things out. That is the reason why you can just relax and enjoy the show for the entirety of the movie as they “make a fool” out of themselves. Whether or not they reach success in the end, the journey that they went through as a band is what really matters more. As a viewer, the film makes you feel as if you’re part of their adventures and ups and downs. It is thrilling yet fun rollercoaster ride. 

I am really into comedy films just for the laughs and the good vibes. Heavy Trip was totally unexpected and it certainly did not disappoint. It serves as a proof that comedy can still cut through cultural differences especially if it pertains to popular culture references. The filmmakers certainly did not restrain themselves from stretching that humor that was presented in the film. They were able to maximize their potential without offending too much. The brilliantly-written script just goes to show the directors’ knack for jokes. Their timing proved to be perfectly fitting as well for the different scenes of the film. I may not fully understand the language but the subtitles, body language, and tone proved to be sufficient in retaining the comedic factor of Heavy Trip. I would not mind watching this movie over and over again and I would certainly try watching European films that are similar to this one. 

Heavy Trip

The seniors ended this rollercoaster of a class with a screening of Heavy Trip (2018), a Finnish comedy about a death metal band called “Impaled Rektum”, and their journey to their first gig in 12 years. I’m kind of relieved with this choice because the movie really gave me a good laugh despite the sometimes cringe-worthy or obscure jokes. The plot of the movie is familiar and it came off a little formulaic at times, but the lovable characters makes the film worth watching. The delivery was just so wacky and dorky that I had no choice but root for them.

I don’t have a lot of knowledge nor do I appreciate heavy metal music at all, but the film gave me a different perspective on the topic. Heavy metal was completely foreign to me, sort of a door I didn’t want to open even. I kind of have accepted the fact that I would never enjoy anything about the intimidating genre. But the film succeeds in enlightening the audience about the workings of this particular subculture, and presents us with a group of people that is often misunderstood and made fun of. The characters’ reverence towards heavy metal is also striking, the scenes showing how passionate they are with what they do. In this way, the music is made accessible through the experiences of our protagonists, but it is never watered down or desecrated by cheap attacks at the genre.

What I really enjoyed about the film was the lightness with which the band’s journey was portrayed. We all knew what was at stake, we have an idea about the circumstances of all the band members, but the movie was presented in a very comedic and dorky tone that their plights seem to dissipate. The fact that they were underdogs, a band of misfits and outcasts who had a penchant for this one thing despite the different struggles that they face each day, make them all the more appealing and worthy of the audience’s support.

I’m glad the class ended with a film as light-hearted, funny, and inspiring as Heavy Trip. Given all of the films that we have watched, it’s nice to finish with something we’re familiar with, however obscure and inaccessible the medium it presents itself in is. In this way, the film sort of mimics our European Film class. With each film screening, we’re presented with something different and difficult, each viewing bringing something new and innovative to the table. But behind all of these stylistic elements is a universal human experience that is captured by the film.

Band of brothers

I honestly appreciated the fact that, for the graduating seniors, we ended our European Film class with the film Heavy Trip (2018). It was a really lighthearted and fun movie to watch (especially comparing it to all the other films we watched like Persona or Raw). At first, I was not as excited to watch it since it was going to be a movie about a heavy metal band, and one of the genres I did not really mesh well with most is, in fact, heavy metal. The music may not have jived well with me, but the story surrounding it and the jokes surely did.

I loved the subtle humor it brought out. My favorite scene was the part when the band jumped off the cliff and “resurrected” onto a land with people role playing a Dungeons and Dragons type of game. It was just so funny to me. I thought they were all going to die or something because the scene where they jumped off the cliff seemed so dramatic. They were kind of saying their goodbyes already. When they arose from the ocean, asked if they were in hell, saw people “crucified” on crosses, etc. I laughed so hard. It was so weird but so funny to me at the same time. At this point in the movie I just wanted to ask, “What is happening?” because I literally did not know what the writers were thinking about when they wrote this film.

All weird jokes and scenes aside, I felt a little “proud” towards the end when they were able to perform in front of a big crowd for the first time in 12 years. After all their hard work and perseverance of becoming a great metal band, they were able to achieve their dream despite all the obstacles that came their way. I think they also wanted to send the cliche “don’t give up on your dreams” message to the audiences who watched this movie. Their situation may have seemed exaggerated (they worked for 12 years… with one song… and never gave up) but it can actually be parallel to reality. Some people work so hard and only see the fruits of their labor after so long. Even though the journey of Impaled Rektum was very difficult, they still overcame those challenges and succeeded in the end.

The scene where Turo pukes in front of their audience before both of their performances reminded me of the same thing happening in Pitch Perfect. It was a parallel of how the band (Impaled Rektum) and the group (Bellas) both failed at the start but claimed victory in the end. The parallelism did not end there though — both groups were able to claim victory because of their sense of camaraderie and companionship with each other. Impaled Rektum’s brotherhood within the band was, I think, the main thing that glued them together and drove them towards success. It was a heartwarming sight to see their appreciation of each other and how they would not have been able to get to where they were if it were not for one another. The importance of friendship and brotherhood was very spot on and visible in the film, which I highly appreciated.

Heavy Trip: Truths of Life

I’m probably one of the many people in the class who favor Heavy Trip the most among all the films that were shown to us. But when I first found out that we would be watching a film about a heavy metal band, I did not expect to like it at all since I don’t really listen to heavy metal music. Little did I know that I don’t have to be a fan of metal music to enjoy this film. In fact, Heavy Trip is a film that, in contrast to our notion of heavy metal music as dark and atheistic, is actually very light and funny. But beyond its comedic quality and referential humor, Heavy Trip reflects a lot of truth in the world, which we can all learn lessons from. Certainly, the film does not just revolve around a Finnish heavy metal band wanting to become famous, it’s actually a whole lot of other things. Above all, it’s a feel-good film that I can watch over and over again.

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First, it’s a film that defies norms and stereotypes. In my experience, the film defied my expectation of how it would make me feel. Similarly, I thought the main characters, also the members of Impaled Rektum, would be reckless and self-destructive human beings, but they were actually very loveable. They’re a bunch of soft, sensitive, and timid personalities who are only trying their best to achieve their dream in life. After all, who would’ve thought that a vocalist of a heavy metal band could also be caregiving for psychiatric patients? Indeed, the film teaches us to not judge something or someone so easily despite preconceived notions, because if we continue to do so, we might just become like the band’s toxic community.

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This brings me to my second point, that the film is about an underdog’s tale of redemption. In their small conservative town, Impaled Rektum was looked down on. They were called Satanists and considered outcasts in the community. Given that they had long hair, they were called “homos,” which was regrettably a term used to put them down. They were praised when the people thought that they’d be going to Norway but automatically ridiculed again once the people found out this isn’t true. Thankfully, the band didn’t need their validation and acceptance to achieve their dream, which they were able to do so eventually. And this teaches us to pursue our passion no matter what other people may say. We must also learn to celebrate outcasts and embrace our identities even when it does not conform to society’s expectations. In the end, the people who try to put us down are the same ones who beg for our help when we’ve proven that we’re better than them.

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Lastly, Heavy Trip is a film about trust. It’s about trusting each other and having a sense of brotherhood. It’s undeniable that they couldn’t have performed in the Northern Damnation without the help of each and every member. And this is why this film is probably the only one that I’ve watched where a corpse went crowd-surfing. It reflects their love and respect for one another that despite Jynnky’s death, his mere presence still gives them a sense of courage and fulfillment.

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