Deathgasm review

Deathgasm is playing at the 2015 New Zealand International Film Festival
Deathgasm is playing at the 2015 New Zealand International Film Festival

Deathgasm is a highly entertaining, hilarious film about metal, demons and friendship, all set in Aotearoa. It's brilliant.

The winner of the Make My Horror Movie competition had its New Zealand premiere at the Civic Theatre on Friday night after wowing audiences in the USA, Korea and Brazil, and it went down a treat with its hometown crowd.

The story follows metal-obsessed Brodie who is exiled to a small town to live with his Christian aunt and uncle after his mother has a meth-fuelled run-in with the law. He gets bullied by his jock cousin but finds kinship with another local bogan, the pair forming a band with two local Dungeons & Dragons loving geeks.

Brodie also becomes romantically entangled with his cousin's gorgeous girlfriend, but things take a turn for the nightmarish when he stumbles across some ancient sheet music that has the power to summon demons.

As the demons and a nasty gang of Satanists start taking over the town, it's up to Brodie, his band and his girl to eviscerate and shred their way through the forces of evil and save humanity.

The opening credit sequence is an absolute delight, with wonderful, juvenile sketch animation and even a visual Men Behind the Sun reference. This very metal art style is carried through many of the film's transitions, adding character that will be super endearing for anyone who loved drawing similar stuff in their exercise books at school.

Deathgasm gets wildly crass, with sex toys used as weapons and for gross-out gags, and C-bombs dropped willy nilly.

There's bare boobs, blasphemy, decapitations, disembowelments, dismemberments and a seriously kick arse soundtrack - Beastwars, Razorwyre and 8 Foot Sativa are among the local contributors, while Norwegian black metal icons Emperor lend some serious international cred.

But mostly there are gags - hilarious, well-crafted gags from beginning to end. This is a party of a movie, the sort of low-budget triumph I wish New Zealanders made more frequently.

Four-and-a-half stars.

Deathgasm is playing at the 2015 New Zealand Film Festival.

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     Deathgasm:: Director: Jason Lei Howden:: Starring: Milo Cawthorne, James Blake, Kimberley Crossman, Sam Berkley, Daniel Cresswell:: Rating: R16 - Graphic violence, offensive language, sexual references:: Running Time: 86 minutes