Review: Deathgasm

Two teenage boys unwittingly summon an ancient evil entity known as The Blind One by delving into black magic while trying to escape their mundane lives.

You don’t have to be a metalhead to enjoy Jason Lei Howden’s riotous horror-comedy ‘Deathgasm’, but there’s little denying that it helps. Set against a bludgeoning soundtrack and peppered with references to everything from backmasking to Metallica, this breakneck exercise in funny, brutal insanity is most rewarding to fans of both metal and horror, but with the jokes and kills coming at 100 miles per hour from the outset, its hit rate is so impressively high that even the uninitiated will find plenty to love here.

For all its foul-mouthed intensity and blood-soaked theatrics, ‘Deathgasm’ also has a fairly conventional high-school romance story existing at its core. First though, protagonist and outcast Brodie (Milo Cawthorne) bonds with Zakk (James Blake) over a shared love of obscure metal albums in the film’s first act, and they beat the tedium of small-town social isolation by forming their own band: Deathgasm. A few of the film’s early laughs come from taking the band’s none-more-dark, Kiss-meets-Cradle of Filth aesthetic and transplanting it into everyday situations, most notably the brilliantly awkward exchange where Brodie eats ice cream on a park bench with “hottest girl in school” Medina (Kimblerley Crossman), a character that quickly breaks out of stereotypical “love interest” tropes to become a surprising and compelling player in the film’s second half.
Having discovered some unfinished music at the home of a faded rock star, Brodie and Zakk steal it and think they’ve found Deathgasm’s ticket to the big time. However, in a brilliant nod to the “devil music” stigma that plagued metal music in the 80s and 90s, when the band jam the song out in their rehearsal space, it turns out to be a dark incantation that summons an unholy demon known as The Blind One. What follows is the hilarious and often inspired story of how Brodie, Zakk, Medina and friends attempt to defeat him, turning to everything from guitars to axes to sex toys along the way.
This is a film brimming with heart, a brilliantly blunt sense of humour and a flair for the overdramatic. By turns comedy, horror and high-school drama, it’s a brilliantly unhinged genre-bender that’s destined to take up cult classic status in the years to come. Crack open a beer and crank it up: Deathgasm packs one hell of a punch.

Look at it. LOOK at that title! HOW can you not love that title alone? Before I even knew anything about this film, that title lured me in like Haribo to a chubby kid, and boy howdy was I not disappointed.
Very 80’s in its approach, Deathgasm encapsulates all the gritty, gnarly visuals you loved as a kid, well, when I was a kid anyway. Centring around its love of heavy metal, it pays wonderful and hilarious homage to the genre, packed with so many references it’s hard to keep up if you’re not a fan of the likes of Slayer, Metallica and such. Fear not, however, for you need not be a hard rocking amigo to appreciate the genius of this film.
After the first 15 minutes, I knew that Deathgasm was what I wanted Detention to be. Not your usual teen buddy movie, it impresses beyond expectation. On point and brimming with hilarious one-liners, it had me hooked. Bursting with axe shredding, dirty deaths (some more literal than others – ooer) and gore gore galore, it packs a punch, in the most awesome way possible. The special effects are insane, making you want to jump out of your seat and throw the horns like a muthalicker. Even if metal isn’t your usual music choice, you’ll find yourself caught up in the madness of it all, it’s THAT special.
Deathgasm was shown as a midnight screening at Fright Fest. Most times, films in this slot can be a struggle to get through, mainly due to how long you’ve been awake. Happily, this had no trouble keeping everyone awake , the crowd was going wild, and rightly so. It keeps your interest the whole way through, making you laugh and wince at the same time, and STILL leaves you wanting more.
Deathgasm is best watched with your pals, after a few beers, under the cover of darkness. Enjoy the acid washed denim blood feast, that’ll leave you hot, sweaty and very satisfied. It would be a crime if there was no sequel in the planning, because Deathgasm f*****g rocks! ROCK OUT WITH YOUR CINEMATIC C**K OUT!

Deathgasm is screening at GrimmFest and Celluloid Screams film festivals this October




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