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Heavy Metal 2000: A Cautionary Tale
Reviewed by Joe Crowe, © 2008

Format: Movie
By:   Kevin Eastman
Genre:   Fighting / stuff blowing up
Review Date:   March 24, 2008
Audience Rating:   R
RevSF Rating:   3/10 (What Is This?)

"Julie soft. Julie very soft." -- Zeek

Heavy Metal was a movie in 1981 that had nudity. The only way we knew that is because one guy at school had a big brother, and you could go to his house and watch. It came from a sci-fi and fantasy magazine that had nudity. In the 1970s we could sneak and look at it while Mom grocery shopped or went to the drugstore. None of the grown-ups knew this thing that looked like a comic book had naked folks in it. And that was excellent.

But in 2000, there was a new Heavy Metal animated movie, that had nudity in it, and I was all excited, because I thought it would be akin to the original Heavy Metal movie.

I was wrong. So very wrong.

Now Kevin Eastman, who did that movie, is working with David Fincher, director of the movie with Gwyneth Paltrow's head in a box, Seven, to do a new Heavy Metal animated movie. It will have mini-movies like the original, all of them R-rated and such, by various directors.

Which sounds promising, except one of the directors is Kevin Eastman.

1981's Heavy Metal was violent and weird like a lot of 1970s things. Make no mistake, I think the 1981 movie is creative and interesting, and Heavy Metal magazine had some good stories. I just don't remember what they were.

The South Park people are the same way. Their episode "Major Boobage" is like a sweet love letter to the movie. A sweet, funny one.

Kevin Eastman produced Heavy Metal 2000 as a vehicle for his wife, renowned exhibitor of her parts Julie Strain. The movie seemed lame then, but now it's just quaint, because now on the Interweb, porn is findable. The Internet is for it.. So you don't have to sift through the dragons and swords to get your nudity.

The new Heavy Metal 2000 could not be the different thing that the original was. But it could have tried. Eastman didn't follow the age-old instruction "Write what you know." He knew Julie Strain without clothes. He didn't write that. There are two brief scenes of animated nudity.

Two. In an hour and a half movie.

The movie is not a sequel, except for a brief callback with a glowing ball of light. It's brief as in, if you didn't see the 1981 movie again right before you saw the new one, you'd miss it.

The naked lady riding the dragon in the first one is the most famous part. So in the new one they took that out. The original was an anthology. They took that out, too. Heavy Metal 2000 is one big story.

Bad guys exterminate a peaceful planet, which is named Eden, because it's a peaceful planet. Get it? Do you? The movie's plot is hamfisted like that for 90 minutes.

The hero seeks vengeance while scantily clad. One sidekick describes says, "Julie soft. Julie very soft." That's sweet. There are wacky sidekicks, a bar scene, and some fights. Michael Ironside voices the bad guy, but even he can't raise the quality level when the longest monologue is two cuss words.

The soundtrack

I love the Heavy Metal soundtrack. It has my 1970s rock favorites for one low price: Sammy Hagar! Black Sabbath! Devo! Blue Oyster Cult! And as a free bonus, Journey!

The new soundtrack features Pantera, Monster Magnet, and Insane Clown Posse. I like some of those guys, but in the first movie, the music worked with it, not against it.

This soundtrack totally distracts. Like your roommate turns his stereo up too loud in the same room while you're trying to watch the movie. Except it is the movie..

Here are some sample lyrics: "ARRRRRRRRGGGGHHH! BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! RRAAAAARRRRRGGH!"

When there's a tender moment, a tragic death, the emotional music swells up: "RRRRRRRRGGGGHHH! BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! RRAAAAARRRRRGGH!"

Brrrrrrrumsky

The animation in the original stood out because it was different. Here it's standard 2-D, Saturday morning style, except for the nudity. 2000-era high-tech computer animation is in it, but the animated characters look like live actors do when they interact with a green screen character.

Now I will review the quality of the nudity. The star is named Julie and looks like Julie Strain. There are two parts with nudity in them. She's less nude here than probably in anything else she's ever done. And that is crazy.

A weaselly sidekick who leers at her sort of resembles Eastman. Weird.

For a movie where a live woman probably had some input, it seems that its writers never met a live woman. There is a taste-free scene like every live-action Cinemax movie at 2 AM, which sometimes feature Julie Strain coincidentally. The bad guy gives her a fully animated "Brrrrrrrumsky." (Also known as "Brrrrrrrritsky.")

It's a movie for 13-year-old boys. When they see the "Brrrumsky" they think, "Someday that could be MY face."

Except those boys won't like it either. Video games have nudity and violence now, and they know where the free porn is on the Interweb, too.

And they know how to work the fast-forward button. If they just watch for the dirty parts, the movie lasts 20 seconds. Even kids are better at time management than that.

My hope is the new movie is like the old one. Better yet, let the South Park guys do one of the parts.

If you intend to make a sci-fi / fantasy blowout with no limits on violence and lack of clothedness, then really get after it. Our 11-year-old selves would prefer that. Our 30-plus year old selves, too.


Joe Crowe reviews the quality of nudity every day of his life.

 
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