Film Commentary [11-10-00]
Sequel to a film icon - - Heavy Metal 2000
Genre: animation/action
Grade = B-

Heavy Metal 2000 poster
Direct to video Heavy Metal 2000 is supposedly a sequel to the 1981 classic hit film Heavy Metal. The original movie was at its time a unique phenomenon in film animation history with its cutting-edge heavy metal music soundtrack and animation of stories the like of which had never been placed on film before. The film was notorious at the time it was made for its animated sex scenes and unflinching violence and gore.

The current sequel is only one story, unlike the original that possessed six. The film, based on "The Melting Pot", a comic book by Simon Bisley, Eric Talbot and Kevin Eastman, opens on a miner named Tyler (Michael Ironside) accidently discovering a mysterious crystal key to the source of the secret of immortality (can anyone say locnar). Unfortunately for Tyler, and everyone else for that matter, the holder of the key is immediately turned insane with severe homicidal tendencies, which is why the key was purposely hidden for a million years in the first place. Tyler quickly takes over the mining ship and forces the crew to become space pirates and look for the hidden fountain of youth which the key will open. They eventually arrive at a planet inhabited by a small human colony that includes the extremely buxom Julie (Julie Strain), her father and her equally well stacked sister Kerri. The pirates attack the planet killing Julie's father, kidnapping her sister and destroying everything else. Julie gives chase vowing to rescue Kerri and kill Tyler. The only problem is that he has discovered a weak source of the immortality essence which allows him to instantly heal from any wound. Thus, he's very, very hard to kill. Julie just has to keep on trying.

This film is quite simply not even on a par with the original. The storyline itself is a cliched version of the final story of the original film that is stale and not particularly imaginative. To add insult to injury, the orginal had a hard rockin' soundtrack with songs by Blue Oyster Cult, Black Sabbath, Grand Funk Railroad and Sammy Hagar to name but a few. In fact, I heard Sammy Hagar's "Heavy Metal" (your one way ticket to midnight) on the radio just the week before. These now classic songs effectively set the mood of the scenes, especially those involving action. The soundtrack of the current film contains songs by current popular artists such as Pantera, Days Of The New, Insane Clown Posse, System of a Down and Coal Chamber. They are just plain dreadful and in fact harmful to the flow of the film itself. One of the worst applications was the use of a song that sounded more like random noise than anything else for the big action scene of the attack on the colony. Rather than setting the mood for excitement of the action, it was pointless, annoying and distracted from the action rather than enhancing it. The entire soundtrack was fundamentally flawed. The performances of the voice actors, with the exception of Michael Ironside as Tylor, were completely unimaginative and hollow.

The animation was a mix of modern style animation and computer generated images that were not exactly aesthetically well blended. While the original film effectively set out to portray an animation style as that of the artist in the original stories that were featured in Heavy Metal magazine, resulting in six very different but very highly stylized stories throughout the film, the style of this film fell flat. Completely uninspired. This film is generaly only worth viewing on cable unless you particularly like watching very large breasted women jiggle (ok, thats most guys, so rent it anyway).

Julie Strain
Heavy Metal 2000 logo

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