Deathgasm is a fusion of Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead and a black metal concert, a hilariously gooey, gory, cheesy spatter movie masterpiece. I was expecting to enjoy all the bloody demon kills and the references to life as a metalhead.
What I wasn’t expecting was to get hit in the feels or for this movie to trigger flashbacks to my own teenage years. I got all of that because at its heart, Deathgasm is a movie about being the weird kid in a small town.
The film opens with Brodie (Milo Cawthorne) being forced to move in with his uber-religious relatives in the small town of Greypoint. Brodie’s a full-on, battle vest-wearing, guitar-playing metalhead, which grates on his aunt and uncle.
On top of his less-than-ideal home situation, Brodie gets picked on for being a Satan-worshiping burnout by kids in his school, including his dickweed cousin, David (Nick Hoskins-Smith). Brodie does meet some new friends, like Dungeons & Dragons nerds Dion (Sam Berkley) and Giles (Daniel Cresswell), as well as his hot new crush, Medina (Kimberley Crossman).
Things really change when Brodie runs across Zakk (James Joshua Blake) in a local record store. The two headbangers soon become fast friends and even form a band with Giles and Dion called, you guessed it, “Deathgasm.” Unfortunately, Zakk betrays Brodie by hooking up with Medina. Oh, and just for kicks, Deathgasm brings on the rise of a demon named Aeloth by playing a musical spell called “The Black Hymn.”
You can guess where this is going. A search for “The Black Hymn” brings power-hungry cult members to Greypoint while the town’s residents are turned into demons that spew blood from every bodily orifice, and I do mean every orifice. Brodie and his pals have to figure out how to send Aeloth back to Hell, hopefully while surviving in the process.
Deathgasm is an absolute hoot, but it was Brodie’s social struggles that really hit home with me and made the movie a little more than just another spatter picture. The boys picking on Brodie for looking and acting different took me right back to growing up a metal-loving nerd in a predominantly Mormon town. Just like Brodie, I got picked on for worshiping Satan and growing my hair too long and just like Brodie, there weren’t many people who were willing to overlook my exterior to see my interior worth.
While Brodie’s love of metal is what causes the bullies to beat him up, it also turns out to be the thing that saves the day. When Aeloth takes over Zakk and things look their grimmest, Brodie picks up his guitar, riffing out jagged shards of metallic noise. It gives Zakk just enough strength to subdue Aeloth just long enough to finish him. In a way, what Deathgasm is ultimately saying is that while you may suffer for it, staying true to yourself is the only way to vanquish your own demons.
The last thing I want to mention is my favorite moment in the whole movie. Just when cult members have Brodie and his friends in check and are about to kill them, Zakk show’s up and saves the day. Brodie is confused, as the last time he saw Zakk, he was abandoning everyone.
“I thought you were off to the lookout to watch the town burn,” questions Brodie.
“I couldn’t leave my mate in the sh*t, not with all these demons to mega-kill,” Zakk answers. “Metalheads stick together, right?”
That right there captures why so many people who fall in love with metal music fall in love for life. There’s a sense of community and belonging like no other that comes with being a metalhead, like if you see someone wear a shirt with a band you like, you’re already connected, even if you’ve never met. It’s like once a band you like hits the stage and starts making noise, the crowd is no longer a collection of individuals. It’s one giant hand that’s throwing up the devil horns.
Kinda makes you cry, doesn’t it?