HEAVY METAL (animated) 1981...Love it? Hate it ? What do you think?


Jul 21, 2012
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Do you remember 1981 ? It was awesome, and IMO one of the great years in film ( Raiders of the Lost Ark, Escape from New York, Das Boot, Excalibur and many more).

It also produced this piece of animated magic, which possibly is a bit too risque and exploitative for mainstream cinemas today, but was also great fun in it's time. It was the embodiment of adolescent boys' fantasy inspired by the famous magazine.

When I watch it these days I do cringe a little here and there but also laugh a lot - because while it's crass, it's also hilarious. All in all I still really enjoy watching it.

And of course it has an amazing soundtrack of classic late 70s and early 80s rock.

Not sure how much of that is nostalgia, but I'm intrigued as to whether anyone else enjoys this pulpy little gem.
It is what it is and in my view... Gloriously so. It's something that has a foot in so many camps of the time. Obviously it's connected to the adult comic books of the period. But then there is the hard rocking soundtrack. Also of note is the way it has the participation of a lot of talent known for the more edgey and for the time rebellious comedy that was around. Harold Ramis, John Candy, Paul Flattery, Ivan Reitman, Eugen Levy... Hell it's got a writer of Meatballs and Stripes on board. The DNA of the comedies of the late 70's and early 80's permeates the film. Put Animal House, 70's era SNL, SCTV, Ghostbusters, the works of Frank Frazetta and a copy of Penthouse Letters into a blender... And this is what you'll get. And...

I agree that there's a lot of issues with the film, always has been. It is borderline porn. And, sure... That's the appeal. And yes, low culture can still be art and good entertainment. But I would totally understand someone else dismissing it as juvenile fantasy. That as a criticism really can't be countered. But I don't think defending being a fan of the movie comes down just to being okay with titilation, gore and the pseudo "dark and cynical" take on life that during that time passed for depth or a meaningful satirical take on humanity.

The film is... Pulpy. It's grindhouse even. In the best possible way, the way say Tarantino and Rodriguez's KILL BILL/INGLORIOUS BASTERDS/EL MARIACHI/DESPERADO/ONCE UPON A TIME IN MEXICO are. I don't know if that veneer of pulpy appeal balances out the obvious immaturity inherent in the whole deal, but as something about 95% of most teen guys would find cool and interesting (among... other things...) I can't argue much with it even if as an adult I realize that no, just cuz I get to see big ole breasts doesn't automatically make this a classic.

But I think it is a classic, just one that really, really, REALLY speaks to my inner 14 year old.
Love it.

Saw it as a kid and it blew my mind. I never knew cartoons could be for adults. Also the content was incredibly dark and I found that compelling also.

Lastly I love how it screams the eighties. It's dated but in the best way possible.
I need to rewatch this. I saw it in early-mid 80s, and then sometime in mid 90s, and I don't remember that much of it now. But I agree with what's been said above.
I first watched this on VH1 when I was maybe 13, so it was a censored version. It was also back when VH1 actually aired music related programming. :o
Regardless, I liked it enough to rent the uncensored version not long after. It's an underrated gem as far as animated films go, some of the visuals are equally haunting and beautiful and the soundtrack is naturally great. I also really like it because I've always had a soft spot for anthology films. But let's also not forget the brilliant South Park episode that paid homage to it:


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