SXSW Film Review: Deathgasm
A very metal tribute to the grand tradition of Kiwi splatter comedy
By Richard Whittaker,
4:08PM, Sun. Mar. 15, 2015
When you think New Zealand comedy horror, you think side-splitting crudity and stomach-churning mutilation. Deathgasm provides both, with a totally brutal metal soundtrack.
It's a classic tale of lovable loser teenage metal head (Milo Cawthorne) accidentally summoning a world-ending demon to consume the small town to which he's been condemned. Bad timing, since the straight-laced school beauty (Kimberley Crossman) seems poised to unleash her inner Doro Pesch/Lzzy Hale. Can he stop Armageddon, vanquish a cult of surprisingly anal retentive devil worshippers, and stop his supposed best friend Zakk (James Blake, like a seedy Heath Ledger in 10 Things I Hate About You) from wrecking his love life?
Post-Metalocalypse and the late, lamented Todd and the Book of Pure Evil, dimwitted metallers bringing on the Apocalypse may seem like an old riff. Yet director Jason Lei Howden drenches it in enough spraying plasma to drown a demon and raise hysterical belly laughs. A WETA CGI effects guy by training, Howden goes practical-heavy for gory, glorious, ridiculous, and comedic effect. It also doesn't hurt that he clearly knows his metal, mocking only what he loves. Shamelessly low-brow, reaching a beer-fueled gleeful high with a zombie-vs.-sex toys battle, it's a very metal tribute to the grand tradition of Kiwi splatter comedies.
Midnighters, World Premiere
Sunday, March 15, 11:30pm, Lamar
Friday, March 20, 9:30pm, Ritz
Keep up with all our dispatches from SXSW at austinchronicle.com/sxsw.