For my inaugural edition of Drinking With The Dread, I’ve chosen to immortalize Jason Lei Howden’s heavy-metal-headbanger Deathgasm. The only 2015 brutalizer with enough satanic garage bands, blood-spewing demons and dildo weaponry to melt the flesh clean away from my pearly-white skull. Not only is it one of the knock-down best horror debuts of the 2000s era, but it’s essential party watching for the genre crowd. Doubly so if you’re metalhead.
You know that feeling when your favorite adrenaline-pumping jam shuffles into your iPod playlist (Protest The Hero’s “Blindfolds Aside” for me)? That’s Deathgasm. From an opening credits crawl filled with sketched occult atrocities to the film’s post-credits vinyl gag, Howden’s possession takeover is top-notch mayhem caught in a Slayer-scored echochamber. Unlike most new horror films these days, you won’t find distracting CGI blemishes – just an insane amount of vomited blood and dismemberment and halved minion craniums gushing with red goo. This is the midnight movie your mom, pastor and sponsor never wanted you to see.
What Deathgasm (stigmatically) nails is an always-entertaining balance between immature comedy, necessary in-jokes and the ability to always remain true to itself (leather, denim patch jackets and bastardized conformity). Howden channels Sam Raimi through frantic POV lensing and gallons upon gallons of expelled bodily fluids that wash down apocalypse-ravaged streets. Scene by scene, beating by beating, guitar-crunching energies jolt the most incredulous genre highs while a chorus of devils bring upon a savagely hilarious reckoning. It’s the kind of bang-along, metal-horned madness that’s prime for alcoholic giggles and *grand* reactions. Always pushing you over the edge, be it a timely decapitation or cheeky comeuppance.
Highlight moments include (but are not limited to):
- “Lowercase is for pussies.”
- The funniest beheading sequence in quite some time (NOT THE RUG!).
- One of the film’s least likable characters being killed hilariously upon his return home.
- Taking “Big Black” to the face (aka “Church Stuff”).
- A punch-you-in-the-face, subgenre-spanning metal soundtrack.
- The greatest handshake in horror history.
- Practical effects chop-shop glory.
- Amazing fake band names (even better real ones?).
So, now the moment you’ve been waiting for – THE GAME. Here are the unholiest of rules for Drinking With The Dread’s Deathgasm Drinking Game:
- Drink every a new metal track kicks in (including original content).
- Drink every time there’s some kind of head trauma (beheadings, bludgeonings, whacks, thwaps, anything).
- Drink every time a band name is spoken (if you REALLY want to get drunk – at your own risk – change this to every time you hear *or* read a band name).
- Drink every time “Aeloth,” “The Black Hymn” or “The Blind One” is uttered.
- Drink every time there’s a reference to “metalheads” or metal horns are shown (TWO SIPS FOR THE HANDSHAKE!).
- TAKE A SHOT WHEN either Brodie or Medina transport to that Mt. Olympus coming-of-rage fantasy location. You pick who you want to honor (note it only happens once for each, so that’s your choice!).
My fridge was loaded with 12 oz. cans of Budweiser (Bud heavy of course) at the time of my testing, and these rules ran me into three cans. Depending on your sip or gulp sizing, have about three cans at your disposal for consumption (four for sure if you’re playing the “hear or read” *advised against* rule). Oh, and with Deathgasm running a brisk 86 minutes, I’m inclined to remind you all about responsible responsible drinking. Please feel free to dial down the rules – then go listen to Smash Mouth and nurse a Zima or whatever it is that weak people do.
Out of all the films I’ve forced upon my movie-loving friends, no title holds a better crowd-pleasing average than Deathgasm. Jason Lei Howden beats a sledgehammer of satanic absurdity that blasts like a warcry without ever stopping for air (the man *lives* metal, ever-evident and enthusiastically appreciated). Milo Cawthorne, James Blake, Kimberley Crossman – the entire cast is comfortable in their corpse paint and never comes across as posers. This is a crazy train from Hell with no brakes, responsible for my newfound infatuation with bands like Skull Fist and Elm Street. Assemble your crew, crack your brews and pray to Dio you make it out alive.
Those who accept my blasphemous challenge, be sure to hit the comments and let me know how these rules hold up! Too strong, too weak, too metal – you tell me so I can tailor next month’s Drinking With The Dread just right.
DEATH TO FALSE METAL. \m/ \m/