Thursdays: Headbangersploitation

Heavy Metal on Film

Co-Presented by WHPK 88.5 FM

By Maximus Warlock Frank


The bells of Hades chime; death rides this night. Across forests, fjords, and the frost-bitten Nekrokosmos, Valkyries in bright red '58 Camaros that only smoke Kamel Reds and drink Lone Star descend from Buzz Osborne's rock n' roll space shuttle to decide which warriors are worthy of being Sentenced to Life in Valhall. With bridges burning and jailers laid to waste, only the few who have lived worthy lives may ascend to drink of the glorious Mjød. Warriors of Metal look to the sky, see the Valkyri ride, and begin to murmur to themselves, "Sultans of Satan, with Oden on my Side, lay runes to my memory upon my Death in Fire. "

Suddenly, before you, the portal opens. A green mjød–teor crashes into the graveyard and you travel From Mars to Sirius. Endless corpses of your fallen brethren on the Elysian Fields are left behind; songs will be sung and toasts will be toasted for them.

Demonic ecstasy envelops: you are speeding through the Nevada Space desert in a Cadillac Eldorado convertible blasting "Red Barchetta" and steering wheel-drumming Neil Peart's parts while watching as all the nuclear warheads rust in peace. You've got a thirty–rack of Pabst-Mjød-Ribbon in the passenger seat, half a pack of Mavericks, some Creedence tapes, and a burning feeling in your Heart ['s Alive].

You've learned the Art of Partying, and now it is definitely Time to Party.

In the distance, you are bound for a mountain. Blood Mountain 's Not the Blood Mountain located on the border of Lumpkin County and Union County along the Appalachian Trail in Georgia, but the Blood Mountain — a glorious, cursed realm where the elusive, effervescent, Crystal Skull is guarded by circles of three-headed sasquatches {known (in the common tongue, at least)} as Cysquatches that catch blades, hunt Birchmen, slay the paleoarchaen beasts of the sky, and drink wolf-mjød]. At the Peak of Blood Mountain, your journey will finally end.

"White Whale — Holy Grail" you repeat to yourself to stay awake; with a lit Maverick dangling from your lip and your nineteenth cup of Starbucks™brand new brew "Mocha–Mjød-accino" occupying a crusty drink coaster to the right of the steering wheel. Your whole life people told you to keep your hands at 10 o'clock and 2 o'clock when gripping the wheel: but forget that. You've got 'em at 9:45 and 2:17, so you've got an extra 12 minutes to get where you're goin'. And where you're goin' is the top of Blood Mountain, where you will drink Mjød from the horn of the elusive, effervescent, Crystal Skull.

Animals. Animals. Animals. We're just lucky. Animals, and we're lucky. For a little while, at least. A rip in space–time sucks your Cadillac Eldorado convertible — along with the thirty rack of Pabst-Mjød–Ribbon, the Mavericks, and the Creedence tapes — past the Event Horizon and into a new kind of style. Its OK though, do not lose grace under pressure and capacity for learning and loving even when the Devil;'s Orchard beckons— because you can take comfort in the thought that somewhere, someplace, in some dimension, John Carpenter is sitting on his favorite leather recliner, smoking a cigar and playing Call of Duty: Black Ops 2.

Dave Grohl rules.


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2013-04-04 @ 9:00 PM

Heavy Metal

(Gerald Potterton, 1981) · The bay doors of a space shuttle open to release a '58 Corvette that descends through the atmosphere into a barren desert canyon and kicks off this anthology of animated noir, sci fi, and fantasy tales adapted from the legendary Heavy Metal magazine. Featuring stories from horror legend Dan O'Bannon (Alien, Return of the Living Dead) and tunes from Blue Oyster Cult, Black Sabbath, Nazareth, Grand Funk Railroad, Journey, Donald Fagen, and Stevie Nicks.

runtime: 91 min format: 35mm


2013-04-11 @ 9:00 PM

Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey

(Peter Hewitt, 1991) · This sequal to the classic sci-fi-rock-comedy-buddy flick, Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, stars Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter as two time-travelling metalhead slacker dudes. A villain dissatisfied with the utopian future that results from Bill and Ted winning the San Dimas Battle of the Bands sends two robots into the past to prevent Bill and Ted from winning. The robots kill Bill and Ted, and in the afterlife, they play a series of board games against Death for possession of their souls. After losing, Death becomes their servant and helps them back into the mortal world to stop the robots from throwing the competition and altering Time.

runtime: 90 min format: 35mm


2013-04-18 @ 9:00 PM

Repo Man

(Alex Cox, 1984) · Emilio Estevez is a hardcore/thrash punk kid who repossesses cars in dystopian, robotic 1980s Los Angeles. Forgotten auteur Cox constructs a darkly comedic, bleak urban vision that fits somewhere between Paris in Melville's Le Cercle Rouge and the old west of Corbucci's Django or Leone's The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Features an extraordinary performance by the legendary Harry Dean Stanton. Required listening: Municipal Waste, "Repossession."

runtime: 92 min format: 35mm


2013-04-25 @ 9:00 PM

The Song Remains The Same

(Peter Clifton & Joe Massot, 1976) · Zeppelin's manager Peter Grant and batshit-crazy tour dude Richard Cole tommy-gun the crap out of some dudes. John "Bonzo" Bonham rips through "Moby Dick" while his bandmates get wasted backstage. Robert Plant seeks the Holy Grail. The God of Rock, Sir James Patrick Page, takes the form of a hermit and climbs a mountain. John Paul Jones doesn't do much, but he rocks nonetheless. Come get the Led out and witness the birth pangs of a new style.

runtime: 137 min format: 35mm


2013-05-02 @ 9:00 PM

Until The Light Takes Us

(Aaron Aites & Audrey Ewell, 2009) · In the frosty forests of early 90s Norway, a musical movement turned into a conflagration. Until The Light Takes Us chronicles the history of Norwegian black metal, a subgenre as famous for its musical ideas as it is infamous for the crimes that arose from it. The story unfolds from the perspective of the great bands and twisted minds that made it: Darkthrone, Mayhem, Immortal, and Emperor. Come to Doc to quench your blodtørst with Satan's Mjød.

runtime: 93 min format: DVD


2013-05-09 @ 9:00 PM

Beavis and Butthead Do America

(Mike Judge, 1996) · Once upon a time in corporate music television, there was culture saturation, and there were those who commented on it. Mike Judge takes Beavis and Butthead to the big screen, along with a ridiculous lineup of voices including Bruce Willis, Demi Moore, and David Letterman. The soundtrack isn't strictly metal, but the spirit is. In the 16 and Pregnant era, we can't afford to forget the importance of good art forms in shaping the culture of disparate ones.

runtime: 81 min format: 35mm


2013-05-16 @ 9:00 PM

School of Rock

(Richard Linklater, 2003) · Still in his Tenacious D prime, Jack Black dons a red Gibson SG and jets off with director Linklater to a prestigious prep school to teach a bunch of stuck-up, lily-white kids how to rock. Black‚Äôs wanna-be rock star schools the kids on Zep, the Ramones, Hendrix, Floyd, Rush, Sabbath, and AC/DC, gearing them up for a Great Gig in the Sky at the Battle of the Bands, all while helping them to use music as a way of self-understanding and personal expression.

runtime: 109 min format: 35mm


2013-05-23 @ 9:00 PM

This Is Spinal Tap

(Rob Reiner, 1986) · In one of the greatest comedies of all time, Rob Reiner tracks the exploits of Spinal Tap, a fictional British heavy metal band, in one of the greatest comedies of all time. Mixing the humor of golden-era Reiner with that of pre-fame Christopher Guest, the film parodies those boring rock docs you used to flip past on VH1. After watching the band's exploits on their "Smell the Glove" tour, Roger Ebert proclaimed, "Spinal Tap is not that much worse than some successful rock bands." Come rock out.

runtime: 82 min format: 35mm


2013-05-30 @ 9:30 PM

Wayne's World

(Penelope Spheeris, 1992) · Is this the real life, or is this just fantasy? Schwing! She tests very high on the strokability scale. Schyea! I don't even have a gun, let alone many guns, that would necessitate an entire rack. Wayne and Garth (Myers & Carvey) host a public-access television TV show that has a chance to go pro—at the expense of selling out to the man. Spheeris and Myers' masterpiece invokes Brecht as the fourth wall is broken and pop culture is transformed. Party on.

runtime: 95 min format: 35mm


2013-06-06 @ 9:00 PM

When Harry Met Sally

(Rob Reiner, 1989) · The quintessential romance of quintessential romances, two UChicago grads ride the tumultuous waters of the man-woman friendship ocean. Unpleasant, random encounter after sometimes pleasant, random encounter lead them through 10 years of chance, sarcasm, and awkward sex in New York City. Years of failed love draw them towards one another like opposite ends of a magnet. Come see our second Alumni Weekend screening on the Harper Quad, the place where it all began.

runtime: 96 min format: Digital

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