I’d had the pleasure of interviewing Mike “McBeardo” McPadden in advance of the release of Heavy Metal Movies: Guitar Barbarians, Mutant Bimbos & Cult Zombies Amok in the 666 Most Ear- and Eye-Ripping Big-Scream Films Ever! Sadly, when we spoke, all I’d had a chance to read was the intro and a sample chapter, which was exactly enough to have me foaming at the mouth to get my hands on the full magilla.
Thanks to Bazillion Points being kind enough to shoot me a copy, I’ve now spent the better part of the last month thumbing through Heavy Metal Movies each and every time I’ve been on the couch. It’s taken about that long to get through the epic tome, but every moment spent perusing its pages has been well-spent. In addition to revisiting old favorites, seeing what was left out, and just trying to see what stuff I need to track down.
The whole tone of the book has an excellent mix of the irreverent nature found in The Psychotronic Video Guide To Film and the strangely paternalistic dismissiveness of Stephen King’s Danse Macabre. Some entires are blink-and-you’ll-miss-them short, while others run for a couple pages — although every entry is worth reading.
It’s surprising to see McPadden praise something like Role Models, yet dismissing the likes of cult fave Street Trash as “false metal.” However, you might also find new perspectives on the likes of Dolph Lundgren’s version of The Punisher and why it’s worth seeing (91 on-screen deaths might be a teeny part of it).
While not as in-depth on certain keystone films, as was Destroy All Movies! (which is the punk movie guide), McPadden covers so much territory and so many films, this is a must-have for any fan of cult cinema. It’s amazingly fun, and is more than happy to give reasons to see everything worth watching. Even better — you’re warned away from having fun of Sleepaway Camp or Pieces spoiled for you, which is the nicest thing I can think of.
Heavy Metal Movies is out now from Bazillion Points, and is on-sale in their store for $10 off cover price, plus you get a patch.