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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Heavy Metal [Blu-ray]


(Gerald Potterton, 1981)





Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Columbia Pictures Corporation

Video: Sony Pictures



Region: 'A'-locked (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:30:20.456

Disc Size: 39,303,172,105 bytes

Feature Size: 30,245,511,168 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.91 Mbps

Chapters: 16

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: June 14th, 2011



Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 4241 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 4241 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio French 3028 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3028 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)



English (SDH), English, French, Spanish, none



Heavy Metal: Feature Length Rough Cut with optional commentary by Carl Macek (1:31:21)

• Deleted Scenes (8:43) Neverwhere Land Sequences - optional commentary with framing / without commentary

• Imaging Heavy Metal (34:54)





Description: Based on the fantastical illustrated magazine Heavy Metal, producer Ivan Reitman enlists the help of some of Hollywood's animation masters to create the otherworldly tale of a glowing green orb from outer space that spreads destruction throughout the galaxy. Only when encountered by its one true enemy, to whom it is inexplicably drawn, will goodness prevail throughout the universe. Richly and lavishly drawn, the vignettes of the orb's dark victories include the character voices of John Candy, Harold Ramis and a pounding soundtrack by Black Sabbath, Blue Oyster Cult, Cheap Trick, Devo, Donald Fagen, Don Felder, Grand Funk Railroad, Sammy Hagar, Journey, Nazareth, Stevie Nicks, Riggs, and Trust. Highly imaginative and full of surprising special effects, Heavy Metal set the standard for alternative contemporary animation. An intoxicating experience not be missed!


Based on the popular magazine of the same name, this animated cult film interweaves six visionary stories of science... fiction and fantasy. The soundtrack includes such rock superstars as Black Sabbath, Blue Oyster Cult, Cheap Trick, Devo, Donald Fagen, Grand Funk Railroad, Sammy Hagar, Journey, Nazareth and Stevie Nicks.



The Film:

Animated sci-fi erotica, this feature-length cartoon, based on the fantasies printed in the magazine of the same name, is composed of perverse, male-oriented sex-sword-and-sorcery tales that are sort of an adolescent mix of "The Twilight Zone" and Playboy videos.

The film begins with a souped-up Corvette floating in outer space, giving the impression that one has wandered into "Car Wars."

Then the auto lands on Earth and we begin to follow the adventures of a glowing, green ball that alternately destroys people and turns them into perfect (by "Heavy Metal" standards) examples of fantasy men and women — men being muscle-bound monsters and women being voluptuous sex objects.

Excerpt from TChris Hicks of Deseret News located HERE


"Heavy Metal" has gone on to become Columbia's most popular film on the midnight circuit, even as its video has gone out of print.


Inspired by the masturbation- material-meets-dungeons-and- dragons mentality of Heavy Metal magazine, the cartoon brings together several stories linked by the Loch-nar, a radiant green orb that embodies evil and bounces across the centuries, inspiring much greed, decapitation and bad sex. Obviously there was an edict that every adult female in these stories must have massive breasts and instantly disrobe before they are vaporized or worse. .

Excerpt from The San Francisco Chronicle located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

This 1080P package is already released in Europe. Heavy Metal looks pretty good on Blu-ray from Sony.  The variety of animations look bright with strong colors. This is dual-layered with a very high bitrate. It is not glossy and maintains its rough appearance. Detail and depth cannot exceed the original look. Contrast produces rich black levels but I think colors are still the standout. This is not premium animation but the various styles used are appealing in their own right. You'll have trouble turning your head away from this Blu-ray image. Hi-def brings this to another level of visual appreciation that will make some extremely pleased.
















Audio :

Technically the track is very adept with a robust DTS-HD Master 5.1 at a healthy 4241 kbps. A lossless French DUB is included as an option. The sci-fi effects re pretty potent and I had to crank the volume down a couple of times. Bass can rumble pretty deeply. The music is a big part of Heavy Metal from Black Sabbath and Blue Oyster Cult to Sammy Hagar and Stevie Nicks. It sounds clean, tight and occasionally quite dynamic. There are optional subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.


Extras :

Supplements duplicate the previous SE DVD from 1999 with the full-length rough-cut (pencil drawings - takes up 6 Gig) with optional commentary by Carl Macek. Who also provides a choice of commentary on the deleted scene segment entitled Neverwhere Land, with framing sequence. Also included is the interesting Imaging Heavy Metal documentary which runs about 1/2 hour. Actually good stuff.



Sure - bit of a geek paradise with plenty of bare, large-breasted women, rock music and sword and fantasy. But that's what it's supposed to be! The niche/cult appeal is built right into Heavy Metal - a cool, experimental attempt at bringing the magazine to onscreen 'life'. The Blu-ray is quite a step up from SD and a pleasure to revisit looking so vibrant. It makes me want Heavy Metal 2000 in 1080P too! This should be a very easy choice for fans. 

Gary Tooze

June 3rd, 2011




About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3500 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze






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