Metalocalypse Season One (2007)
By: David Michael Brown on February 22, 2008  |  Comments  |  Bookmark and Share
Madman (Australia). Region 4, PAL. 4:3. English DD 2.0. English Subtitles. 230 minutes
The Movie
Directors: Jon Schnepp, Chris Prynoski, Tommy Blacha, Brendon Small
Starring: Mark Hammil, Tommy Blacha, Brendon Small
Screenplay: Tommy Blacha, Brendon Small
Country: USA
The team behind Metalocalypse must have been big fans of Some Kind of Monster, the Metallica documentary that portrayed the world's biggest heavy metal band on the verge of destruction. Heavy metal music is ripe for ridicule at the best of times; the much-maligned genre has been the brunt of spoofs like This is Spinal Tap and Bad News but the Metallica documentary along with the Motley Crue biography The Dirt showed the pressures of the decadent lifetsyle the rock and roll royalty live through and attempted to show these leather clad, poodle permed rockers as human beings.

Metalocalpyse tells the story of the lives of Dethklok, the worlds biggest, loudest metal band, so big in fact, that there is a government department set up to try and destroy them. Not that they have much to do as the band often makes a good attempt at doing that themselves. The quintet consists of Americans Nathan Explosion (vocals), William Murderface (bass), and Pickles the Drummer,  along with Scandinavian guitarists Toki Wartooth and Skwisgaar Skwigelf. These are extreme portrayals of the metal world as you are likely to find; this guys rock hard and live hard.

The show is full of great moments; the band heading to the supermarket to go shopping for the first time, becoming the first band to record an album under water and their producer realising that there is a massive untapped aquatic audience available for death metal, Murderface being given an inflatable balloon guitar from a heavy metal clown for his birthday. The gore hungry among you will also love the delightfully gruesome carnage that often surrounds the band as the hapless government agents move in.

It's obvious that the duo behind Metalocalypse have a great love of metal and out there animation. Tommy Blacha and Brendon Small both wrote and directed much of the series and also provided the voices of Toki Wartooth and Nathan Explosion respectively and have both also had a hand in many of the other Adult Swim shows. Both provided their guest vocal talents on Aqua Teen Hunger Force and Small also had a hand on Venture Brothers and Squidbillies. Also of interest is the fact that Small provided some of the music on the Guitar Hero video games, which shows that the rock score of Metalocalypse is in safe hands.
As with all of Madman's Adult Swim series the image is stable, clear and colourful as you would expect from a recently produced cartoon.
Loud and proud, the stereo mix is does everything right. It lacks a surround track so its not quite like having Dethklok in your living room but the guitars will give your speakers a work out.
Extra Features
The extras have been nicely themed to enhance your viewing and listening pleasure. We get an instructional guitar video by Shwisgarr and an additional bass solo from Murderface that shows you he is a man of considerable talents. The band are interviewed in a hilarious session on the couch and we also get to follow the bands tour of Mordhaus, and finally there is a non stop blood thirsty murder tour which edits together every violent or gory scene from the entire series set to the rocking music of Dethklok.

For Easter Egg fans there are plenty to hunt out and explore; the main menu pages of each disc alone have goodies galore for the eagle eyed. Look out for drunken phone calls from trashed hotel rooms, sexy video shoots, Murderface playing an arcade game called "muther f**kin' Wheelchair Bound," Shakespeare renditions by Nathan Explosion and breakfast menus, and that's just scratching the surface.
The Verdict
There is absolutely nothing subtle about Metalocalypse, it's the animated equivalent of being smashed over the head with a hammer, the Hammer of the Gods naturally. It's loud, garish, violent, gory and full of screaming guitars and wailing groupies and none the worse for it. Metal fans will lap it up; gore hungry animation fans will have plenty to shout about and for anyone else out there, they can just switch it off.
Movie Score
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