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Film / Deathgasm

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Deathgasm is a 2015 New Zealand Dark Comedy and horror film about a teenager obsessed with heavy metal who discovers and plays forbidden music, opening the gates of hell in the process.

Written and directed by Jason Lei Howden, Deathgasm emerged from a short film in 2013 which netted the creator a NZ$200,000 prize which served as partial financing for the 2015 film. It uses elements of the author's own high school years, in which he too was an outcast and into heavy metal. The film references numerous metal bands with its imagery, dialogue, and music.

This movie provides examples of:

  • Action Girl: Medina's pretty handy with an axe.
  • Ambiguously Bi: Medina is Brodie's Love Interest, and her metal fantasy has heavy lesbian imagery.
  • Asshole Victim: Seeing how David beat up Brodie just for talking to his girlfriend, it's really hard to feel sorry for him when Brodie deliberately murders him.
  • Big Bad: Aeloth the Blind, the demon king our heroes accidentally summon.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: Aeon, who leads the cult and seeks to acquire the power of Aeloth the Blind, and who is usurped and killed very early on by his lover Shanna. Shanna herself also serves as an example when Zakk dispatches her and is promptly taken as Aeloth's new host.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The demons are vanquished and both Brodie and Medina saved the day. However, Brodie is the only surviving member of the Deathgasm band and it's possible the bulk of the town population died during the demon invasion.
  • Blatant Lies: Brodie's insistence that his cousin was possessed when he killed him
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Zakk somehow manages to turn the camera back towards himself after Brodie tries to suggest another name for the band.
  • Brown Note: The protagonist stumbles upon some sheet music that when played, turns anyone within earshot into demon-possessed zombies.
  • Camera Abuse: During the possession scenes, the camera gets splattered with blood.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Rikki Daggers' collection of amplifiers, which the band must use to undo the spell during the climax.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Brodie asks Zakk if it's true that Rikki Daggers beat bunnies to death onstage with a crowbar. Zakk's response? "Fuck no man, it was a claw hammer!"
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Zakk, when fighting with Brodie over Medina.
  • Demon Lords and Archdevils: Aeloth is referred to as the "king of demons", and is pretty high up in the ranks of Hell.
  • Demonic Possession: Aeloth's goal is to possess the most wicked human soul within his vicinity when he's summoned. His minions also possess numerous people who heard the heavy metal incantation, turning them into eyeless zombies reminiscent of Deadites
  • Failed a Spot Check: Zakk somehow manages to walk into a living room and drink a beer without noticing his friend Brodie is being attacked by a demon until the demon starts screaming.
    • When Medina and Brodie are talking in the park over ice cream neither of them notice Brodie's cousin - who is also Medina's boyfriend - watching them while parked directly in front of them in his bright red car.
  • Fanservice: Shanna takes off her top while invoking Aeloth. Though considering the context, this could be considered Fan Disservice. Played Straight with the heavy metal fantasies.
  • A Good Name for a Rock Band: Brodie, Giles, and Dion all have their ideas for what their band should be called, but Zakk is very insistent that it should be DEATHGASM in all caps("because lower case is for pussies")
  • Gorn:
    • Throughout the early parts of the film, blood progressively comes out more and more from every orifice possible of those who are possessed, including the ears and eye sockets. A teacher bleeds from the rectum and then vomits impossible amounts of blood onto a student.
    • Once the forbidden verse has been played, the gorn is more similar to zombie slasher movies.
  • Gory Deadly Overkill Title of Fatal Death: The titular band parodies death metal's propensity for this.
  • Hated by All: Cult leader Aeon is as bad as bad bosses get. Not only does he have a henchman executed for failing him, but he has the mooks reenact the execution when he's not satisfied with how it's done the first time. It gets so bad that his lover murders him and takes his place at the first opportunity and none of the other followers even bat an eye.
  • Improvised Weapon:
    • When Brodie and Zakk have to defend themselves from two demons, they use the only tools they can find: Brodie's uncle and aunt's sex toys.
    • They later fashion weapons out of power tools, like a drill-guitar and a weed whacker with barbed wire.
  • Jerkass: Zakk is kind of a crummy guy all throughout the movie. Towards the end, he becomes more of a Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
  • Licking the Blade: On the poster, Zakk is licking the blade of his chainsaw.
  • Made of Plasticine: Apparently anyone that the demons get ahold of. Poor Dion and Giles...
  • Mercy Kill: At the end, Zakk is killed by Brodie at his request, since he can't fight the demon Aeloth's possession.
  • Metalhead: The entire film is about a group of high school metalheads who accidentally summon an ancient evil by playing a piece of old sheet music they found in the home of one of their heavy metal idols.
  • Misanthrope Supreme: Zakk.
    Zakk: Fuck that. This town is shit. We're going up to the lookout, rolling a three-skinner, cranking some Slayer and watching this town burn to the fuckin' ground!
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Zakk slays Shanna as she is becoming possessed by Aeloth, leading him to become possessed instead.
  • Not Quite Dead: Aeloth appears to have survived inside a vinyl record...until it turns out to be Zakk pranking Brodie. The trope still applies since Zakk is supposed to be very dead.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: The cult can be heard chanting nonsense in Latin while Brodie and company are held hostage.
  • Open-Fly Gag: Brodie uses this on the demon Aeloth, while trying to stall him during the final battle.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: Most of Hell's mooks are like Raimi-style zombies, except they talk and they can't infect. it's unknown if they can infect people or not. When Abigail is killed, she looks like she might turn, but she's never seen again. They're essentially demons that look like zombies, probably due to budget concerns.
  • Portmantitle: "Death"+'Orgasm"
  • Red Right Hand: The possessed have gaping black hole where their eyes should be, so in the early stages of the demonic invasion they hide this by wearing sunglasses. Downplayed because even then there's something very obviously wrong with them.
  • Rock Me, Asmodeus!:
    • Very much invoked in this film. The protagonist stumbles upon some sheet music that when played, turns anyone within earshot into demons.
    • Somewhat subverted near the end as metal is also key to sealing Aeloth.
  • Rouge Angles of Satin: Brodie and Zakk use home made napalm to burn "HAIL SATIN" into a field.
  • Sex Is Evil, and I Am Horny: Implied during the fight at Brodie's uncle and aunt's house. After they—religious fundamentalists—become possessed, Brodie finds a variety of sex toys in the closet which he uses as improvised weapons.
  • Shout-Out: The music video shot by the band is one to the video for "Call of the Wintermoon".
  • Splatter Horror: Once the Black Hymn is played for the first time, the demon possessed zombies it creates spew a truly ridiculous amount of blood from every possible exit, following in the fine tradition of Peter Jackson's early splatstick offerings. Then the power tools come out...
  • The Starscream: Shanna kills Aeon so that she can be possessed by Aeloth.
  • The Stinger: Brodie chats with Zakk who's trapped in a vinyl record.
  • Team Title
  • This Is a Drill: Brodie duct tapes a power drill to the neck of his electric guitar in preparation to fight off the demon possessed townspeople.
  • Those Two Guys: Dion and Giles, Deathgasm's keyboardist and drummer.

Alternative Title(s): Heavy Metal Apocalypse