DEATHGASM. The movie of the year

It’s one of the most outstanding works in its genre.

Jarosław Kowal

27 September 2023


I will mention only two names – Peter Jackson and Sam Raimi. It was to these gentlemen that the New Zealand crew led by Jason Howden paid the most magnificent tribute possible, and no, they were not fascinated by The Lord of the Rings or Spider-Man, they were clearly enthusiasts of Braindead and Evil Dead.

For laymen, comparing these two semi-amateur productions may not be very clear, but connoisseurs know how high the expectations can become when a modern film is placed in the company of “mandatory readings” from the ’80s and ’90s. Despite many attempts, no one has ever managed to surpass a decent copy of artifacts collected by VHS tape enthusiasts from around the globe. Deathgasm is a breath of fresh air, or more precisely, an emanation of freshness. It reeks of sulfur, decay, and the chthonic exhalation of one of the deviously named demons. To find a film like this, it’s worth enduring and sifting through a mass of irritating, derivative novelties devoid of even a trace of independent directorial thought.


I received a D in religion class. As the only one in the class, and possibly in the history of my school, I had a passing grade in religion. The catechist even attempted to start a dialogue, trying to talk about the band from my t-shirt, whose name she read as “Sepulchre” (if anyone didn’t decipher the puzzle, it was Sepultura), but ultimately, we didn’t see eye to eye. She saw heavy metal music as a satanic tool for enslaving young minds in the name of universal destruction. A banality not worth debating. However, the creators of Deathgasm decided to give credence to all those who enjoy demonizing music called “heavy metal,” even if it is actually death, black, thrash, doom, or something else. Defenders of morality may think they’ve finally found allies, but it’s not that simple because in the end, only the metal community can combat the latent evil in one of the songs (I emphasize – the only one!).


Although one of the main characters has a Trivium poster on the wall, which recorded a pretty mediocre album this year, the soundtrack by Skull Fist fully compensates for this detail. Fans of heavy music can spot names on the walls, patches, and in the animated interludes such as Darkthrone, Cannibal Corpse, Kreator, or Anal Cunt – I think no one should be disappointed.

It gets even better. When Brodie puts on his headphones, we are transported to the set of a power metal music video. There are rocks, spewing lava, an axe-shaped guitar, a bare torso, a writhing woman at his side, and even an eye laser causing her to disrobe. Funny, but if you watch the music video for the song Metal Avenger by the band Thor, released some time ago, you’ll see almost the same thing, but in much lower quality and shot completely seriously.


I think everyone has seen Satan’s panda warriors clad in spikes and leather, wielding swords or axes, chasing each other through the woods. An undisputed classic in this field is Immortal’s The Call of the Wintermoon, which serves as an obvious inspiration for Intestinal Bungy Jump in Deathgasm. Add to that scenes from the teenager’s everyday life covered in corpse paint (such as eating ice cream on a date with a candy girl); the brilliantly depicted transformation of that girl after listening to the Razorwyre album; imaginative gore that unexpectedly changes the tone of the film after just under forty minutes; a fight scene using erotic accessories and a chainsaw (firearms are not readily available in New Zealand, so there are no easy solutions here); excellent practical special effects avoiding CGI, and an intriguing twist.


Thanks to all of this, you’ll get the movie of the year in the “Z-class Horror” category. In fact, not just the year; it’s one of the most outstanding works in its genre regardless of the date.