John’s Horror Corner: Deathgasm (2015), the New Zealand horror comedy where Ash vs the Evil Dead brilliantly meets Scout’s Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse.
MY CALL: If you like the Evil Dead movies, heavy metal music, or ultra gory horror comedies you will like this. If you simply have good taste in silly (raunchy and gory) horror, just see this. MOVIES LIKE Deathgasm: For more kitschy New Zealand horror comedies try Dead-Alive (1992), Bad Taste (1987), Housebound (2014) and What We Do in the Shadows (2015). For more solidly gross horror comedy in general try Zombie Strippers (2008), Zombieland (2009), Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever (2009), Piranha 3D (2010), Tucker and Dale vs Evil (2010), Final Destination 5 (2011), Piranha 3DD (2012), The Cabin in the Woods (2012), Smothered (2014), Zombeavers (2014), The Voices (2014), He Never Died (2015), Cooties (2015), Ava’s Possessions (2015), The Final Girls (2015), Krampus (2015; not exactly comedy, but occasionally hilarious), Love in the Time of Monsters (2015) and Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse (2015).
Just a random aside, a shocking number of actors in this were from recent Power Rangers and Spartacus series. Not a bad thing, not a good thing; just an observation.
Written and directed by Jason Lei Howden (visual artist of The Hobbit movies), this playfully feisty New Zealand horror comedy opens with an almost adorably gross credit sequence complete with the stylings of Adult Swim and a personable narration which reminded me of an old favorite, The Gate (1987).
Not five minutes into this zany little gem (and a GLOWING gem it is) I had lost count of how many times I had laughed out loud at its brilliant execution, sense of humor, and random clip scenes featuring goofy sketches and wicked music video dreamscape sequences that reminded me of “W is for Wish” from ABCs of Death 2 (2014) and everything that was awesome about 80s music videos. When he used his laser vision to incinerate that chick’s (Kimberley Crossman; Power Rangers Samurai) top, Jeeeesus Chr–… oh… oh, dear, I seem to have gotten carried away. On with the review!
That is SO METAL!
After being forced to move in with his uncle and insidiously bullying cousin, troubled teen metalhead Brodie (Milo Cawthorne; Power Rangers RPM) quickly unites with a group of social misfits, forms a metal band, and they bite off more than they can chew when they play some devil-worshipping music to summon the king of demons.
Now THAT is METAL!
It’s not so obvious at first, but afterwards all of the adults in town are just…not right. They’re basically eye-gauged deadites. Think Ash vs the Evil Dead (2015) meets a zombie apocalypse and that’s kind of looney territory we’ve hit.
I saw a guy do this at a Slayer concert once. No biggie.
The acting is on-point, the editing and direction seem perfect during funny dialogue, and this just enhanced the quick-witted and frequent comedic execution. This movie is brilliantly hilarious! The Dungeons and Dragons scene was simple yet precious, but it had nothing on the bit when they’re coming up with the name for their metal band—Cannibal Unicorn, Maggot Sperm, and so many more beautiful combinations of words. I was also quite fond of the handful of Dungeons and Dragons references sparingly peppered in the script.
I actually really liked the characters in this movie a lot.
Not only is this movie delightfully funny, but it’s brutally gory as well. This film seizes every opportunity to be gross with the reckless abandon of irritable bowel syndrome. We have projectile blood vomiting into people’s face, blood enemas, ripping through bodies, splitting heads in half, the honest use of dildos as legitimately effective weapons against the supernatural, ripped out spinal columns, blood geysers, a chainsaw up the butt, coils of sloppy intestines falling out, forced dismemberment, naked bare-dicked zombies getting their dicks weed-whacked, a nude cultist (Delaney Tabron; Power Rangers Megaforce, Spartacus: War of the Damned) stabbing, a tarot card reader (Kate Elliott; Power Rangers Samurai, 30 Days of Night) heart rip, and when his bully cousin finally gets his messy comeuppance the accompanying dialogue with have you in love with this film!
It’s a lot like Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse (2015) crossed with Ash vs the Evil Dead (2015). Just pure horror comedy bliss. And be sure to watch ‘til the end of the credits for a bonus scene featuring more grossly awesome band name ideas!