By Peter Hemminger
CALGARY – Following up on last year’s screening of Ralph Bakshi’s classic oddity Wizards, CJSW’s The Nocturntable, Twinbat Sticker Co. and the Quickdraw Animation Society are excited to team up again to bring another cartoon epic to the funding drive. This time around, they’ll be showing the animated anthology Heavy Metal (1981), with all proceeds going to support the campus and community radio station.
When Heavy Metal magazine launched in 1977, it was like nothing North American audiences had ever seen. Bringing some of the biggest names in European comics and fantasy art to the USA, it helped to popularize a strain of stylish, sexed-up science fiction and fantasy that turned the pulp sagas of Edgar Rice Burroughs up to 11.
It was only natural that a cult magazine would spawn a cult film, and within a year of its launch, production had already started on an animated adaptation of Heavy Metal magazine. Like the print version, Heavy Metal is an anthology, stitching together horror, fantasy and sci-fi segments with the thinnest thread of overarching narrative. It’s technically tracking the evolution of an evil orb called the Loc-Nar, but it’s mostly an excuse to let loose a few teams of talented animators, pair them with a killer voice cast that includes half the cast of SCTV, and have them conjure the most over-the-top adolescent fantasies they can imagine.
There’s no question that Heavy Metal is a bit dated. It’s basically airbrushed van art brought to life, with all the swords, babes and machismo that implies. But it’s also a fantastically fun collection of adult animation, a feast of non-stop imagination that refuses to take itself too seriously. Add an absolutely killer soundtrack featuring contributions from everyone from Devo and Donald Fagen to Sabbath and Stevie Nicks, and you have the definition of a cult classic.
CJSW’s screening of Heavy Metal (Rated 13+) takes place 7pm Oct. 22 at The Globe Theatre (Calgary)
CJSW’s Funding Drive https://fundingdrive.ca/
The Nocturntable https://cjsw.com/program/the-nocturntable/
Quickdraw Animation Society http://quickdrawanimation.ca/
Twinbat Sticker Co. https://twinbatstickerco.com/CJSW, heavy metal, The Globe Theatre