When I was in seventh grade, circa 1990/1991, I was just a dude with long, scraggly hair, black stonewashed jeans, wire-framed glasses often held together by paperclips, Bart Simpson “Eat My Shorts” t-shirts and a love of what I referred to as metal. In retrospect, it’s easy to see why that year was not that easy for me, friend-wise. Getting punched-wise. Not that any of it is excusable. But I used to comb my bangs in front of my eyes (not in like a cool devilock, but just in a big straight line across my face) and hairspray the shit out of them so they’d stay that way. And I worshipped at the altar of Axl Rose and Mike Patton.
I took a speech-giving type of class one half of that year, and our end-of-semester project was to come up and sort of “mime” one of our favorite activities. My favorite activity? To bang thy head. So I went up in front of my classmates—who were probably well immersed in Depeche Mode and Z. Cavariccis and inclined to assume you worshipped Satan if you listened to metal—and I mimed like I was setting up probably about 15 amps (I did not/do not play guitar, and this seemed like a reasonable amount of amps, and it used up time) and proceeded to flip switches and turn about 30 different knobs (see previous parenthetical). I then slung an imaginary axe over my shoulder, messed with it in a similar manner to the past 2 parenthetical explanations, and pressed play on a little dual-cassette boom box. Dangerous Toys’ “Teasn Pleasn” kicked in at full volume (after about 3 seconds of silence, that is, because it was the first song on the cassette, which was rewound tightly to the very, very beginning)—and then I lost my damn mind.
I played the air guitar like no 12-year-old has probably ever played the air guitar. I kicked over imaginary amps, possibly more than I even mimed setting up. I played that shit behind my head. I threw it in the air and caught it. I air licked the air guitar’s neck. I solo’d over verses. I jumped and kicked and wailed and probably lip-synched a little and maybe imitated Mike Patton as much as I could. And yes, I banged my head. For three plus minutes I was the coolest dude in the world and I was a rock star. The song ended and I picked myself up and “packed up my gear” and went back to my seat. I have no recollection of the response from the class or the teacher. I do remember tunnel vision and adrenaline and feeling both embarrassed as hell but also untouchable (someone might have punched me in the face later that day, though).
What the hell does any of this have to do with Jason Lei Howden’s Deathgasm? Nothing, dude, except that the movie is metal as hell and way cooler than I ever was. And also maybe because the lead character, Brodie, gets beat up a lot and so did I. But really, there’s nothing new I can tell you about Deathgasm. At least five of your friends—probably wearing Goatwhore shirts and looking down their noses at Dangerous Toys to begin with—have already told you that you need to watch the movie. Take their advice, pony up for the VOD, and bang thy head. Besides, as this is Howden’s first feature film, you might consider it his demo tape. And we all know how important it is to get into a metal band with their demo tape, rather than their major label debut…ugh, like everybody else.