I was fortunate enough to get to see Heavy Trip (2018), which had its World Premiere at SXSW. It’s a Finnish film that features a group of friends who have a death metal band that practices in the basement of a reindeer slaughterhouse. There is a sense of humor in the film that is undeniable, as well as some pretty great metal music.
Heavy Trip (2018) was a fun blend of Death Metal and coming of age comedy
Turo Moilanen (Johannes Holopainen) is the lead singer of his death metal band, but is also very shy and insecure. The band hasn’t been heard by anyone other than the guitarist Christensen’s (Torstein Bjørklund) family, who owns the slaughterhouse. Jynkky (Antti Heikkinen), the drummer and Pasi (Max Ovaska), the bass player, fill out the rest of the band’s line up. After accidentally dousing a concert promoter with reindeer blood, the band gets their first gig, and suddenly Turo finds himself with the opportunity to take the food right out of the lion’s mouth; but can he?
This movie is not solely about the music, but about finding the confidence to go after what you want. It’s done through some crazy moments that bring big laughs and some shredding heavy metal music. There are tons of traditional comedic elements, but they are executed well and work within the context of the movie. For example, Turo finds himself being attacked by another man and ends up taking a spray of mace directly on his face. It’s been done, but it works really well at the moment and to the character.
Of course, not all of the humor is traditional. Some of the funnier moments would be to spoiler-heavy to discuss, but one comes during the band’s introduction. We meet each member through Turo’s voice over, but Jynkky’s has to be the most memorable. In the middle of drumming, he collapses, appearing to have passed out, except his one foot keeps tapping on the drum pedal. It’s revealed that he’s died twice and it seems this could be the third time. However, a fist to his chest causes him to spit out the sandwich lodged in his windpipe. It was crazy and definitely not something seen in other films too often…if ever.
The cinematography takes a change in two or three instances of the film to look more like a music video. When the band plays their first songs, the camerawork takes on that feel and looks pretty epic. The song the guys play is pretty awesome, and the visuals only make it all the more impressive. Then again, the setting is in the basement of a slaughterhouse, so it’s a little surreal at the same time.
If you get a chance to see Heavy Trip or Hevi Reissu or A Band Called Impaled Rektum depending on where you look, you definitely should. It’s a solid comedy with lots of great scenes. The movie has re-watchability to it, and it’s one that I hope to see again. Heavy Trip earns the Not Quite Golden, Ponyboy rating.