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Jason Widgington [Celluloid 07.20.15] New Zealand horror comedy

With recent examples like Housebound, What We Do In The Shadows (review), The Devil's Rock and Black Sheep, it's clear that New Zealand is quickly becoming a hotbed of quality quirky genre films. How much of that is due to the direct influence of Peter Jackson and his earlier output like Bad Taste and Dead Alive (aka Braindead) could be up for debate, but when it comes to writer/director Jason Lei Howden's feature debut Deathgasm, there is no question. Howden cut his teeth doing visual effects on many films for Weta Digital, including as senior paint artist on two of Jackson's Hobbit films. But it's his love of practical gore effects that shines through in Deathgasm, a crowd-pleasing splatter flick that plays the gross-out card for laughs.

When scrawny heavy metal-loving teen Brodie moves to a small dead-end town to live with his aunt and uncle, he immediately realizes he doesn't fit in when even his own cousin bullies him. He soon hooks up with Zakk, a fellow head-banging outcast, and they decide to start a band called – you guessed it – Deathgasm. Some exposition follows about an ancient piece of music that, when played, will summon a demon known as The Blind One and his minions, and it isn't long before Brodie and his band get their hands on it and end up playing it in his uncle's garage. What follows is a veritable orgy of demonic possession and bloody dismemberment featuring some very creative weapons, all played for laughs to a very specific corner of the horror film-loving population.

While Milo Cawthorne (Brodie), James Blake (Zakk), and Kimberley Crossman (Medina, oh so much more than a simple love interest) play well off each other and share a good deal of onscreen chemistry together, make no mistake: Deathgasm is all about the red sticky stuff. Oh, and of course heavy metal. And Howden delivers the goods in spades. With demonic disembowelments, spine removals, and literal face-shredding, there is something in this film to please the palate of even the most discerning gore-met, even those who enjoy a good dose of death by sex toys. What's interesting to note, though, is that even through all the crimson carnage, Howden also includes a few touchingly funny moments concerning the nature of friendship and the awkwardness of a budding teenage romance.

If what you seek is a riotously funny splatter flick with a hard-driving soundtrack, then Deathgasm is just what the doctor ordered: blood, guts, and metal as f**k!

Recommended Release: What We Do in the Shadows

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Lenny (6 years ago) Reply

Yep. Jonesing to see this.


Cletus (6 years ago) Reply

Saw it, loved it, *but* can you say "Todd and the Book of Pure Evil"?

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