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IFFBoston Review: Deathgasm

Kimberley Crossman stars in "Deathgasm"

Out of the uncountable number of films that I’ve watched over the course of my life, I can’t say that I’ve seen too many of the flicks that have made their way out of New Zealand. As a matter of fact, there’s a chance that Deathgasm may actually be my very first cinematic experience with anything from that country. What made me want to watch this? Dude, it’s called Deathgasm! Why in the world would I not want to watch something with a name as cool as that?

Once you get past the name and onto the actual movie, you uncover a story about Brodie (Milo Cawthorne), a young outcast who’s being taken in by his uncle after his mother runs into a bit of trouble at home. With his uncle’s family not being exactly what you would consider to be welcoming, the young metalhead spends most of his time alone until he meets some new friends. Of the people he gets acquainted with, none get more out of him than Zakk (James Blake), a fellow outcast with a similar taste in music.

With music helping form a bond between the two, there’s a predictable need to come together and make a heavy metal band that comes to be known as Deathgasm. For them, it starts as a way to express themselves, but once they somehow summon an evil entity with murderous intentions, the band soon finds out that the culture and music they love so much can bring about more than just enrapturing songs, attractive ladies and guitar solos.

If you simply base your expectations on its name alone, Deathgasm would appear to be a film that promises to deliver something outrageous. Once the movie kicks off, you’ll notice that your expectations are about to be met. That’s because what you witness here is indeed insane in essentially every way imaginable.

I obviously can’t say how it all came together during the development stages, but it wouldn’t shock me if the people behind this horror-comedy just threw a bunch of stuff out there in order to find features that would be both humorous and provocative. It seriously seems as if they just took a large mix of their craziest ideas they had and blended them together with the hopes of having a good time. Regardless of how it was done, the formula lends itself to something that turns out to be exceptionally entertaining.

For some, Deathgasm will be just about everything you may be looking for in a film of this genre with its excessive violence filled with comedy while offering a bloody good time. You’ll find that there’s plenty of thought into what we see on screen, and it never manages to take itself too seriously at any point. From that perspective, it’s safe to call this a movie for audiences wanting to watch a vulgar piece of cinema that’s here for people who are able to stomach it.

While features like blood, gore and comedy are fantastic additions to Deathgasm, the characters we’re introduced to play a vital part in bringing all of that to life. Everyone of these guys are interesting and deliver a definitive slice of personality of their own throughout their time in front of the camera. This makes what happens during the story more memorable and significant since each of these guys mean something and have their own identities.

For the squeamish, it’s safe to say that this isn’t the kind of movie for you. For just about everyone else, Deathgasm is a film that will likely get a positive reaction out of you with its large amount of absurdity packed into fleshed out tale with designs on frightening you while finding every opportunity to make you laugh. In the end, that’s all many will be asking for. It that’s you, look no further than this spectacle out of New Zealand.

Rating: R

Director: Jason Lei Howden

Milo Cawthorne
James Blake
Kimberley Crossman
Sam Berkley
Daniel Cresswell
Delaney Tabron
Colin Moy
Jodie Rimmer
Stephen Ure

Film Length: 90 minutes

Country: New Zealand

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