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Heavy Metal (Superbit Collection) (1981)

Richard Romanus , John Candy , Gerald Potterton  |  R |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (346 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Richard Romanus, John Candy, Joe Flaherty, Don Francks, Caroline Semple
  • Directors: Gerald Potterton
  • Writers: Angus McKie, Bernie Wrightson, Dan O'Bannon, Daniel Goldberg, Jean Giraud
  • Format: Animated, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Portuguese, Spanish
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: March 4, 2003
  • Run Time: 86 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (346 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000844MU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #288,394 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Heavy Metal (Superbit Collection)" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Based on the fantastical illustrated magazine HEAVY METAL, producer IVAN REITMAN enlists the help of some of Hollywood's animation masters to create the otherworldly tale of a glowing green orb from outer space that spreads destruction throughout the galaxy. Only when encountered by its one true enemy, to whom it is inexplicably drawn, will goodness prevail throughout the universe. Richly and lavishly drawn, the vignettes of the orb's dark victories include the character voices of John Candy, Harold Ramis and a pounding soundtrack by Black Sabbath, Blue Oyster Cult, Cheap Trick, Devo, Donald Fagen, Don Felder, Grand Funk Railroad, Sammy Hagar, Journey, Nazareth, Stevie Nicks, Riggs, and Trust. Highly imaginative and full of surprising special effects, HEAVY METAL set the standard for alternative contemporary animation. An intoxicating experience not to be missed!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
243 of 256 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic animation, with a hard rockin soundtrack October 4, 2003
I can't believe the number of negative reviews this movie has gotten! I bet these people don't like James Bond movies, either.
To fully appreciate Heavy Metal, one has to understand the era it came out in. At the time, most animation, at least what was seen in the US, was frequently of the "family entertainment" variety seen in Saturday morning cartoons and TV commercials. Apart from Ralph Bakshi, most animators were basically shackled by the need to present something that was "rated G". Heavy Metal took the exact opposite route. It was a liberating experience for the animators working on the film to be allowed to draw things they usually weren't allowed. And they got paid to do it, too!
After the opening Soft Landing sequence, we're introduced to the Loc-Nar, a glowing green orb responsible for all the evil that has plagued the universe (or at least, that which has plagued the human race). The various stories contained in the film are told by the Loc-Nar to a young girl, as examples of it's awesome power.
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86 of 97 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cult Classic HEAVY METAL Not a Clunker June 28, 2004
Some critics and film historians have labeled 1981's HEAVY METAL as the last film to genuinely reflect the mishmash sensibilities of the post-hippy 1970s counter-culture, and stylistically and thematically this appears to be true. Based on the adult counter-culture cult comic of the same name, HEAVY METAL definitely is a sort of spacey concatenation of disparate visual aesthetics and heterogeneous science-fiction/fantasy narratives. But despite being a hodgepodge as a whole, the film still manages to offer a very entertaining way to kill 90 minutes.
As with the magazine, the film is basically aimed at horny male adolescents, offering plenty of nude, amply bosomed women running around in the midst of stylized violence and gore; lots of rock music (though these ditties from popular metal bands of the late '70s may not appeal to the current generation of horny male adolescents); and references to the drug-oriented sub-culture (definitely not a cartoon for the pre-teen crowd). Each individual segment of HEAVY METAL was scripted and directed independently of the others, which likely accounts for the varying aesthetic and narrative styles. But many of these contributors were (and are now) some of the most talented people in the film industry, including writers Dan O'Bannon, Len Blum, and Daniel Goldberg, and directors John Bruno, John Halas, and Jimmy T. Murikami. (Gerald Potterton, listed in the credits as the film's director, was in reality the overseer for the project as a whole.)
Because the film does not contain a single cohesive plotline, it is best to evaluate each animated segment in its own right. Some of those individual stories are quite thought-provoking or humorous--or both--and even some of the more mediocre segments still offer some fantastic visuals.
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42 of 46 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The DVD greatly improves upon the original movie February 5, 2000
This is one of those great DVDs with so many Special Features, you could spend days viewing them all. Most interesting is a feature-length 'rough cut' of the entire film with running commentary throughout. The rough-cut -- a combination of rough pencil animation and rare sketches -- even contains some deleted scenes. Best of all, there is a Heavy Metal Magazine cover (and back cover) gallery. In addition to being a nice showcase for some beautiful artwork, this section will really bring back memories for anyone who grew up with the magazine in the late 70s and 80s. Of course, the film itself never looked or sounded better than on DVD. The film itself was a nice attempt at capturing the spirit of the magazine -- it isn't a complete success, but a very noble effort in animation considering it was released in 1981!
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Definitely represents its roots well January 22, 2007
Back in the 70's a sci-fi/fantasy anthology comic book geared toward adults was published in the United States. This book was called Heavy Metal and it's still going strong today. Most of the stories are science fiction and delve into some pretty strange ideas. The movie was made to in a way showcase the talent that came from the most popular artists and writers of that magazine. There was some up and coming Canadian talent doing the voice work like John Candy and Eugene Levy. While the idea sounds cool enough I think the execution leaves a little bit to be desired. This movie feels like it was a rush job considering some inconsistent production values and even some of the story content. Since it is an anthology of multiple stories I will go down the line so you can get an idea where the quality lies and where it falls short.

Soft Landing - This is the opening sequence that comes with the opening credits and it's the only story that connects itself to another story in the movie. The animation is a rough rotoscope technique that has only a wash of paint over real footage. I like how they did it. Very artistic. I have to admit it is a perfect representation of the magazine with its off the wall content and nice design. The hard rock soundtrack feel appropriate in this segment too. It's short, but it sure does make quite a good impression.

Grimaldi - This is the story Soft Landing connects itself to and it sets the stage for the theme that supposedly connects the other stories together. It's a weak way to put the anthology together at best. Still it does give the movie something to put the wildly different stories together. The animation is not bad and it can get a little gruesome at times. Again this is a short story since all it does it introduce the Loc Nar.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Version for a While
This is Heavy Metal. From the research I've done this is most likely the best quality version of this film available. Read more
Published 2 days ago by The Sandwich Master
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Classic animation with great Rock and Roll music.
Published 3 days ago by Francis X Kane
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Best Metal Rock movie of the 1980's....
Published 6 days ago by Lisa M. Dennis
5.0 out of 5 stars I've been waiting a long time for this to become ...
I've been waiting a long time for this to become available again. I first purchased it on 8-track, when it first came out. well worth the money.
Published 11 days ago by BC
5.0 out of 5 stars it weaves the story together connecting the various animations like...
This movie is a blast from the past before digital animation. Everything was drawn frame by frame. That's what makes it so special. Read more
Published 12 days ago by Paul
3.0 out of 5 stars I learned something today: you can't defeat evil without a bikini.
I still occasionally quote "you die, the girl dies...everybody dies."

And I bought the soundtrack ages ago.
Published 15 days ago by JR
5.0 out of 5 stars A MUST WATCH for deep thinkers
A GREAT cult movie... a collection of stories that all tie together and tell a larger story!
Published 17 days ago by Savy_Buyer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
must have if a sifi geek
Published 23 days ago by frosty
5.0 out of 5 stars It's a shame Hallucinogenics aren't legal
It's a shame Hallucinogenics aren't legal
Published 29 days ago by Thor
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Just a pure genius in midnight movie animation and head space!
Published 1 month ago by Earl Smith
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Topic From this Discussion
is Heavy Metal coming out on Blu Ray?
at Best Buy 2/1 exclusive $16.99
Jan 20, 2011 by Amazon Customer |  See all 20 posts
Heavy Metal
None that I can determine, other than the 2008 version omits the second disc of bonus features, although it does include the 35-minute "making of" documentary.
Feb 22, 2009 by R. Riis |  See all 3 posts
Difference between Collectors and Digital+ versions Be the first to reply
Does anyone know if this July 2008 reissue is an improved transfer? Be the first to reply
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