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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 (299 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 (299 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000844MU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #250,747 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Heavy Metal (Superbit Collection)" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

The Superbit titles utilize a special high bit rate digital encoding process which optimizes video quality while offering a choice of both DTS and Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. These titles have been produced by a team of Sony Pictures Digital Studios video, sound and mastering engineers and comes housed in a special package complete with a 4 page booklet that contains technical information on the Superbit process. By reallocating space on the disc normally used for value-added content, Superbit DVDs can be encoded at double their normal bit rate while maintaining full compatibility with the DVD video format.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
232 of 245 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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82 of 92 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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40 of 44 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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19 of 20 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 Excellent
The music has always been so good. But with blue ray , it got better. Quality seems to grow for every blue ray I buy.
Published 2 days ago by Robert Levy
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing fun
I was a regular reader of Heavy Metal when it first debuted in the US. This animated adaptation is the work of some of the giants of the animation and comic book industry (Neal... Read more
Published 14 days ago by Richard Rogers
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Present
This is one of my boyfriends favorite. However he has a bad habit of losing his copies or breaking them from watching it so often. Read more
Published 23 days ago by celeste martinez
5.0 out of 5 stars great movie
the stories are fun. but the music is out of this world and fits each segment. some of the best rockers of that time. Captain Stern is a riot. Read more
Published 1 month ago by kent perkins
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
First saw this movie in Japan when I was in the service and thought it was great and it still to this day is funny and creative, and if you look at the stars who did voices you... Read more
Published 1 month ago by k. botkin
5.0 out of 5 stars an opera rock fan must have
A beautifully drawn visual fest for the die hard rocker. Awesome tunes, Take a ride, follow the history of the green orb. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Dawn Shields
3.0 out of 5 stars Old guy stuff
I enjoyed this when I was young, I wanted to see it again. This was the first full length comic on the video format that I watched.
Published 1 month ago by Lee Strandberg
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best.
If you enjoy rock and roll and animated movies this is your movie. I'll admit that some of the sections are a little off but for the most part it's great. I mean come on. Read more
Published 1 month ago by dsmith0808
5.0 out of 5 stars Gift
This was actually a gift for my father. He absolutely LOVED this as a Christmas present! It was something he grew up on.
Published 1 month ago by Syd
5.0 out of 5 stars A Celebration of Adolescent Imagination
As an alienated teenager, I remember spending hours during high school filling the margins of my notebooks with outrageous pictures of sexy heroines, fire-breathing monsters,... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Agathaumas
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