Apr 30, 2021
On the podcast this week, Steven and Sean are enjoying a radical, ahead-of-its-time animated film from the ‘80s. It’s the film from a lot of different directors, Heavy Metal.
Okay, hold on. I can’t let that introductory paragraph slide. Sure, this one was probably noteworthy and captivating when it came out. It was experimental and still has a crazy amount of energy (even if the fight scenes are as slow as molasses). There’s a lot going on in here that probably blew the feeble minds of people alive in the early ‘80s. Especially if those minds belonged to young teenage boys. Now, though? Oh boy, is this a problematic film.
Is it any worse than many ‘80s movies that seem more interested in opportunities to show off the bare breasts of its women characters? I mean, come on, there’s Porky’s and Caddyshack and Fast Times at Ridgemont High to consider here!
That’s the thing, though! As Bob Dylan said (in probably a far different context), “the times they are a-changin’.” Watching a film like Heavy Metal requires a certain understanding and patience, and I think it’s acceptable if you don’t want to give it your time. There’s a lot that’s troublesome with this one. Most notably, women appear to only exist as sex objects. Entire segments are dedicated to suggesting that the best they can ever achieve is to pleasure a man, or else they’ll be vaporized and forgotten.
Or they can dress in some ultra-skimpy number and fight alien dudes. Progress, I guess?
It’s got some entertaining moments, but there’s a clear reason why this one is a B-movie bonus episode. It ticks all the boxes:
(Recorded on February 22, 2021)
Links to Stuff We Mentioned: