Rating: D/ My dad chose this movie and Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead for our horror film night a couple of days before Halloween. It’s times like that when my mom and I think he should not be allowed to choose movies, ever. Deathgasm is pretty much what you’d expect if you crossed Evil Dead with Beavis & Butthead, and if that gets you jazzed up, great. It wasn’t for me. The first ten minutes or so got me anticipating a funnier movie than I actually ended up getting, and the premise of a group of teen death metal fans living in a oppressive, bible-belt town accidentally summoning a horde of demons by playing a possessed song sounded like it would be… well, not Oscar-worthy, but a lot of fun.
Don’t get me wrong, I like stupid and ridiculous movies. Peter Jackson’s Brain-Dead took a couple watches to grow on me, but it has become one of my biggest guilty pleasures. I occasionally enjoy episodes of Beavis & Butthead, although I can only take them in small doses. And I’ll be honest with you… in the beginning I thought I was going to have a good time with this movie. The main kid, Brodie (Milo Cawthorne,) was awkwardly good-natured and likable. The film started out with a dirty yet amusing, subversive sense of humor and captured why disenfranchised teens like death metal bands like Cannibal Corpse and Anal Cunt (yes, that is a real name of a band, I wish I was kidding you.)
But about thirty minutes or so into Deathgasm, something changed. One can even say the film completely jumped the shark and from that moment on, the humor was lost on me. It was humor that might make a slightly mentally deficient thirteen-year-old boy laugh, if that boy was raised on the likes of Jackass and South Park and had never picked up a book in his life. Look, I know I’m coming off as kind of an elitist prick. There are definitely smart people who like excessively stupid movies, and I’m not personally attacking anyone who found this film funny or entertaining.
For anyone who likes to smoke weed and watch movies that get progressively worse with each passing minute, I’m sure Deathgasm has something for all of you. There are actors in demon get-up being beaten in the face with dildos, pantsless high school teachers under the influence of possession farting out excessive amounts of blood, a man’s penis being chopped of with a weed whacker. When this particular moment takes place, one boy says to the other, “Wow, dude, you’re really good at whacking people off.” I’m not even shitting you. I wish I was shitting you, because this movie just gets worse and worse until it ends and the audience breathes a sigh of relief.
I don’t watch a lot of movies that are actually painful to sit through. This is one of them. The only reason I got to the end was to write a review, because I don’t believe in writing reviews of movies I haven’t seen all the way through. I don’t even know if it was worth the trouble. Who on earth was this film written for? Teenagers that are not entirely sober? Frat boys taking hits off their gigantic bongs and gobbling bags upon bags of cheese doodles? I honestly don’t know. I was not stoned or drunk when I saw this film, which was probably my first mistake. I went into Deathgasm with an open mind, and I went out of it feeling baffled and cheated of my eighty minutes.
It sounds super cliche, but there are better things to do than to waste your time with this movie. You could read a book, go out to dinner with a friend, or watch pain dry. At least watching paint dry, although it would probably be boring, wouldn’t actively annoy you. And this is the problem with this movie. It’s annoying, unfunny, chaotic, and above all, extraordinarily stupid. It’s not even that sneaky kind of stupid where there’s a little bit of smart satire among the ridiculousness and the debauchery that might sneak past you if you aren’t careful.
If you want to see a horror/comedy from New Zealand that doesn’t make you want to put a revolver in your mouth and pull the trigger, What We Do in the Shadows is a recent release that made me laugh hard, and inspires hope in a genre that can be so great when it’s done right, or complete bullshit when it’s done badly. What We Do in the Shadows was smart, had great one-liners and character development, and had a good sense of tone. It had writers who understood that dialogue and character are the root of good humor, not transparent sex jokes and loads of loads of blood coming out of orifices.
Unless you prefer the lowest common denominator when it comes to humor, or are the kind of person who titters uncontrollably when someone says the word ‘penis,’ please avoid this dreadful misfire of a film. By the end of this film, I felt nothing, except relief that at last it was over. Nothing is the absolute worst thing a movie can make you feel. Even if a film offends you and disgusts you to the point of physical nausea, it’s done something you will remember it for.
I couldn’t work up the interest to be disgusted by Deathgasm. It’s lack of memorability might be it’s worst sin, because even a stupid movie can imprint itself into your memory. This is one movie that you’ll probably forget you saw within a week. It’s just all-around terrible, and the worst thing is it can’t even muster up the strength to be terrible in an amusing or memorable way. You’d be better off forgetting this film was ever made or that people spent money to make it.