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Film Review – Metalocalypse: The Doomstar Requiem

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Metalocalypse: The Doomstar Requiem
Madman Entertainment

4-Score

Chuck on a black T-shirt, slap on some corpse paint and throw up the horns because Metalocalypse: The Doomstar Requiem has finally made its way to DVD and Blu-ray. And it’s as metal as you’d expect.

Picking up from where the last season ended, ex-Dethklok member Magnus Hammersmith has kidnapped guitarist Toki Wartooth and producer Abigail. Instead of, y’know, tracking down and retrieving their friends, the remaining members of Dethklok have instead been partying around the world and ignoring any responsibility through copious substance abuse. But when their fans start rioting because of the lack of Toki and stop buying Dethklok merch, the four remaining members realise they need to get their rhythm guitarist back.

Oh, and did we mention that the entire thing is a rock opera?

Clocking in at a neat 45 minutes, creator Brandon Small has packed so many face-melting riffs that you’ll struggle to watch the movie in-between head-banging. To give your neck a break, the soundtrack occasionally mixes it up genre-wise, including the catchy synth-pop “Partying Around the World” and the amazing boy band homage, “Givin’ Back To You”, which has Dethklok helping struggling musicians by shooting lightning from their crotches. The film’s strongest moment, for both animation and music, occurs during an extended flashback sequence, which depicts a young Toki challenging Skwisgaar to an epic guitar duel so he can become Dethklok’s rhythm guitarist. This segment is incredibly animated, with Toki and Skwisgaar ascending to the heavens, firing electricity from their guitars and battling one another as centaurs.

Doomstar brings the series’ trademark humour: a lot of black comedy and ultraviolence mixed with Dethklok’s overt naivety due to their superstar status. Frontman Nathan Explosion ponders his inability to save be a hero and save Toki due to his rockstar status, in a hilarious Queen parody which includes lines like, “I’m a simple multi-platinum rockstar; living a simple multi-platinum life.” All jokes and music aside, there’s also a surprising amount of character growth, with the band finally dealing with their narcissistic ways and coming to consider one another as family instead of just bandmates. For a series that’s all about being “brutal”, there are some genuinely touching moments too – like when Toki reminisces about first joining the band to block out Magnus’ torture.

Long-time fans will dig the various series callbacks and cameos, particularly the appearance of a certain rock’n’roll clown. Jack Black lends his voice to a couple characters, along with Cannibal Corpse’s George Fisher reprising his role as the Metal Masked Assassin. If this is your first exposure to the series it might seem a bit confusing, but if anything, it’s a good reason to go check out the previous four seasons. While the future of the show looks uncertain, The Doomstar Requiem acts as a fantastic finale for one of the best animated comedies of the past decade and a worthy addition to anyone’s collection. But here’s hoping this isn’t the last time we see the world’s greatest metal band.

The limited edition set includes a copy of the soundtrack (which is worth the price of admission alone), along with some art cards and a skull mug, which will make any beverage brutal.

Metalocalypse: The Doomstar Requiem is out now through Madman Entertainment.

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