Heavy Metal
Heavy Metal (1981)

Based on the popular magazine of the same name, this animated cult film interweaves six visionary stories of science fiction and fantasy. The soundtrack includes such rock superstars as Black Sabbath, Blue Oyster Cult, Cheap Trick, Devo,… More

Rated: R
Running Time:
Release Date: July 29, 1981
DVD Release Date: November 23, 1999
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Critic Score: 61% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: It's sexist, juvenile, and dated, but Heavy Metal makes up for its flaws with eye-popping animation and a classic, smartly used soundtrack.

Variety Staff

Initial segments have a boisterous blend of dynamic graphics, intriguing plot premises and sly wit that unfortunately slide gradually downhill.

Full review…
Janet Maslin
New York Times

Heavy Metal has been animated with great verve, and scored very well, with music much less ear-splitting than the title would suggest.

Felix Vasquez Jr.
Cinema Crazed

It's definitely watchable for fans that appreciate the exploitative pulp nature of the magazine set to excellent rock music.

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Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader

Some of the animation is first-rate, particularly in the more modest comedy segments, and even the heavy set pieces have greater flash and dazzle than anything Ralph Bakshi mustered around the same period.

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Jeff Gilbert

Regardless of its dated stylishness (which still holds up remarkably well a decade plus later), Heavy Metal was a pioneering film in 1981 and remains a pivitol and infuential body of art today.

Tim Brayton
Antagony & Ecstasy

Exemplifies the notion that the euphemism "adult material" almost exclusively denotes content which is chiefly of appeal to people other than adults.

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Derek Adams
Time Out

Fantasies that are gratuitously sexist and Fascist (macho whoring and warmongering), and whose roots reach all the way back to post-hippie paranoia, feed the tangled plot-lines of a movie that... should disappoint even the teenage wet-dreamers.

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Bruce Reid

Asked if I wanted to see it again, I figured, why not? I would have remembered if it was really bad. But memory does play tricks.

Jeffrey M. Anderson
Common Sense Media

In 1981, this may have been state-of-the-art animation, but now it looks rudimentary, clunky, and flat. The writing, likewise, is flat.

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More reviews for Heavy Metal

Flixster Audience Score: 67% Flixster User Reviews
Eric S
I know, it's from 1981; but I bought a copy recently so I had to give it a mention. Great animation in this one! The film in it's entirety has some… More
Tim Salmons
Giving Ralph Bakshi a run for his money, the Canadian filmmaking team of Ivan Reitman, Harold Ramis, Eugene Levy and John Candy (among many others) got together… More
Spencer S.
Oh boy, does this movie have a reputation. That reputation varies from person to person. Whether it's its slammin' animation, the plethora of female… More
Jacob Ethington
This movie is bad. Seriously, it's really not that good at all. The animation hasn't aged very well, the voice acting ranges from good to terrible,… More
Luke Baldock
Heavy Metal is a bizarre animated anthology that doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Which is probably why it's pretty awesome. Based on a series of… More
Emily Armstrong
I'm glad I saw this, but I'm not in a huge rush to see it again. I'm not usually one to rip on a movie for being puerile (I am after all a big… More