Troma // 2009 // 100 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // September 24th, 2010
Welcome to Detroit, home of the automobile, the assembly line and heavy metal warfare.
I haven't heard much from Troma recently, and if this half-assed, homegrown horror comedy is supposed to make up for it then it might just be time to reevaluate our friendship.
Heavy Mental sports the synopsis of something that may not suck: Ace Spade is a wannabe metal rocker and when he receives a mysterious guitar he gets his wish. The guitar is possessed by Eddie Lee Stryker, a badass, facemelter who empowers Spade with super demon metal power. When the guitar's mojo kicks in, the slight-of-frame Spade transforms into a hulking, masked brute, who stalks and murders the hapless henchmen of a local crime boss named Delicious.
That sounds pretty cool huh? And with the Troma named attached, you can count on some sleaze.
Forget it. Heavy Mental wants to punch you in the genitals with brass knuckles. These guys may have been motivated to supply the world with a cheap, gory monster metal masher, perhaps to be considered entry into the Pantheon of Bodacious Horror/Metal Hybrids (e.g., Black Roses and Rock 'n' Roll Nightmare), but their lack of budget and filmmaking talent combine for a truly painful experience.
Literally, pain-full. As in "this camera can't stop shaking and zooming in and out and it is causing significant pain to my head." Even the basics of holding the camera still enough to capture the scene and the dialogue proves to be too great a challenge to overcome. Not that our being deprived of the crackerjack writing will alter the course of humanity. But if I'm going to subject myself to this kind of dopiness, give me the whole experience. Don't short-change your actors because tripod technology has yet top penetrate your area code.
For the Tromatic stuff: some impromptu lesbian make-out sessions, brief nudity, and ultra economical gore gags that lack believability, though attempt to over-compensate for quality in quantity of meat department products used.
Your DVD: Full frame, 2.0 stereo, commentary from the director and a too-long making-of featurette.
Guilty. Boo this one off the stage.
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Scales of Justice
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 100 Minutes
Release Year: 2009
MPAA Rating: Not Rated