Heavy Trip (2018)

Written and Directed by Juuso Laatio and Jukka Vidgren

Turo (Johannes Holopainen), a shy and taciturn fellow, resides in the same picturesque Finnish town that he grew up in. He rides his cost effective bike to work at the local asylum everyday. He has a crush on the girl-next-door florist. And he is the lead singer of Impaled Rektum.

Heavy Trip features four childhood friends for whom nothing else matters but death metal, and they embody it wholeheartedly in all aspects of life except for attitude. Bullied by community homophobes, misunderstood by law enforcement, and generally avoided by the elderly, they’re maligned for standing out, and as far as the township is concerned they’d rather they remained freaks on a leash. But they don’t always make things easy on themselves. They self-professedly sing “symphonic, post-apocalyptic, reindeer-grinding, Christ-abusing, extreme war pagan, Fennoscandian metal”. Which rolls off the tongue about as easily as a bats head at an Ozzy Osbourne gig. They haven’t had a quick route to success, but to be candid, after 12 years of practice, they’ve never even stepped out of the fruit-box faced basement. However, Impaled Rektum are about to get a swift kick up the ass when they discover that they may, possibly, could, perhaps be playing at a festival in Norway. In this limited town, where the only other accolade to success is the local Rex Manning wannabe, this is rather the mother lode of good news. Death metal may be Turo’s method of escapism, but the question is, does he have what it takes to perform in front of an audience when his fear of rejection means he can’t even ask out the girl?

After tragedy strikes the band, they realise that life is too short, and deciding to become the death alley driver of their own destiny, they hit they road with performing in Norway as their goal. Their metamorphosis from basement band to heavy metal gods is about to encounter some bumps however, as the road to the asylum to collect a kindred spirit for their expedition is fraught with difficult decisions and grave digging, because they literally refuse to leave anyone behind. Laughing through lament, I bore witness to their asinine adventure as they headed out to the highway to battle both prejudice and a hilariously ill equipped border patrol.

Heavy Trip will be the only film in which you’ll be a spectator to a crowd surfing coffin, a backless-hospital-gowned drummer, and a Viking Kiss member. Somewhat reminiscent of late 90’s/early 2000’s comedies, but with irreverent tones similar to the likes of What We Do in the Shadows, Heavy Trip manages to manipulate subtle comedy with elements of potentially divisive absurdity. Heavier than Osmium, but more heart warming than acid reflux, it will leave you grinning from ear to ear due to its comic timing and perfect balance of slapstick to bittersweet. It’s a crazy train of a trip that you won’t wish to disembark from.  

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