After living in Portland for a couple of years I realized that the people that wore attention getting clothes, or had crazy tattoos, or made bold hair choices, were often the most mundane people. Sometimes they would have a unique perspective to go with their unique look, but a lot of time their basic message was “hey look at me, I want attention”. Wanting attention is such a basic human desire that there’s nothing novel about it; if someone doesn’t have anything to offer beyond that then they are going to be super-boring.
Fantasy movies and books work in a similar fashion. Sometimes fantasy involves creating something inventive; other times it’s mere escapism that uses bold backdrops to tell pedestrian stories about wish fulfillment. You can throw as many flying creatures or robots or aliens as you want at a story, but if the basic thrust of your narrative is “I want big breasted ladies to think I’m manly” then your story is going to be underwhelming.
Heavy Metal is an anthology movie that takes place in the past, and the future, and in outer space, but none of that matters, because every story is just an excuse for big breasted women to immediately disrobe and submit themselves to masculine warriors. Every woman in this movie strips naked, many of them before they have a single line of dialogue, and they all have the same breasts, which are enormous but somehow perky. Sadly, the men aren’t any more interesting, even though they have more lines and screen time.
It’s a shame. These storytellers had enough talent and enough freedom that they could have made an interesting movie. They could have used all those aliens and robots and dinosaurs to tell challenging stories, or to make allegories, or to get super weird. Instead, they made a 90-minute broadcast of their self-consciousness, and I didn’t have much patience for that. But I’m sure there’s some guy with an accidental-looking haircut and regrettable tattoos out the wazoo who loves the shit out of this movie, and as long as I don’t have to talk to him at a party about this, then more power to him.
Winner: The Cat