Heavy Trip, Hevi Reissu (2018)
Directed by: Jukka Vidgren, Juuso Laatio
Written by: Aleksi Puranen, Jari Olavi Rantala, Jukka Vidgren, Juuso Laatio
Starring: Antti Heikkinen, Johannes Holopainen, Max Ovaska, Minka Kuustonen, Samuli Jaskio, Ville Tiihonen
HEAVY TRIP (2018)
aka Hevi Reissu
Directed by Juuso Laatio and Jukka Vidgren
Finnish Language with English Subtitles
Available on Digital Platforms now
Turo is the lead singer of Finnish black metal band Impaled Rektum which has been rehearsing for the last 12 years but has never ever played a gig. After a chance meeting with the promoter of Northern Damnation, the biggest metal festival in neighbouring Norway, drummer Jyrki spies the opportunity to submit their demo tape. Not wanting to let down his eager bandmates, Turo begins to tell those close to him that the band have secured a slot at the festival and before he knows it, the entire village are rooting for the boys. As the lie spirals out of control, it isn’t long before the truth comes out that they haven’t been offered a slot but refusing to let that get in the way of their dreams, Impaled Rektum set out to do whatever it takes to play a gig in Norway.
HEAVY TRIP is a wickedly funny tale of a black metal band who, against all odds, attempt to play their first proper metal gig. What starts as a bumbling foursome trying to find their feet soon turns into a rambunctious road trip as they put their full energy into making their dreams a reality and we, the audience, are their roadcrew, joining them for the ride.
In HEAVY TRIP, actor Johannes Holopainen wonderfully plays the affable lead character, Turo. With his flowing long hair, wearing a leather Brando jacket and riding around on his push iron, Turo gets ridiculed often by the local chavs, the local police and smarmy local crooner, Jouni. Lacking in self-confidence, reluctant Turo is a bag of nerves at the prospect of playing live in front of an audience. He’s happy jamming with the boys in guitarist Lotvonen’s basement, but playing in front of a crowd is a different matter altogether. The rest of the band, however, seem up for it with enthusiastic drummer Jyrki securing a van for the group and bassist Pasi fully immersing himself into the black metal scene, complete with corpse paint, spiked gauntlets and sinister moniker. With Lotvonen destined to take over his father’s reindeer slaughterhouse, Pasi working in the library renting Uruguayan grindcore metal to Justin Bieber fans and Turo working in a care home, making a success of their band could really change their lives. However, securing a live performance is something that has to be worked for and the boys have to overcome a lot of hilarious obstacles in order to make their first proper gig a roaring success.
Some people have likened the film to the brilliant Spinal Tap but where Spinal Tap was a mockumentary, this is more of a metal-themed, black comedy drama that is both feel-good and, like Spinal Tap, provides lots of laughs. You don’t have to be a rock fan to enjoy this movie but those who are interested in the metal scene will no doubt appreciate it and get more from its little nods to the music genre.
If you’ve ever watched other European black comedies such as The Out-Laws or Under The Tree, then you’ll get the feel for the type of humour featured in HEAVY TRIP although the comedy here is much lighter and fun in comparison to those, even a little tongue-in-cheek. The gags are visual as much as they are verbal, but each character, right down to the supporting ones such as Lotvonen’s father or the local police officer, has their own unique part to play that delivers the laughs. Its upbeat attitude and the mad cap capers the band find themselves in will have you grinning from ear to ear.
A perfect blend of growling music and charming comedy that manages to stay true to both genres, HEAVY TRIP is a fist-pumping, head-banging slice of metal mischief.