Based on the dark science fiction / fantasy magazine of the same name, 1981 animated anthology film Heavy metal is a cult classic and a staple of pop culture in North America. With eight stories and an epilogue, the film tells of the various exploits of a mysterious glowing green orb named Loc-Nar. Varying in size and lethality, the Loc-Nar is the most evil entity in the universe, corrupting and destroying everything it touches.

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With its elegant rotoscopic animation, its saturated rock and roll soundtrack, and its fantastic voice work from comedy legends such as John Candy and Eugene Levy, Heavy metal it’s great as a whole, but how do you classify the individual stories?

9 “So Beautiful & So Dangerous” is an aimless story full of jokes by Alien Stoner

alien stoners Zeke and Edsel

“So beautiful and so dangerous” is the weakest story of Heavy metal due to its confusing and aimless plot. There is a Dr. Anrak (who is secretly an android) who is in a meeting at the Pentagon when he immediately fails when he sees the Loc-Nar around the neck of a stenographer named Gloria.

It’s unclear how Gloria got the Loc-Nar or why it has no effect on her, but the rest of the story is just about alien stoners and jokes about Gloria marrying a robot.

8 “Soft Landing” is an eye-catching title sequence, but little else

Corvette Heavy Meta 81 Soft Landing

While it’s an excellent and iconic opening title sequence for the film, it’s literally just a Corvette breaking free from the bay doors of an orbiting space shuttle, then landing in a desert somewhere on Earth.

It’s really cool and lets the viewer know what they’re getting into, but in terms of the story, but there’s not much there. Based on a comic of the same name by Dan O’Bannon and Thomas Warkentin, the sequence is composed of the Riggs song “Radar Rider.”

7 “Grimaldi” is tasked with setting up the film’s vanity and does it long enough

Heavy Metal Grimaldi

The reason “Grimaldi” is rated one higher than “Soft Landing” is that the two are connected; the astronaut in the first sequence drives his Corvette home with his daughter and brings her the Loc-Nar.

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When he opens his boat, the astronaut (named Grimaldi) is immediately killed by the Loc-Nar, who puts the daughter under his control to tell him the stories of his exploits. Loc-Nar’s voice is not credited by Percy Rodriguez, an actor who is perhaps best known for his film trailer narratives.

6 “Epilogue” ties the stories together in a satisfying way

Extreme Heavy Metal

After Loc-Nar tells his last story, he explodes and destroys the Grimaldi house, but luckily the girl escapes in time. Without a home or a father, he has nowhere else to go. That is, until a flying creature very similar to Taarna’s in Heavy metalThe climactic story appears and the girl runs to her.

Taarna was thought to be the last of the Taarakians, but the girl takes her spirit and becomes a new defender of evil, creating a satisfying ending to the film.

5 “Captain Sternn” mocks Superman and superhero arrogance

Heavy metal 1981

The fifth story in Heavy metal, “Captain Sternn” takes place on a space station where a corrupt space captain made to look handsome, Superman-like is on trial for more than 100 counts of different crimes including murder, sexual assault, piracy and a moving rape.

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Sternn has bribed a man named Hanover Fiste to speak on his behalf at the trial, but unfortunately, Fiste takes the Loc-Nar before speaking. The story is funny but pales in comparison to others in the movie.

4 “Harry Canyon” is a provocative and elegant black thriller

Heavy metal 1981

The first story Loc-Nar shares is about a taxi driver named Harry Canyon who lives in New York City in 2031 and tells like he’s in a noir. The city is very dystopian, with openly corrupt cops and trash everywhere.

Harry is very cynical and is unfazed when he disintegrates the robbers in his taxi. One day, he decides to help an attractive damsel in distress whose father was killed by gangsters who wanted the Loc-Nar. Provocative and violent, it is very Heavy metal history.

3 “Den” features a fantastic performance by the brilliant John Candy

“Den” would be nothing without the late John Candy’s charming voiceover as a nerdy teenage boy who finds the Loc-Nar after it crashes in his backyard. Instead of killing him, Loc-Nar transports him to another world and dimension where he has a completely different body, an external voice, and no clothes.

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Den saves a woman from being sacrificed to Uhluhtc (Cthuhlu spelled backwards) and becomes embroiled in a power struggle on the planet. Den rejects the Loc-Nar and leads a better life.

two “B-17” takes the film into horror territory and features an iconic song

heavy metal b-17

The only story in Heavy metal What could be described as horror, “B-17” takes place in a World War II B-17 bomber.

“B-17” doesn’t just feel like something straight out of a pulp novel or Marvel Strange tales, but it also has the best song from the film’s already stellar soundtrack, Don Felder’s “Heavy Metal (Takin ‘a Ride),” which younger viewers may recognize in the movie. South Park season 12 episode that pays tribute to Heavy metal. The Loc-Nar follows the ship and reveals hordes of zombies.

1 “Taarna” encapsulates everything that makes heavy metal great.

taarna heavy metal

Based on the legendary Moebius Arzach, “Taarna” is not only Heavy metaliconic poster, but it’s also the best story in the movie. The Loc-Nar tells the girl that she is the last of a race that will destroy her one day and tells her the story of Taarna.

In this story, Loc-Nar turns a civilization into an army of evil mutants that attack a city. Before being massacred, the elders ask a Taarakian for help, to which Taarna pays attention. Sexy, empowering and beautifully animated, “Taarna” is spectacular.

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