Fans of the music genre got to see their dreams transformed into a big screen fantasy with the animated film Heavy Metal.
Produced by Ivan Reitman and Heavy Metal Magazine publisher Leonard Mogel, the film is an anthology of several science fiction and fantasy stories, adapted for the screen by Len Blum and Daniel Goldberg.
Several animation companies worked together to create the film, which focused on the similar themes seen in the magazine: violence, sex, nudity and a fixation on a the little guy going up against the forces of evil and darkness.
Created in Canada, the production group used several Canadian actors to voice characters including John Candy, Eugene Levy, Harold Ramis, Jackie Burroughs and Marilyn Lightstone.
Eight linked stories made up the anthology – Soft Landing, Grimaldi, Harry Canyon, Den, Captain Sternn, B-17, So Beautiful and So Dangerous and Taarna.
Released in August 1981, the film was dismissed by critics as being an oddity, but the animation style and soundtrack were praised for its inventiveness and for its classic inclusions from artists such as Sammy Hagar, Nazareth, Black Sabbath, Stevie Nicks and Blue Oyster Cult.
With a budget of just over US$9 million, the film may not have been favoured with positive reviews, but fans came out in support, racking up $20 million at the box office.
Now considered a cult classic, Heavy Metal was re-released in consequent years and as its been released in different formats – VHS, Laser disc, Blu-ray – the fans are still buying it.