If you are any fan of either animation, fantasy, comics, science fiction or hot chicks with swords then you are probably familiar with the 1981 animated film Heavy Metal based on the adult magazine of the same name.
And, being familiar with the film, you probably remember a couple of things about it. One, that it had an amazing soundtrack and Two, that it contained some amazing eye-popping animated visuals. As to the soundtrack, yes it is legendary – indeed so legendary that legal disputes surrounding it actually kept the film from being released to the home entertainment market for fifteen years. And on the subject of the film itself I defer to film critic Leonard Maltin who gave it three out of four stars and declared it “…uneven, but great fun on a mindless, adolescent level” which is an assessment I generally agree with.
So, it is to this subject of Heavy Metal that I turn today – or more specifically the subject of Taarna the Taarakian who was the “hot chick with a sword” chosen to fight the Great Evil of the Universe(tm) at films end. Viewing the CBUB Fight History for Taarna, I am appalled to find that she has been thrown into two web fight matches and lost both of them.
First losing a match to He-Man’s ineffectual nemesis Skeletor (which is terrible enough) but next (and perhaps even more appallingly) loosing a match to John Carter of Mars heroine Dejah Thoris. Actually, it is probably best that I do not rate them on the Appall-O-Meter because, really, losing to Skeletor is pretty bad to start with.
Match results such as these make me sad and I can only shake my head at the internet denizens which judge the outcomes of these things. It is clear that Taarna is not well understood or appreciated as a powerful character and that is unfortunate. The final scene of the film Heavy Metal where both the warrior powers and flying mount of the Taarakians is passed across time and space to a new defender might be a clue that Taarna is wielding a deeper power than Dejah Thoris: Princess of Mars could ever hope to muster. Let alone Skeletor. As a combatant in CBUB, Taarna is hardly given the credit due her.
Sad as I am to see these kind of outcomes, I imagine that I will just have to put that particular nerd rage in the happy box and let it go. Due to the “R” rating of Heavy Metal, younger viewers will of course be exposed to Skeletor long before Taarna the Taarakian.
On the subject of a Heavy Metal theatrical sequel there have been rumors for… decades. in 2009 there was some buzz that a new theatrical Heavy Metal anthology film was in the works. Articles here and here suggested such directors as James Cameron and Zack Snyder were on-board to direct segments of the new Heavy Metal film. However, no film was forthcoming. Since then the word is that Robert Rodriguez has acquired the film rights and will be the next person to try and get the project moving. We shall see…
In parting, if you haven’t seen South Park’s parody take on Heavy Metal, it is pretty hilarious if you get a chance to find and see it. Here’s a bit on YouTube though.