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the ten most "metal" criterion films.

by thomas rotenberg

Created 01/22/13

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as a metalhead, I'm always looking for the most metal films out there. and as cinephile, I look for the metal in classic cinema - the harsh, the gritty, the chaotic and the beautiful.

so, without further ado, here's my list of the ten most metal films in the criterion collection in no particular order.

  • genital mutilation, a cabin in a forest, surreal imagery and death. which could also describe myriad death and black metal albums.

  • demon worship, satanic ritual, it's all here and it's all metal.

  • a murder plot, a missing body, and tons of suspense. metal.

  • I'm pretty sure this has been sampled many, many times by various brutal death metal bands. what more can I say?

  • definitely one of the most difficult films in the criterion collection to sit through, I could see a remake being scored with harsh noise and screams.

  • death personified, war-ravaged countryside and a struggle between good and evil.

  • talk about a metal ending - a man gets tormented by his girlfriend's kidnapper before being sealed in a coffin and buried alive.

  • reminiscent of modern goregrind bands in that it mixes comedy with extremely graphic violence. that initial shock wears off after the first viewing to reveal a film that dealt with reality-in-media concepts well before the modern explosion of reality television.

  • very much a filmic representation of chaotic hardcore, this film jumps between scenes, characters and ideas the way those bands change time signatures.

  • with clever dialogue, great pacing, and impeccable tension, danny boyle's debut demonstrates how paranoia and fear only build on each other, higher and higher, until there's no way out.

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