Metal movies at Sound On Screen

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For the last 12 years, Flamedrop Productions’ have been showcasing amazing documentaries and movies through their various banners such as The SA Horrorfest Film Festival, the sci-fi themed Celludroid Festival The extreme X Fest and, the Sound on Screen Music Film Festival which kicks off 25 Feb and runs until March 6. These unsung heroes of the local alt scene have worked tirelessly  for over a decade to bring us, the gore-gobbling music freaks, top-notch entertainment, and I do feel they have yet to gain the praise and undying respect they deserve for all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes.

This year’s festival has such an amazing and varied lineup – and the good news is that it’s all online! Starting from R30/movie or the incredibly low price of R150 for a full festival pass, there’s really no reason not to get involved, in my opinion. There’s a little bit of everything for everyone, from ‘The Maestro’ – a loving tribute to the cult classics of the past, but also an exploration into deep philosophical issues about the nature of art, to ‘Music and Mental Health’ in which independent artists share their talents and voices in more than one way, facilitating healing by sharing different aspects of their lives through storytelling. There’s also ‘Shine’ that follows rapper Shine de God Son as he walks the streets of Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone, to release his album and ultimately perform at an alley show, as well as a variety of audio visual pieces, from narrative short films and music videos, to comedy musicals and a trippy Japanese kids’ show.

Among this impressive line-up there are two doccies that stand out and should be of special interest to all our metalheads here in SA. The first is ‘Rez Metal’, which is an incredibly inspirational journey of an unknown Metal band called ‘I Don’t Konform’ from a Navajo reservation who lands the opportunity to record in Denmark with renowned producer Flemming Rasmussen. That name should be familiar with Metallica fans; Rasmussen produced Metallica’s first four albums. He even says right off the bat as he sits in an interview with the band on a local radio station that he had nothing to do with the lack of bass on ‘…and Justice For All’. Essentially, the doccie follows lead singer Kyle Felter who sent a demo to Rasmussen (who explains that he doesn’t usually produce bands outside of Denmark but really felt that there was an incredible story to tell with these guys) but never imagined that, in just a few months, they would be rehearsing with Rasmussen inside a hot hogan on a Navajo reservation and then embark on their once-in-a-lifetime journey to record their debut album at the iconic Sweet Silence Studio in Denmark. While following the band’s fairy tale journey, the documentary tells the larger compelling story of the rarely known heavy metal scene on Navajo reservations where many youths have grown disaffected as a result of endemic poverty and high rate of suicides.

The next film I want to bring to your attention, dear reader, is a documentary that I missed during last year’s horror film fest, but there was no way I’d miss it again. It’s called “The History of Metal and Horror’ and it is, quite frankly, an absolute must-see for EVERYONE that loves these interchangeable, can’t-have-one-without-the-other companions in entertainment. It starts with a lone survivor of an apocalypse who finds various “History of…” video tapes in a dumpster. When he gets to his base and finds that the horror tape doesn’t work without the metal tape and when they are both played together we are introduced to our ‘lecturer’ Michael Berryman (who fans of horror will recognise from his notable roles in ‘The Hills Have Eyes’ and many Star Trek episodes). From there we are treated to interviews with various artists as they explore the history of heavy metal music and horror, and how the two genres have merged over time. Greats like John Carpenter, Rob Zombie, Tom Savini, Alice Cooper, Doug Bradley, Kirk Hammet, Kane Hodder, Dani Filth (and soooooooo many others) all share their first introduction to horror, their favourite horror films, their influences and how and why horror and metal work so well together. It’s certainly one of the most entertaining doccies I’ve seen in a while. I cannot stress enough how badly you should want to see this one.

So, grab a beer, check out the line-up and have a great time getting inspired.


Tickets and streaming via Quicket:


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