A long in development sequel to the risible Heavy Metal (1981), this would-be sexy slice of Canadian animated sci-fi ditches the anthology format to tell a single story. In a far-flung future, lantern-jawed space miner Tyler (voiced by Michael Ironside) unearths the Loc-Nar, an all-powerful mystical whatsit long sought by various ancient alien civilizations, including the wise Odin (Billy Idol - yes, that Billy Idol). Transformed by the glowing orb into a kill-crazy Conan look-alike, Tyler hijacks a space freighter and targets a planet called F.A.K.K.2 (Federation Assigned Ketogenic Killzone), whose inhabitants carry some kind of immortality elixir inside their bodies.
After Tyler kills her father and kidnaps her sister Kerrie (Sonja Ball), top-heavy heroine Julie (pinup girl Julie Strain) swears revenge and sets out to stop him gaining immortal power, alongside Odin, diminutive rock monster Zeek (Rick Jones) - who has a fetish for the action girl (“Julie soft, very soft!”) - and a randy, renegade member of Tyler’s crew called Germaine St. Germaine (Pier Paquette). Galaxy-spanning adventures follow.
Since its creation in the 1970s, the French comics anthology Metal Hurlant and its American cousin Heavy Metal featured sexy sci-fi tales from Euro talents like Jean “Moebius” Giraud, alongside an alarming amount of sexist, misogynistic masturbatory fodder drawn by jaded, aging hippies. This latter element was pushed to the fore in Ivan Reitman’s original 1981 production which despite being a crass, episodic bore remains mystifyingly popular. Whereas Reitman’s film featured contributions from a number of animation superstars - including the great, Cornelius “Corny” Cole (whose work was largely jettisoned) - and voice actors drawn from sketch comedy show SC-TV, this sequel is a more modestly budgeted effort. Produced by current Heavy Metal editor and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles co-creator Kevin Eastman, and featuring vocal duties from his wife Julie Strain, it’s aimed squarely at fans easily satisfied with blood, boobs and profanity-laced posturing (“I’m gonna give that bitch immortality so I can screw her and kill her every f***ing day!”)
The plot is no better than your average DTV sci-fi and comes across like a foul-mouthed Saturday Morning cartoon with rock star pretensions. As in the original, this wastes time on posy visuals scored by thrash metal numbers that are far less evocative than Frederic Talgorn’s accomplished score. The animation starts out relatively impressive, with some nifty CG machinery, but grows progressively drearier. Its brown, muted tones suit this rather grungy, sleazy vision of the future with silly softcore gags like the sex doll with “micro-sensitive orgasmatron”, the lap-dancing club with six-breasted strippers and a weird scene where Julie spies on two, goofy, three-eyed dinosaurs humping each other. Although slightly more emotive than the 1981 movie’s Taarna, Julie proves a dull, humourless heroine, further diminished by Strain’s one-note vocals.