Playing like a Nordic “This is Spinal Tap,” the Finnish import “Heavy Trip,” a satire about an aspiring heavy metal band’s efforts to land its first legitimate gig, proves as affably goofy as its characters.
After years of practicing in a reindeer slaughterhouse with zero payoff, frontman Turo (Johannes Holopainen) and his fellow headbangers are looking to catch their big break at Northern Damnation, an influential metal festival in Norway.
That they haven’t actually been invited to the event doesn’t seem to faze them any more than the fact that they still haven’t figured out a name for their band (they ultimately settle on Impaled Rektum), or that their original drummer drops dead, to be replaced by a dangerous patient (Chike Ohanwe) sequestered in the psychiatric hospital where Turo works.
A first feature by music video directors Jukka Vidgren and Juuso Laatio, the international co-production remains knowingly true to its quirky quartet and milieu even as the plotting runs off the rails a tad in the third act.
“Heavy metal lyrics are usually based on mythology, occultism, satanism or crappy fantasy literature,” Pasi/Xytrax (Max Ovaska), the outfit’s Goth savant, dryly observes.
Given such pearls of metalhead wisdom, you’re willing to overlook all the spewing bodily functions — of both the human and reindeer variety — and go along for the amusing ride.
In Finnish and Norwegian with English subtitles
Running time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Playing: Starts Friday, Laemmle Music Hall, Beverly Hills