The Gate just turned 35. The gateway horror movie – now available to stream on Prime Video, Roku, Tubi, and Vudu- saw a pair of preteens unwittingly unleash demons from a hole in the backyard. A heavy metal album provides exposition and tips the boys off to what’s happening. It’s one of many horror movies that embraces its fellow outcast, rock ‘n roll. The two make for a perfect pairing, especially thanks to the Satanic Panic era, so this week we throw up some devil horns and venture into Hard Rock Horror in honor of The Gate‘s anniversary.
As always, here’s where to stream our five picks this week.
Black Roses – AMC+, Plex, Shudder, Tubi
This irreverent ’80s creature feature sees its metal band Black Roses arriving at a small town and turning its teens into rebellious metalheads. But the band is really a bunch of demons in disguise, and the kids aren’t just becoming uncontrollable but actual monsters. It works because Black Roses is directed by metalhead John Fasano (Rock’ n’ Roll Nightmare), who brings together rubber-suited monsters and a catchy as hell soundtrack with bands like Lizzy Borden, Hallow’s Eve, King Kobra, and more.
Deathgasm – AMC+, Plex, Pluto TV, Roku, Shudder, Tubi, Vudu
This New Zealand horror-comedy is a definitive love letter to metalheads. Brodie is a social outcast, further ostracized because he adores metal. He finds a kindred spirit in Zakk, who convinces him to break into an abandoned house to find metal musician Rikki Daggers. They succeed in finding Daggers, who hands them an album that contains “The Black Hymn,” before being offed by a Satanic cult moments later. Naturally, the boys play it and invoke a demon. Gore, death, and speed metal ensues. With a soundtrack featuring artists like Axeslasher, Beastwars, Skull Fist, and Elm Street, Jason Lei Howden’s ode to Peter Jackson’s early splatter work is a blood-soaked blast.
The Devil’s Candy – AMC+
Refreshingly, Sean Byrne’s long-awaited follow-up to The Loved Ones makes metal the vital tool against the demonic forces threatening to tear the Hellman family apart. The rural country home at the film’s center also happens to be home to a Satanic presence. The opening scene sees Ray Smilie (Pruitt Taylor Vince) playing his Flying V in front of a crucifix, trying to block out the voice of “Him.” That same voice seeks to possess and control Hellman patriarch Jesse (Ethan Embry) after the family moves to the same house years later. His love for his family and his bond with his daughter over their shared passion for metal might keep “Him” at bay. With a banging soundtrack that includes bands like Ghost, Slayer, Machine Head, and metal references throughout, this one is a can’t miss for metalheads.
Lords of Chaos – Hulu
Jonas Akerlund’s Lords of Chaos is based on the true story of a Norwegian black metal band that fully embraced the Satanic Panic era by creating publicity stunts to put them on the map. The lines between showmanship and reality blur, leading to devastating consequences. This heavy metal feature is more biopic and true crime than outright horror, but the horror permeates throughout- especially when it comes to the gore and bloodletting. Lords of Chaos gets dark and features one of the most brutally intense suicides ever committed to celluloid. While the music takes a bit of a back seat to the tragedy, it doesn’t get much more metal than a heavy metal feature directed by a former drummer of Bathory.
Suck – Prime Video
This horror-comedy musical follows a struggling band touring across Canada and the US, struggling to get gigs and keep afloat. They’re the definition of a starving artist until bassist Jennifer gets bitten by a master vampire. Jennifer’s stage presence skyrockets, growing their audience tenfold, but it comes with an insatiable lust for blood that compounds their road-tripping woes. It’s a silly yet endearing rock horror-comedy that features Malcolm McDowell as Eddie Van Helsing. Look for a slew of notable cameos from Alice Cooper, Henry Rollins, Iggy Pop, and Moby playing hilariously against type.
Bonus: Heavy Trip – Arrow, Kanopy
“Symphonic post-apocalyptic reindeer-grinding Christ-abusing extreme war pagan Fennoscandian metal.” That’s what bassist Pasi (Max Ovaska) answers when asked what kind of metal the band at the center of Finnish metal comedy Heavy Trip play. Pasi is joined in musical aspirations by frontman Turo (Johannes Holopainen), cheerful but always hungry drummer Jynkky (Antti Heikkinen), and guitarist Lotvonen (Samuli Jaskio). The four escape their mundane jobs in their small town by practicing in the basement of Lotvonen’s family-owned reindeer slaughterhouse, with dreams of playing in Norways’ biggest metal festival. From there, what transpires is a journey of epic metal proportions; a corpse stealing, reindeer blood drenching, mental asylum escaping, badger fighting, guttural screaming quest with a serious metal attitude. It’s not horror, but it’ll appeal to the horror-loving metal fan all the same.