It has been a while since we’ve had a movie that embodied the heavy metal spirit – which is why it’s so great to see a film like The Spine Of Night be wildly available for folks to watch. Written and directed by Philip Gelatt and Morgan Galen King, The Spine Of Night is a surreal trip into fantasy, offering gripping action, suspense, and psychedelic horror. The film is currently available to purchase on a plethora of digital services, and has recently become available to own on Blu Ray and DVD.
Right away, The Spine Of Night grabs the audience’s attention through its fascinating visuals. It isn’t often that we see animated works taking the rotoscope approach to animation – a technique that relies on tracing over motion picture footage frame by frame to create realistic animation. One of the most popular films to use such a method is that of 1981’s Heavy Metal, which made for a fantastic ride of fantasy violence. To say that The Spine Of Night is a rush would undermine its brilliance – for the film is a wicked experience of gruesome violence, heavy metal fantasy flair, and Lovecraftian horror.
Featuring the talents of Richard E. Grant, Lucy Lawless, Patton Oswalt, Joe Manganiello, and many more, the film’s narrative revolves around a mystical plant. Capable of offering extraordinary powers to people, the plant, otherwise known as The Bloom, contains many secrets – some capable of sending humanity into a downward spiral of existential madness.
There is an atmosphere to this movie that I feel fans of Mastodon, Skeletonwitch, Exmortus, and Revocation could get on board with. The brutal action is in abundance throughout, providing a plethora of killer gore, sword play, and magic that all come together for intense thrills. Accompanying that is a hypnotic and unnerving atmosphere; with a great amount of psychedelic visuals, the movie can drastically shift from body horror to that of cosmic horror.
The Spine Of Night is an excellent blend of stunning animation, captivating story, and astounding atmosphere. We love shining a light on releases that embrace the spirit of heavy metal, and if you’re looking for a visual feast of blood-soaked metal fantasy, The Spine Of Night has you covered.
Words by: Michael Pementel