The 10 Cringiest Representations of Heavy Metal in Media

Turbulence 3: Heavy Metal: Trimark Pictures / Lords of Chaos: Arrow Films (United Kingdom), Gunpowder & Sky (United States), Nordisk Film (Sweden) / American Satan: Miramax
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While there are lots of great characters and fictional bands that capture the essence of why heavy metal is awesome, some stories/characters just get it all wrong.

There and then we’ll come across a movie or TV show that attempts to depict metal music or metal culture and… it’s just so much cringe. These types of representation come across as either laughable at best, or they are flat-out ignorant.

With that in mind, if you are in the mood for some cringe, here are the 10 cringiest representations of heavy metal in media.

Death to Metal

If you are a fan of Troma movies,  you may enjoy Death to Metal, but if you’re looking for an authentic heavy metal experience, then don’t get your hopes too high. The film follows a mutant priest who has it out for heavy metal, and who sets forth on a blood-soaked rampage hunting down “blasphemers.” It’s a funny movie in a lot of ways, but besides a few band t-shirts that pop up, the film doesn’t offer much substance for metalheads to latch onto when it comes to the genre.

Lords of Chaos

More like Edgelords of Chaos, am I right? Lords of Chaos is based on the 1998 book of the same name, which explores the infamous early days of black metal. However, while soaking in that history, you have to wade your way through loads of obnoxious acting involving actors attempting to drum up the melodrama that took place between the late Mayhem member Euronymous and Burzum‘s Varg Vikernes.

American Satan

“The devil is all behind heavy metal kids!” is essentially the premise that American Satan strives to push through its narrative. In the right hands, this concept could make for a neat story, but here, it’s so utterly goofy. From cheesy acting to surface-level drama, American Satan is a hard fail when it comes to heavy metal representation.

Metal Lords

Sadly, while there is a lot of potential in this movie, it falls short of being an authentic metal experience. Metal Lords is an adorable coming-of-age story and features some cool heavy metal cameos – but that’s about it. The actual presence of metal in this movie is really surface-level. If anything, while you may not loathe the film by any means, you’ll likely come out wishing it did more to champion the genre.


Black metal band = bad guys in the TV show Bones. Metal, nor the artists playing the music, have much depth to them in the episode of Bones titled “Mayhem On a Cross”; instead, the musicians and music serve more of a role to drum up the investigation taking place in the show. The existence of black metal in Bones feels more like a bad guy trope, which is pretty dumb.


Deathgasm does very little to actually champion the thrill and joy of metal, or even speak to why being a metalhead is awesome. Metal mostly gets used as dressing to make things flashy or sound exciting, or to give way to the horror elements of the film. Every presence of metal here is horribly vapid.

Moloch from Chips

Rather than come across as an actual shock-rocker, Moloch is more like a dollar-store knockoff of KISS or King Diamond. The character is obviously meant to be comedic, but when thinking about the actual musicians he’s referencing, it’s just weird how watered down Moloch’s whole vibe is.

Detroit Metal City

While some may find Detroit Metal City to be a wild time, the show is incredibly cringe. The anime follows a pop artist who can’t seem to find success, but his alter ego happens to be a metal superstar. When performing with his metal band, the guy goes off spewing boatloads of ridiculous lyrics and acting in lewd ways. If you have the patience of a saint and are interested in experiencing one of the more obnoxious representations of metal in media, then Detroit Metal City is apparently for you.

Turbulence 3: Heavy Metal

Fans gather aboard an airplane to enjoy a heavy metal concert, but little do they know, a “Satanic worshipper” has infiltrated the metal band and plans on causing some mayhem. Turbulence 3: Heavy Metal is a fantastic movie to rip on with your friends at a party, but that’s as much as it has to offer.

High Voltage

After a singer is struck by lightning and briefly dies, she comes back not only with a thirst for adrenaline but now has lightning powers. The idea of using superpowers as a metaphor for the rush of fame seems just a tad too out there. But hey, if you need something to laugh your ass off to, High Voltage has you covered.