Heavy Metal / Heavy Metal 2000 (Sony) (SteelBook) 4K Blu-ray + Blu-ray Review

One of my favorite films of all time, Heavy Metal, has gotten the 4K treatment from Sony, who also threw in the film's sequel, Heavy Metal 2000, which is making it's blu-ray debut.

Release Date: August 7th, 1981 (theatrical) (Heavy Metal)
Run Time: 1 hour 30 minutes 20 seconds (Heavy Metal) (theatrical) / 1 hour 30 minutes 21 seconds (Heavy Metal) (rough cut) / 1 hour 27 minutes 57 seconds (Heavy Metal 2000)
Region Code: FREE (all discs)
Picture: 2160p (1.85:1 aspect ratio) (Heavy Metal) (4K disc) / 1080p (1.85:1 aspect ratio) (Heavy Metal) (blu-ray) / 480p (1.33:1 aspect ratio) (Heavy Metal) (rough cut) / 1080p (1.85:1 aspect ratio) (Heavy Metal 2000)
Sound: English Dolby Atmos, English Dolby TrueHD 7.1, English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 , English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0, French DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (Heavy Metal) / English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Portuguese Dolby Digital 2.0, Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (Heavy Metal 2000)
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, and Spanish (Heavy Metal) / English, English SDH, Portuguese, Spanish, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Icelandic, Norwegian, Polish, and Swedish (Heavy Metal 2000)
Slipcover: No
Digital Copy: Yes (Movies Anywhere)
Starring: Percy Rodriguez, John Candy, Harold Ramis, Eugene Levy, John Vernon, and Marilyn Lightstone (Heavy Metal) / Julie Strain, Michael Ironside, Billy Idol, Sonja Ball, and Brady Moffatt (Heavy Metal 2000)
Written by Dan Goldberg & Len Blum (Heavy Metal) / Robert Payne Cabeen and Carl Macek (Heavy Metal 2000)
Directed by 
Gerald Potterton, John Bruno, John Halas, Julian Harris, Jimmy T. Murakami, Barrie Nelson, Paul Sabella, Jack Stokes, Pino Van Lamsweerde, and Harold Whitaker (Heavy Metal) / Michael Coldewey
Michel Lemire (Heavy Metal 2000)
Rating: R (graphic violence and gore, strong sexuality and nudity, and some language) (Heavy Metal) / (strong violence and gore, sexuality/nudity and language) (Heavy Metal 2000)

NOTE: Screenshots from HEAVY METAL (1981) are taken from the blu-ray included in this package. These screenshots are here for referential purposes only and are not the same as the 4K disc, which I can not do screenshots for. The screenshots for HEAVY METAL 2000 are taken from the blu-ray and are true to the product  Also, for some reason, the program I use to do screenshots would not play the menu for HEAVY METAL 2000 despite playing the menus for HEAVY METAL (1981).




What's It About?

(HEAVY METAL) An astronaut brings home a glowing green orb for his daughter. However, the green orb wipes him out and corners the girl for its purposes. Claiming to embody ultimate evil, the malevolent sphere, known as the Loc-Nar, terrorizes the little girl by showing a series of bizarre and fantastic stories it has influenced. The first is "Harry Canyon", a cynical taxi driver in a squalid futuristic New York who finds himself involved with a damsel in distress who is relentlessly pursued by murderous thugs who desire the Loc-Nar her archaeologist father found. The second is "Den", which chronicles the adventures of a nerdish teenager who is thrown into the fantasy world of Neverwhere, where he is transformed into a handsome muscleman, desired by beautiful women, who must get involved in a conflict revolving around possession of the Loc-Nar. The third is "Captain Sternn", where the title character is a handsome but irredeemable scoundrel who stands accused in a trial that the Loc-Nar throws into chaos. The fourth is "B-17", where a World War II bomber plane limps home after a bombing run, only to have the Loc-Nar ram into it and revive the dead crew members as murderous zombies. The next is "So Beautiful, So Dangerous", where a voluptuous secretary at the Pentagon is abducted by stoned alien wastrels and an oversexed robot. The final story is "Taarna", where the Loc-Nar has to come to a future Earth and changes a peaceful people into a horde of murderous barbarians who rampage with genocidal zeal. Only the last Tarrakian, a silent warrior woman known as Taarna, can avenge the victims and stop the Loc-Nar. (taken from imdb.com)

(HEAVY METAL 2000) In ages past, a malevolent race called the Arakacians discovered a place where space-time leaked an immortality water. The Arakacians conquered the known universe for centuries, and were finally vanquished after the fountain chamber was sealed by freedom fighters. Upon discovery of a shard of the Loc-Nar (the evil orb from the original movie), a miner named Tyler becomes possessed by an insatiable hunger for power and a thirst for immortality. On his way to a planet which has the immortality fountain, Tyler makes a brief stop on F.A.K.K.² (Federation-Assigned Ketogenic Killzone) because its inhabitants carry some immortality water in their bodies. Tyler invades the space colony, wipes out most of the inhabitants, and kidnaps a beautiful woman named Kerrie. Enraged by Tyler's careless rampage, Kerrie's beautiful sister Julie vows to avenge her family and wipe out Tyler before he reaches the fountain.

Film Review

I have already written about both films in a THE VIDEO STORE DAYS piece I did in May of 2020. You can read it here.


HEAVY METAL and HEAVY METAL 2000 come to us courtesy of Sony and they both look really good. Of course, HEAVY METAL is in 4K so you know it looks good, but I don't think anyone expected it to look THIS good. Grain is present and gives us a nice film-like feel to the whole film. Detail and clarity are so much better here than they were on the blu-ray. The HDR gives the colors a nice boost and balances out the whites nicely. Blacks are deep and inky and the animation just looks great.

HEAVY METAL 2000 debuts on blu-ray in this package and it too looks good, but it could have looked a lot better. It is clear that Sony doesn't really give two shits about this film. Detail is nice but the colors could have used a boost. The blending of 2-D and 3-D animation is so much more apparent here than it was on the DVD. Going into the film knowing what it looks like will help in your views on how the transfer should look. It is a good transfer, but I feel like they could have done a new scan and it would have been so much better.


Disc 1: Heavy Metal 4K

  • Heavy Metal: A Look Back (9m 20s, HD, 1.78:1) Here is a brand new appreciation from producer Ivan Reitman (RIP), Norman Reedus, Kevin Smith (ugh), Ebony Jeanette, Matthew Klickstein, and Matthew Medney. This piece is far too short for what it is trying to do and should not have included Kevin Smith as he adds nothing to what everyone else is saying. I was intrigued by Ebony Jeanette and would have loved to have heard more from her. 

Disc 2: Heavy Metal Blu-ray

  • Heavy Metal: The Rough Cut (1 hour 30 minutes 20 seconds, SD, 1.33:1) with optional commentary by Carl Macek (Heavy Metal: Animation for the 80s) This is a very rough cut of the film. Most of the stuff we know and love is here and we even get some stuff that isn't in the final cut. The commentary track is really informative and a must listen for fans.
  • Imagining Heavy Metal (35m 39s, SD, 1.33:1) This is a much better look back on Heavy Metal than that new featurette found on the 4K disc. Here we get stories from the making of as well as a lot of behind-the-scenes footage including the live-action footage shot for Taarna.
  • Deleted Scenes (8m 42s, SD, 1.33:1)
  • Neverwhere Land sequence (3m 26s, SD, 1.33:1)
  • Alternate Framing Story (2m 38s, SD, 1.33:1) with optional commentary

Disc 3: Heavy Metal 2000 Blu-ray

  • Julie Strain: Super Goddess featurette (13m 16s, SD, 1.33:1) I have been watching Julie Strain since the early 90's and I was very excited to see this featurette about her. It is pretty brief, but it does a good job of showing us who Julie Strain really is. I just wish that they had dedicated more time to her. 
  • Voice Talent (3m 43s, SD, 1.33:1)
  • Animation Tests (1m 17s, SD, 1.33:1)
  • Animatic Comparisons (11m 29s, SD, 1.33:1)

This 3-disc release comes housed in a really nice-looking SteelBook. The front artwork is the artwork that has been used for every release since the film came out in 1981 with Taarna riding the creature that is gifted to her in the film. The rear artwork features the smiley face spaceship that picks up the girl from Washington DC. The inside of the Steelbook is grey/silver but is otherwise blank. The 4K disc features the Taarna artwork. The HEAVY METAL blu-ray disc artwork features Den. The HEAVY METAL 2000 disc features the artwork from the DVD with the Julie Strain character wielding a gun. 


HEAVY METAL is one of my favorite films. I saw it at the perfect age and it has stuck with me ever since. HEAVY METAL 2000 is not a good film, but I don't hate it. It's just kind of bland. This 4K blu-ray release is the release to get. It has both films and some great extras. I just wish that Sony would have out in more money to get us some more special features. The films are worth it. This is, however,  a must buy.


Heavy Metal (1981)

Heavy Metal 2000


Heavy Metal (1981)

Heavy Metal 2000


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