Boasting a soundtrack of '80s/'90s headbanging classics, Icelandic director Ragnar Bragason's intense drama "Metalhead" will be available On Demand starting April 3. Distributed by Cinelicious Pics, the VOD release will arrive shortly after a handful of special screenings are held nationwide, including at New York's Cinema Village (March 20-26) and Los Angeles' Laemmle NoHo 7 (March 27 - April 2) along with Seattle's SIFF Uptown Theatre (Feb. 27 - March 1) and Portland's Hollywood Theatre (April 10 - 16). The movie will be shown in eight cities (with more to be announced soon).
Fueled by a remarkable breakout performance by actress Thora Bjorg Helga, Bragason's drama of loss, faith, redemption, and heavy metal begins with a farming accident in the 1980s that sends a young girl named Hera and her parents into a tail-spin of grief over the death of her heavy metal music-obsessed older brother. A decade later,Hera is transformed into a surly headbanger, dressed in black leather and a SLAYER t-shirt, clutching her dead brother's electric guitar as she howls anthems of rage to a barn full of cows. Seemingly trapped in a haunted landscape of slaughterhouses and barren winter fields, making all the wrong choices in her life, Hera slowly and painfully comes to terms with her family's loss and the sound of her own true voice.
Decibel magazine premiered a scene from the film where Hera watches a newscast about the extreme nature of black metal and its connections to the Norwegian church burnings in the 1990s. "That scene is basically an exact copy of my life,"Bragason recalled during an interview with Noisey about the scene, which serves as a pivotal moment in this female headbanger's life.
"Metalhead" was the winner of eight awards at the 2014 Icelandic Film Awards (including "Best Actress", "Best Supporting Actor" and "Actress", and "Original Score" by noted Icelandic musician Petur Ben). It received rave reviews during the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival, as well as during a special screening held at the 2014 CMJ Music Marathon in New York.
"'Metalhead' is a very personal piece of my filmography," declares Bragason. "It grew out of my collective love for film and metal music, which was something I grew up listening to and has been a lifelong passion of mine. I sincerely hope that the U.S audience, both fans of film and music can find in it something to love and identify with."
Watch a trailer for "Metalhead" below.