Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Diversion 2.0 Thirty Day Movie Challenge -- Day 9

Day 9 – A Drinking Game Movie

One of my small pleasures since becoming an adult is to take activities I enjoyed as a kid and infuse them with alcohol. Comic books, theme parks, water sports—it’s like I’m experiencing them again for the first time! Movies are undoubtedly a part of this list, and I’ve had oodles of fun inventing hypothetical and actual drinking games for a few. Here’s one I made for Happy Gilmore, which I was *this* close to using for today’s entry:

Drink every time:

  • There’s visible or audible product placement (waterfall during Happy’s Subway commercial)
  • A piece of licensed music plays
  • Happy gets angry and shouts/hits something
  • There’s a line of dialogue you’re heard quoted before (drink twice if you’ve been the one who’s quoted it before)

Sadly, we’re not going to discuss a movie involving a game I haven’t played yet (anyone have a copy of Happy Gilmore they’d like to loan out?). Instead, I’m opting for a movie I’ve actually played a game with.

Heavy Metal (1981)

Based on several stories from the semi-popular graphic novel series of the same name, Heavy Metal is a sexy, violent trip through animation the likes of which North American audiences hadn’t seen during the twilight years of the Carter Administration (with the exception of Fritz the Cat, but who the hell cares about Fritz the Cat?). Not so much a full narrative as a series of slightly-connected stories, Heavy Metal tells of a cab driver in a dystopian future, a geek-turned-Conan fantasy adventure, a crew of zombie B-17 pilots, and a badass warrior woman named Taarna. Giving the film a further edge is its soundtrack, and though it doesn’t quite live up to its namesake (unless Cheap Trick and Journey are your idea of heavy metal), the licensed tunes create a unique, timely atmosphere, and go a long way towards establishing Heavy Metal’s feel of sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll.

By today’s standards, the animation is total shite. The whole film has a sketchy, quasi-detailed look to it, similar to many Nickelodeon cartoons from the early 90’s, and the quality varies from piece to piece. That said, this is still the time when animation as a whole was vehemently cutting costs, and the mentality may have even been to give it a grungy, non-traditional look; while not great-looking, it is distinct, and the best scenes generally have the best animation. At the very least, the imaginative and weird art direction alone makes it worth checking out (whilst in a van, perhaps).

I like to think that audiences at the time looked like this while watching Heavy Metal.

Anyway, what’s the game, you ask? It’s quite simple:

  • Take a shot for every new pair of breasts onscreen

Did I mention the film has nudity, and that Heavy Metal magazine is something of an erotic volume? Well, it does, and it is. No additional drinks are needed for repeat shots of said breasts, but every time you see a new chick with her top off, bam.

My good friend Jordyn was a fan of this movie in her youth (I forget how, though I think it had something to do with a Starz weekend?). One night, while we were flipping through my Xbox’s Netflix Instant Queue, she spied Heavy Metal in one of the Recommendations sections, and absolutely lost her s@$#. Since it was college, and because of the film’s reputation, I proposed the above game, and we both played.

Dear readers, we got cruuuunnnnnnk.

Certainly there are other games to be played with more popular, readily accessible movies, but Heavy Metal is an off-beat, underrated gem of an 80’s flick, and a good choice for indecisive, open minds who simply want to drink and watch a movie.

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