Icelandic drama ‘Metalhead’ coming to the U.S.

Posted by on June 7, 2014


Los Angeles-based production house and restoration specialist Cinelicious has launched a distribution company, Cinelicious Pics. One of the first films they picked up to distribute in the states is Metalhead, an Icelandic drama inspired in part by the Norwegian black metal church burnings in the 1990s. Actress Thora Bjorg Helga won best actress at the Icelandic Film Awards for her portrayal of Hera, a teenage metalhead dealing with the repercussions of a tragic accident. Here’s the synopsis, courtesy of Deadline:

Fueled by a remarkable breakout performance by actress Thora Bjorg Helga, director Ragnar Bragason’s intense drama of loss, faith, redemption, Megadeth and Judas Priest begins with a farming accident in the 1980’s that sends a young girl, Hera, and her parents into a tail-spin of grief over the death of her heavy metal music-obsessed older brother. A decade later and Hera is transformed into a sexy, surly headbanger and DIY musician, 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 – including coming on to the local priest and sleeping with her platonic best friend – Hera slowly, painfully comes to terms with her family’s loss and the sound of her own true voice. Partly inspired by the Norwegian black metal church burnings in the early 1990’s, and featuring a soundtrack of 1980’s and 1990’s headbanging classics by Riot, Teaze, Savatage, Lizzy Borden and Megadeth, METALHEAD has been praised as “a powerful portrait of grief never dealt with … an impeccably crafted and beautifully performed film” (Todd Brown, Twitchfilm). Winner of 8 awards at the 2014 Icelandic Film Awards including Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor & Actress, and Original Score. In Icelandic with English subtitles. A selection of the Toronto Film Festival.

From the above trailer, it looks like a visually stunning film, and while Iceland has it’s share of underground metal bands, it’ll certainly be interesting to see a different country’s viewpoint of metal. Not to mention, the soundtrack looks pretty solid as well. The only glaring absence we gathered from the synopsis was the lack of any black metal on the soundtrack. If it was partially inspired by the church burnings, and Helga is wearing corpse paint in the movie poster, you’d think it might at least feature some more extreme music at least in the soundtrack. Time will tell, though. Look for Metalhead, as well as two other Cinelicious titles, documentaries Guiseppe Makes a Movie and Elektro Moska, this fall.

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