Sony Gives Iconic ‘Heavy Metal’ a Fully Loaded 4K Restoration and Release
On April 19, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment will release a limited edition SteelBook package of the late producer Ivan Reitman’s 1981 cult gem, which brought the world of fantastical illustrated magazine Heavy Metal to the big screen in a series of lavishly drawn vignettes. This new release includes the original film, plus the Blu-ray debut of its pulpy sequel, Heavy Metal 2000. The restoration features an upgraded soundscape, which was supervised and approved by Reitman, who tragically passed away this past Saturday, February 12, and a wealth of exclusive bonus features.
Heavy Metal’s space-bound story is centered around a strange green orb from another dimension that wreaks havoc throughout the cosmos. Each tale of the orb’s intergalactic impact features characters voiced by top-tier talent, including John Candy and Harold Ramis, and is set to a kick-ass soundtrack by Black Sabbath, Blue Oyster Cult, Cheap Trick, Devo, Donald Fagen, Don Felder, Grand Funk Railroad, Sammy Hagar, Journey, Nazareth, Stevie Nicks, Riggs, and Trust.
The film was directed by three-time Oscar-nominated Gerald Potterton (an animator on Yellow Submarine among other works); read his 2015 interview on AWN, Here’s the Skinny on ‘Heavy Metal,’ where he shares insights and some of the film’s secrets (there are some spoilers, so beware).
The film’s superb visual style has spawned scores of imitators and parodies — from South Park’s homage in its Season 12 episode, “Major Boobage,” to the trippy animated sequence of Panos Cosmatos’ Mandy and Philip Gelatt and Morgan Galen King’s animated horror fantasy The Spine of Night. Just last month, Gelatt and King joined AWN’s Dan Sarto to discuss Heavy Metal’s influence on their acclaimed new film.
Watch Gelatt and King wax poetic about Heavy Metal:
Among the bonus features in Sony’s forthcoming physical release are a new retrospective featuring interviews with Reitman and famous fans Kevin and Norman Reedus; a documentary entitled Imagining Heavy Metal; a deleted scene from Heavy Metal 2000; a feature commentary track by Heavy Metal 2000 screenwriter Carl Macek; and an alternate framing story from Heavy Metal 2000 with commentary.
Here are the full specs for Sony’s Heavy Metal 4K package:
HEAVY METAL 4K ULTRA HD DISC
- Feature presented in 4K resolution with Dolby Vision, reviewed and approved by Ivan Reitman
- New 2022 Dolby Atmos soundtrack – a brand-new immersive experience utilizing enhanced sound effects and much more, supervised by producer Ivan Reitman!
- Also includes the 2022 mix in 5.1, and the original 1981 theatrical Dolby Stereo audio
- Special Feature:
- NEW: Heavy Metal: A Look Back – an all-new retrospective featuring reflections from producer Ivan Reitman, famous fans Kevin Smith, Norman Reedus, and more!
HEAVY METAL BLU-RAY DISC
- Feature presented in High Definition with 5.1 audio
- Special Features:
- Original Feature-Length Rough Cut with Optional Commentary by Carl Macek
- Imagining Heavy Metal Documentary
- Deleted Scene
- Alternate Framing Story with Commentary
HEAVY METAL 2000 BLU-RAY DISC
- Feature presented in High Definition (newly remastered), with 5.1 audio
- Special Features:
- Julie Strain: Super Goddess
- Voice Talent
- Animation Tests
- Animatic Comparisons
HEAVY METAL SPECS
- Run Time: Approx. 90 minutes
- Rating: R
- 4K UHD Feature Picture: 2160p Ultra High Definition, 1.85:1
- 4K UHD Feature Audio: English Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 Compatible) | English 5.1 DTS-HD MA | English Stereo Surround DTS-HD MA