Metalocalypse: Army of the Doomstar (2023) Review
Picking up where 2013’s The Doomstar Requiem left off, Metalocalypse: Army of the Doomstar begins with the members of Dethklok, singer and Peter Steele lookalike Nathan Explosion (Brendon Small, Love in Moreno Valley, Nerdland), bass player William Murderface (Tommy Blacha, Grimm Fairy Tales Animated, American Dad!), lead guitarist Skwisgaar Skwigelf (Brendon Small), drummer Pickles (Brendon Small), and recently rescued rhythm guitarist Toki Wartooth (Tommy Blacha) holding a press conference to announce a tour and new album.
Unfortunately, Nathan is suddenly struck by visions of the apocalypse, which wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t accompanied by writer’s block that prevents him from putting them to use. And he needs to write, more specifically he needs to write The Song of Salvation, the only thing that can prevent Salacia (Mark Hamill, Star Wars, The Guyver) and The Council from bringing on the Metalocalypse. However, all he wants to do is settle down and start a family with Abigail (Raya Yarbrough, Perry Mason, Grandfathered), but she isn’t interested.
Having not watched the show in years, I probably should have gone back and refreshed my memory because Army of the Doomstar doesn’t offer much in the way of a recap to bring viewers up to speed. I could follow along, but I probably missed a few things along the way so if you’re not that familiar with the show or haven’t seen it in a while you might want to go back and at least watch The Doomstar Requiem.
“People don’t come to me for salvation. They come to me when they want a song about how your guts will be liquified by a weedwhacker.”Nathan Explosion
One thing that a rewatch won’t prepare you for however is this film’s more serious tone. Rather than just going for the laughs Metalocalypse: Army of the Doomstar plays out as an animated apocalyptic science fiction adventure with some humorous moments. And as befits an apocalypse that’s been promised for all these years, there are some truly inspired scenes of destruction.
There’s also possession, an exorcism, along with a search for meaning and forgiveness. Oh yeah, and a chance to unfuck the world after they, of course, bring about Armageddon. It’s all mavelously fun, exciting, and at times trippy and dare I say it, touching. Army of the Doomstar is a film with heart and not just the ones we see splattered across the screen either.
The film’s animation is an improvement over the show’s which makes the scenes of death and destruction that much better. And the final battle between good and evil is an epic bit of carnage that deserves the rendition it gets. That’s backed up by several celebrity voice actors.
Apart from Mark Hamill, there’s Malcolm McDowell (Slaughterhouse Rulez, A Clockwork Orange), John Hamm (Mad Men, Bad Times at the El Royale), Juliet Mills (Nanny and the Professor, The Primevals), and Saturday Night Live’s Laraine Newman. There are also several musicians including King Diamond, Scott Ian of Anthrax, Metallica’s Kirk Hammett, and Amy Lee from Evanescence.
Whether or not the saga of Dethklok ends here or not is hard to say. Metalocalypse: Army of the Doomstar does wrap things up nicely which I think was what Small and Blacha intended. But it also leaves plenty of possibilities for their story to continue if the demand is there. If it’s as good as this was, I wouldn’t object to another installment. Or two.
Metalocalypse: Army of the Doomstar is available on DVD and Blu-ray as well as on Digital Platforms via Warner Bros. who are also releasing the show’s entire run on Blu-ray to go with the film’s release.