Director: Guillaume Lubrano
Screenplay: Guillaume Lubrano
Starring: Scott Adkins, James Marsters, Karl E. Landler, Dominique Pinon
Running Time: 26 min, 6 Episodes
BBFC Certificate: 15
I have been looking forward to writing this review. The best way to explain why we must first ask what is Metal Hurlant? This is a science fiction tv series set in an anthological format based upon the popular comic series known in france as Metal Hurlant. What most people do not realise is that it has a different name in the U.S. and UK. Here we call it Heavy Metal. Yes i am referring to the 1981 animated cult classic. The comics ran from December 1974 to July 1987 for volume 1 which contained 133 issues and July 2002 to December 2004 for volume 2 which only contained 13 issues. As you may know by now from my reviews on things like the Agents of Shield OST I am a bit of a comic nerd. Now as I said the format of this is set as an anthology so the best way for me to review this is by each episode so enjoy and I will do my best to keep this spoiler free. With that said let us proceed into a world of fantasy, science fiction and sometimes even horror.
EPISODE 1: Whiskey In The Jar
As this episode starts we see a small village in the wild west. A sheriff greets an applicant for the job of the town’s doctor by telling him the tale of their previous doctor and his miraculous healing hands. This episode stars James Marsters (Buffy The Vampire Slayer) in a fantastic role. He adds a depth to his character who has been blessed with a powerful gift and how it effects upon the people of this quiet town.
EPISODE 2: The Endomorph
In this episode we are faced with a great war between humans and an army of cyborgs created by them to mine but have revolted. We follow a small team trying to get the titular Endomorph to a beam of energy that will allow it to unleash its true power and destroy the cyborg menace. The leader of the group is played by Michael Jai White (Spawn) in this action packed episode.
EPISODE 3: Loyal Khondor
This episode focuses around Khondor, The loyal servant of the princess of a race of people who have lost their planet and been forced to travel the stars looking for a new home. Unfortunately the princess has been taken ill and the only known cure is on their old home planet. As that is not an option Khondor goes in search of a wise man said to have lived for centuries for another cure. This episode stars Karl E. Landler as Khondor. He has been in many french films and shorts and brings a feeling of true purpose to the character.
EPISODE 4: Second Chance
Joe is a notorious gambler and not a good one at that. When he loses a high stakes bet how far will he go to escape a brutal creditor. With the help of a prostitute turned treasure hunter he searches for a way out of this debt. This episode shows the wonderful acting skills of Scott Adkins (Zero Dark Thirty) in this tale of a man’s struggle against odds ever mounting against him.
EPISODE 5: Second Son
Byron and Tybalt are not only brothers but princes of a cursed world who battle it out for control of the kingdom that has very different views upon life and death. Yet again this episode stars Karl E. Landler as byron the youngest of the feuding brothers in the delightful tale of deception, betrayal and a fate worse than death. A simple episode but also one of my favorite stories in the comic series that I found was transferred well from page to screen.
EPISODE 6: Back To Reality
What would you do if you could leave the real world and live out a second life in virtual reality? That is the question that is posed by Norman, a scientist who offers the wealthy an experience into their deepest fantasies. Could he be manipulating them to do his bidding though? This episode was meant as a final piece to tie in the stories of both seasons so I personally recommend picking up season 1 with this episode in mind. This episode stars Dominique Pinon (Alien Resurrection) as Stanley a office clerk who wants to escape his mundane life.
I truly enjoyed this series but I must say I did prefer the first season which is also available now so is worth picking up. There are many ways that this programme could have done things wrong but with great actors and an amazing team of writers they have created what to me is an absolute gem. This program is a must for anyone who misses the simpler days of sci fi where things were not stretched out to increase season lengths but focussed on the stories they were trying to tell.