The Metal Hurlant brand started life as a French science fiction comic book that collected together really strange science fiction stories into regular anthologies. Metal hurlant (which translates as howling metal) is better known in the English speaking world by its spin-off, heavy metal.
Metal Hurlant Resurgence is the TV adaptation of the popular comic book and brings together six short stories with a peculiar twist. Unlike The Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits, this collection of weird stories has a more extreme and bizarre bent.
The first tale, Whiskey in the Jar, is a Wild West tale of a small frontier town. The local sheriff’s job becomes deeply deadly when the doctor develops the near-miraculous ability to heal the sick. When the local gunslingers discover this, they realise that they can call upon the good doctor to pretty much bring them back from the dead. It’s a nicely strange and bizarre tale with an appropriately weird twist.
Story two, The Endomorphe, is a beautifully silly space-war story. In a world where human-like robots are bringing about the end of mankind, only a rare few can survive a miraculous process that turns them into robot-trashing killing machines. Unfortunately for the future of humanity, the machines that bring about this process are in enemy territory. It’s a nice little war story with some very daft scenes and some very claustrophobic fight scenes.
Loyal Khandor is a big science fiction tale that feels more like a fairytale. A vicious alien goes on a quest to save a princess so she in turn can save her people. It’s nicely shot and enjoys a well-managed special effects budget. It also ties in nicely with the next story, another sci-fi story called Second Chance, in which a deeply unlucky gambler finds himself on a quest for (space) pirate gold.
The last two stories are the clear highlights; the medieval Second Son is a tale of princely betrayal and magical curses that really brings together a senses of a coherent world behind all these stories. Finally we have Back to Reality, a story that starts weird and then gets stranger. It’s a Total Recall-style cyberpunk thriller that takes advantage of the viewers expectations to deliver some rather interesting twists and will keep you on your toes all the way through.
This is a well-acted, well-produced collection of live-action short stories. It suffers a little bit from poor dubbing on occasion, but mostly the quality is spot on and it’s a great little distraction.
METAL HURLANT RESURGENCE / CERT: 15 / DIRECTOR: GUILLAUME LUBRANO / SCREENPLAY: VARIOUS / STARRING: SCOTT ADKINS, JOHN RHYS-DAVIES, MICHAEL JAI WHITE, KARL E. LANDLER, MICHELLE LEE / RELEASE DATE: OCTOBER 19TH