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Heavy Metal Parking Lot1986

  • 4.0
Hailed by Cameron Crowe as "one of the greatest rock movies ever made," HEAVY METAL PARKING LOT documents the parking lot tailgating at Capital Centre in Largo, Maryland, in the hours before (and the moments after) a Judas Priest concert in May 31, 1986 (the "JUN 23 1995" timestamp seen at the beginning may just be when the current source-tape was duped). Filmmakers Jeff Krulik and John Heyn's interviews with the Priest fans cover topics like metal, the superiority of metal to other kinds of music and air guitar quality, as well as one young female fan describing (in a thick Maryland accent) how she, if in the presence of Judas Priest lead singer Rob Halford, would "jump his beaunes" (Halford wouldn't "come out" as gay until 1998). Previously known only in cult video circles and rock band tour buses, HEAVY METAL PARKING LOT finally saw wide release in 2006. Krulik and Heyn followed this with two sequels (NEIL DIAMOND PARKING LOT and HARRY POTTER PARKING LOT from 1998 and 2000, respectively) and a short-lived 2004 "Parking Lot" television series on Trio. [Apologies for the poor source quality of this film. It is presented here in the best transfer currently available.]- Tom Fritsche

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"Even for people who didn't come out of the womb a metalhead, that 17 minutes of footage resonates with anybody who's ever been a fan of anything." - Kelly O, The Stranger


3 members like this review

“Heavy Metal Parking Lot” is the stuff of legends, one of those titles you hear about, but never get a chance to see, a phantom video adrift in bootleg cassette limbo…UNTIL NOW! Here it is in all its head-banging, fist pumping glory, a furious onslaught of big hair, cheap beer, bad teeth and bitchin’ Camaros. This is maximum 1980’s hesher bravado turned up to 11. The faded, lo-definition look of the film’s VHS origins actually adds to the viewing experience, casting everything in a strange, dream-like hue, for the end, that is the legacy of "Heavy Metal Parking Lot": a nostalgic dream for some; a teenage nightmare for others.

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Member Reviews (23)

81629.small
top reviewer

“Heavy Metal Parking Lot” is the stuff of legends, one of those titles you hear about, but never get a chance to see, a phantom video adrift in bootleg cassette limbo…UNTIL NOW! Here it is in all its head-banging, fist pumping glory, a furious onslaught of big hair, cheap beer, bad teeth and bitchin’ Camaros. This is maximum 1980’s hesher bravado turned up to 11. The faded, lo-definition look of the film’s VHS origins actually adds to the viewing experience, casting everything in a strange, dream-like hue, for the end, that is the legacy of "Heavy Metal Parking Lot": a nostalgic dream for some; a teenage nightmare for others.

3 members like this review

ready to jump THEIR bones! blissed out, unbridled and unabashedly in your face – no apologies needed. give us the mic, we’ve come to worship OUR Priest! protected by a caravan of Camaros, outsiders form a congregation where long-haired, shirtless guys, buzzed on beer, hoarse from screaming and cigarettes, unknowingly become gods. grab onto your youth and hold on tight! we all need to feel like we’re a part of something. burn out with blinding light, woooooo paaaaaarty!

1 member likes this review

Ah, Heavy Metal Parking Lot. I used to have to drive to Earwax in Wicker Park to rent a bootleg copy of you for my "Anthropology: History of White People" course at an unnamed Chicago college. This retains the VHS glory of documentary of the 1980's. Big cams, bigger hair. Biggest quality, well not so much. However, that is the aesthetic of VHS and I have nostalgia for these days. Good quality, blurry, VHS still is the best thing on the eyes. Sorry, Apple to and your new retina display.......

1 member likes this review

I really want to know what all of the people being interviewed here are doing now. Loved this.

1 member likes this review

Stunning. Testosterone-fueled hedonism launched by heavy metal madness. The poor video quality only enhances this short film. I can't believe I have never heard of this. Thank you Fandor!

1 member likes this review
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What's not to love?

The 80's look fun. I enjoy nobody is staring at a cell phone.

OMG takes me back!!!! LOVE IT!

I saw Priest twice in the mid 80's and this short movie took me back in time.

Maybe, living in the age of youtube, I'm jaded and cynical but it's just a lot of drunk people in a parking lot. Anyone who has ever gotten fucked up at a show, whether they regretted it later or not, has already lived this footage. It's not interesting but there's something almost endearing about their enthusiasm. Not worth the 16 minutes though unless you're some oldhead trying to relive the glory days.

Interesting and funny nostalgia trip.

If only you loved something as deeply as these drunk high schoolers love Dokken

Don't mistake it for some kind of lo-fi masterpiece, but it's kind of funny. It's most appealing as a nostalgia trip, so if you're like me & didn't grow up in the 80's, well, maybe you'll enjoy the schadenfreude.

A slice of time and place that will bring a smile to your face.

Cool little movie. I was surprised to see two black people tho lol. I wonder what all these people are doing now? The guy that made this movie should do an update film. that would be cool.

Can't remember how I came by my first viewing, but subsequently split the cost of VHS ownership with my bestie almost 20(?) yrs ago. This still holds up. What an insane, beautiful snapshot of a simpler time. Unashamed. No pedigrees in this crowd of teens & twenty-somethings, but so much fuckin' heart. Rock on.

A cultural artifact, perfectly capturing the lunacy of 1980s heavy metal fandom. At times hilarious, at others sad. Makes you wonder what happened to these champions of debauchery.

Here are all the long hair burnouts that I despised in high school. We used to have a strong aversion to them and their redundant top 50 songs relentlessly played on the radio even to this day, but also without them there might not be any west coast hardcore bands.

"ROB HALFORD.......i don't know about that dude!!!! But everyone else rocks....WAAHHOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!"

I saw this film at SF Indiefest a couple of times. It's a beautiful, unintentionally hilarious piece of America in the 1980's.

What can one say? A classic! Must watch! God bless Amurkkka!

I watched this. I liked it.

this docu is ok, it did not live up to its legend. the best thing about it was the short running time.