Heavy Metal is a 1981 Canadian fantasy-animated film directed by Gerald Potterton and produced by Ivan Reitman and Leonard Mogel, who also was the publisher of Heavy Metal magazine, the basis for the film. The screenplay was written by Daniel Goldberg and Len Blum. The film is an anthology of various science fiction and fantasy stories adapted from Heavy Metal magazine and original stories in the same spirit. Like the magazine, it has a great deal of graphic violence, nudity, and sexuality. Its production was expedited by having several animation houses working simultaneously on different segments, including CinéGroupe and Atkinson Film-Arts. A stand-alone homage titled Heavy Metal 2000 was released in 2000. The movie's title sequence story (based on the original story by Dan O'Bannon and art by Thomas Warkentin) opens with a space shuttle flying in orbit over Earth. The bay doors (on the belly of the shuttle) open, releasing a 1960 Corvette. An astronaut seated in the Corvette then begins descending through Earth's atmosphere, landing in a desert canyon.
There wasn’t a more seditious movie you could watch as a kid growing up in the 1980s than Heavy Metal, a film that not only relished in its sex, drugs, and rock and roll, but was animated, too. The collection of a handful of hand-drawn sci-fi vignettes are loosely connected by an evil, glowing green ball which tells its story (huh?) to a young girl it soon plans to kill. Some of the stories are funny. Some are gruesome. Some look cool. Some are drawn terribly. All of it amounts to a graphic, guilty pleasure that features a soundtrack from the era’s biggest rock groups. And, uh, Stevie Nicks. Anyone from the era will love it, while everyone else simply won’t get it at all.