Heavy Metal Jr.

There have been plenty of documentaries made about beauty pageant parents and soccer moms and dads, with typically disturbing results. The parents in Heavy Metal Jr. may be almost as over-the-top as most talent-pushing guardians, but rather than being creepy, these folks are ridiculous to the point of hilarity.

This is the story of five pre-teens in Scotland who start a hard-rock band called Hatred. While the kids seem happy to play Black Sabbath covers, the lead singer’s dad, who takes over as their manager, feels that for their first big gig they should be playing all originals. This short film documents what a struggle it is for a bunch of boys under the age of 12 to write their own songs with a limited amount of time and enthusiasm. The manager-slash-father is clearly more into it than anyone else, and this is most obvious in a priceless scene when he takes a wide-legged rock stance in the middle of the boys’ practice space and belts the band’s lyrics, attempting to show them how it’s done. “Listen to my voice!” he sings, a little less like Ozzy Osbourne and a little more like Tom Jones. If Dad wasn’t enough, Mom proves to be even more clueless when she gets involved in the costuming. It’s a family affair that may not be heartwarming, but it is hilarious. (Lindsay Gibb)

Dir. Chris Waitt