Director: Gerald Potterton
Stars: Harvey Atkin, Jackie Burroughs, John Candy, Eugene Levy, Marilyn Lightstone, Harold Ramis

The comic book movies that hit theaters now are about as edgy as the Ice Capades, but 1981's Heavy Metal showed people that the world of underground comics is a very dangerous place indeed. Based on the comic magazine of the same name, Heavy Metal is an animated anthology flick with multiple characters and plots, each more depraved and violent than the next. Heavy Metal also introduced far-out sci-fi ideas and dazzling animation that gave credibility to some of its more crude fanboy elements.

Movies like Heavy Metal don't get made anymore. There's an element of danger here, as if the creators and writers behind the movie were all trying to one-up each other in terms of shock value. From the seedy streets of a futuristic Earth to the far reaches of space, Heavy Metal challenges audiences to look at animation as a way to tell stories that don't just feature cutesy talking animals or colorful superheroes. —JS