Krulik finds tenderness and good intentions lurking amidst the hedonistic partying. After a fan was killed in a recent auto accident, his mother wrote to the band’s management and scored concert tickets for the victim’s friends, who stand outside with a banner dedicated to their deceased pal. “Timmy Loves Judas Priest,” reads the cloth sign. Finally, “Heavy Metal Parking Lot” concludes with some footage of the band cranking out “Headin’ Out to the Highway.” After the music fades, it’s back to blue collar jobs and trailer courts for the movie’s well-satiated rockers.
However, it’s here that the true legend of “Heavy Metal Parking Lot” begins. Since Krulik and Heyn edited the film and dubbed off copies to friends while living in Washington D.C. and working in public television, their creation has become the Frankenstein’s Monster of cult short films. “In 1994,” he explains, “John got a call from Sofia Coppola, who had rented a copy in L.A. at a video store. The tapes were actually being sold and circulated — unofficially — by such music and video outlets across the country. By that time, we had pretty much shelved the film, thinking of it as just an amusing little novelty. Then other celebrities, like Belinda Carlyle and Nirvana, started inquiring about it as well. We realized that the movie had really struck a nerve with people.” Allegedly, there are more bootlegged copies of “Heavy Metal Parking Lot” floating around than the infamous Pamela Anderson/Tommy Lee sex tapes.
More recently, the Def America band American Hi-Fi lifted imagery from Krulik’s film and incorporated it into their video, “Flavor of the Week.” The mannerisms and fashion choices of key characters are pilfered in this tale of a slutty rocker chick being jilted by her big-hair boyfriend, amidst souped-up Chevys and drunken rockers roaming across an asphalt jungle identical to that featured in “Heavy Metal Parking Lot”. “They never approached us or asked permission,” says Krulik.
Meanwhile, the director revisited the Capital Center parking lot ten years after their first bout of trailing unsuspecting music fans. This time, however, the vibe was significantly different – Neil Diamond was in town. Instead of Camaros, the lot was jammed with SUV’s. A tuxedo-clad man in a wheelchair is spotted sipping Diet Coke from a red cooler. A gaggle of women congregate next to the auditorium with roses destined for Mr. Diamond’s stage. When asked why their husbands and boyfriends aren’t with them, the fiftysomething group responds in unison, “Because we don’t have any!” Still, the lusty air of sexual energy remains much like it did when metalheads congregated here a decade ago. When a middle-aged blonde talks of wanting to get friendly with her crooning idol, an onlooker cackles, “Go for it, girl!” Way past adolescence, the hormones are still active in Maryland.
Other amateur filmmakers have gotten into the act and filmed similar parking lot homages. Raver Bathroom. Harry Potter Sidewalk. Girl Power Parking Lot. The list goes on.
Although the director maintains a professional, informative web site dedicated to his cult classics, complete with information of how to buy merchandise and other mail-order items, he confesses that “Heavy Metal Parking Lot” has never been very profitable. To remedy this, Krulik is currently negotiating the production of a feature film. “We’ve got a concept that will include a reunion of the original people featured in the film,” he explains. “We have positive ID’s on twelve of them, from people who sent their yearbooks, or went to school with them. The idea for the movie is a weird combination of ‘Schindler’s List’ meets ‘Rock ‘n Roll High School.’ Or in the spirit of Wayne’s World. Anything is possible.”
Sounds metal. Beaming off of Planet Krulik with a flash of the devil’s hand sign and a raised cigarette lighter flickering to the heavens.
Get more info from Jeff Krulik’s site and visit the site for Heavy Metal Parking Lot.
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