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Everybody remembers Heavy Metal Parking Lot, Jeff Krulik‘s seminal rock documentary about tailgaters outside a Judas Priest concert at the Capital Centre in 1986. But most probably haven’t seen Heavy Metal Picnic.
Krulik’s other documentary about an outdoor heavy metal concert in suburban Maryland premiered in 2010, years after metalhead Randy Childs initially gave him footage he shot in 1985. More than a few rejection letters later, the film hasn’t found too many film festivals that want to screen it. Here’s City Paper contributor Mike Riggs on Picnic, from a 2010 cover story about Krulik:
It is about Jeff Krulik. It is about revisiting a moment in someone else’s life that defined them in order to recreate a moment in Krulik’s life that defined him.
And this is why Heavy Metal Picnic is not Heavy Metal Parking Lot. Not only is it too personal, too thoughtful, and in some ways too sad to “go viral,” but it’s also too old to capture today’s zeitgeist. That was the whole point of Heavy Metal Parking Lot and its successors. By contrast, Heavy Metal Picnic is a guide to living one’s life once the monumental moments are over; when the epic field party you played before your band broke up is just a blurry memory and the accidentally great movie you released at the start of your film career is just a footnote in film history.
As per Krulik’s filmmaking style, the DVD comes with more than two hours of extras, which likely make up a big chunk of the material that Greg DeLiso edited down to stream-line Picnic. (And that’s not all: Krulik and DeLiso recorded commentary tracks, too!)
The DVD will set you back $15 online. According to Krulik, you can also pick one up at Joe’s Record Paradise in Silver Spring, Atomic Books in Baltimore, and on tour with Found Footage Festival.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery