Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Metalocalypse: "Dethcamp"

Illustration for article titled Metalocalypse: "Dethcamp"

Once again, Toki is at the center of an episode of Metalocalypse, which automatically has a sweetening effect, which is ironic, since Toki is diabetic. (Plot point!) The last time Toki was the major player in an episode, he managed to outshine Skwisgaar as guitarist and was briefly coarsened and corrupted by power. That doesn’t happen this time, though he does tell the crowd at a rock fantasy camp where he’s been bullied that he’s a real rock star, not a pretend one, and they can all go to hell. It’s about as assertive as Toki ever gets, and good for him. I wouldn’t have minded much if he’d hit them with a flame thrower.

Toki, incognito, attends the Rock-A-Roonie Fantasy Camp, “where regular dildos hang out and play with rock stars,” because he’s hoping to make friends. Even my cat went “Awwwww” when he said this, and my cat wouldn’t care if I hung myself in the bathtub, so long as I opened a can of food first. His departure comes at the same time that Offdensen has to be away on business; he leaves Nathan and Pickles in charge, telling them they’re clearly “the most responsible” members of the group, to which Nathan replies, “Well, [bleep!] you too.” Nathan sends Toki on his way, loaded down with his teddy bear, toothpaste, Pentagram Crackers, Dante’s Inferno Seven Levels Of Hell coloring book, set of finger paints, My Little Disembodied Pony lunch box, and his insulin and needles, which Loki needs to carry with him at all times, because he’s diabetic, which is a plot point. Meanwhile, Skwisgaar and Murderface plot to take advantage of the absence of Offdensen and the little “diabetic baby tattletale” by loading up on whipped cream and other sugary treats and watching The Faces Of Death. This ends the way anyone would have predicted. “Guy, guys,” Pickles says to the trembling forms huddling in the doorway to his bedroom. “What do I always tell you about eating too much chocolate and watching scary movies?” “You say don’t do it,” Murderface wails, “but we did! It doesn’t matter now, it’s already happened!”

At camp, Toki makes an impassioned plea for understanding and friendship, reacting good-naturedly when a lout named Ludwig (“I am done. Clap!”) hits him upside the head with a well-thrown boot, and the crowd laughs. (“Heh. I can see you all gots some wonderful senses of humor.”) Not laughing is the intense, goateed counselor who volunteers Toki for the band he’ll be mentoring. This is Magnus Hammersmith, former Dethklok rhythm guitarist and a shadowy figure on the outskirts of the series; a flashback fills in the details of how he and the band parted ways, and let’s just say that “creative differences” were involved and a vow to exact revenge was made. Meanwhile, the Tribunal is struggling to wrap its head around the concept of a rock ‘n’ roll fantasy camp. “Friends and family,” the resident expert says, “will gaze upon your glory. You will invite those who doubted you in life so those motherfuckers can see what you really are: pretend rock stars!” Taking this all in, Stampingston says, “We shall wait to see what this ‘fantasy’ has to offer.” I can’t remember ever seeing him just throw up his hands like that before. Maybe he wanted to wrap up the meeting fast so he could pull up the camp’s website and see the earliest date for new applicants.

Clearly, this is a placeholder episode that could have been plunked down anywhere in the series. As such, it stops the momentum generated by a series of episodes that actually came together to tell some kind of story, and it stops it cold. I myself am kind of embarrassed at my disappointment over this, but damned if I hadn’t gotten caught up in the rush of events. (Vater Orlaag doesn’t even check in, as if nobody working on this one thought it was worth the trouble to phone Malcolm McDowell and ask if he could purr his voice-over. There is an introduction by Werner Herzog, but I think he sells those things by the yard.) It’s funny, though. And I can’t deny that I get a special warm, glowing feeling in my heart when I stagger off to bed after seeing Nathan, outlined against a blood-red moon, promising to leave some punk permanently maimed, out of love.