This YouTube series about a wannabe roadie named Mitch is as funny as it awesome and features tunes from Possessed, Protest the Hero, Cancer Bats, Mount Cyanide, KEN Mode, Carcass, Powertrip, Exciter, and more.
Banger Films has established itself as one of the quintessential production companies when it comes to music culture – especially for rock and metal.
Lead by Sam Dunn and Scot McFadyen, the company has released landmark documentaries like Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey, Super Duper Alice Cooper, Iron Maiden: Flight 666, and Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage. They’ve also created series Metal Evolution and Hip-Hop Evolution, which act as deep dives into the origins, history and ongoing influence of those respective genres.
In 2011, the company launched their YouTube channel, BangerTV, which mostly consists of music news, album reviews, interviews, and concert footage. Heavy Metal Hitchhiker is one of their first forays into scripted comedy, and its blasts of genuine hilarity and surprising heart – combined, of course, with delicious, delicious metal riffs – make you wish there were only more of it to watch.
Directed by Marc Ricciardelli, who also wrote the series alongside comedian Garret Jamieson, Heavy Metal Hitchhiker is the story of a lone gas station attendant named Mitch (played by Jamieson). Mitch may look like your average metal bro – he’s stocky, sports a thick beard, a Death Angel beanie and a jean jacket covered in band patches and buttons – but he’s really a teddy bear. He has a gentle voice and is easily excitable when he starts talking about music, a passion that ends up serving him well as a single day changes his life forever.
While at work one day, a roadie named Nick (Robert Blake) stops by to fill up. Mitch recognizes that he works for RÄGR, who just so happen to be Mitch’s favorite band. Nick ends up leaving behind a RÄGR guitar at the gas station, and Mitch, who’s never done much of anything with his life, makes it his mission to safely deliver the guitar to the band before the show that evening. The only problem is, he has no transportation and no money. With only his guts and knowledge of all things metal, Mitch embarks on a hitchhiking journey, following in the footsteps of his long-lost father, a legendary roadie named The Eagle.
The series is relentlessly funny and exceptionally clever. A lot of the jokes have smart wordplay and double entendres, and Jamieson’s completely sincere deliveries supply plenty of laughs. Mitch runs into all sorts of wacky characters while out on the road, and he has to learn the rules pretty quickly if he hopes to save the day. From spoofing The Blair Witch Project to getting lost in the woods with a pair of Limp Bizkit-loving hunters (“Bizkit and Korn, that is one tasty nu metal buffet.”) Heavy Metal Hitchhiker will be especially hilarious to metal fans, but also proves itself to be funny and accessible no matter what kind of music you love.
The series also features plenty of headbanging goodness, with music from Possessed, Protest the Hero, Cancer Bats, Mount Cyanide, KEN Mode, Carcass, Powertrip, Exciter, and many more. All eight episodes are currently available to watch on the BangerTV YouTube channel, and here’s hoping we get a second season very soon! Something tells me Mitch’s adventures are only getting started.