“Heavy Metal Parking Lot” was directed by John Heyn and Jeff Krulik, the film was shot in the parking lot of the Capital Centre arena in Landover, Maryland, before a Judas Priest concert on May 31, 1986.
The fact that we’re still talking about this “documentary” today is amazing. It’s basically a couple guys walking around the parking lot before the Judas Priest/Dokken concert asking hard hitting questions like “are you dressed up for a concert?”. It’s only 17 minutes long and doesn’t really have a point other than exposing how drunk people used to be able to get in public in 1986.
It’s often been used to claim that Heavy Metal fans are drunken fools and uneducated idiots. And while there are certainly your fair share of them out there, I’m sure the editing took the best of the best and the drunkest of the drunk. The most offensive thing you’ll hear is the rapid fire cussing, which tends to be fueled by copious amounts of booze.
We must remember this is pre-internet and cellphones. You rarely saw a video camera back then, so when you did you simply acted different than we do now. You’re also filming in a “safe place” so to speak where anything goes, you’re having a good time, you’re trying to impress your friend and you’re a teenager, it’s the recipe for some great footage.
There’s still the elitists at places like NPR and Rolling Stone who have always hated Heavy Metal and it’s fanbase. They’ve never understood that it’s ok to have “fun” and listen to loud music that promotes living free and just enjoying yourself. They wouldn’t consider these people sophisticated or worthy of having as friends.
As much as I dislike Country music, you’ll find a similar style audience at their shows. In fact, many of these kids moved on to Country in the 90’s as it promoted the same type of “good time” and freedom. It’s ok to get away from all your problems sometimes and have some fun, and that’s what “Heavy Metal Parking Lot” was all about.
It’s a great warmup for “The Decline of Western Civilization Part II – The Metal Years“, which was also used in some part to make Rock fans look stupid. “Spinal Tap” would be a great way to top off the night. And for the fancy people who have their noses in the air, the joke’s on them. Yeah, we totally “get it” and we actually love the fact we’re looked down on as drunken buffoons, your snobbery actually fuels our fire.