A Movie A Day #179: Heavy Metal Parking Lot (1986, directed by Jeff Krulik and John Heyn)


Everyone remembers the Zebraman.

In 1986, two aspiring filmmakers, Jeff Krulik and John Heyn drove down to the Capital Center in Landover, Maryland and interviewed several Judas Priest fans (and, to be fair, a few lost souls who were there for Dokken) who were tailgating in the parking lot, before a concert.  Some of them were drunk.  Some of them were stoned.  Some of them were posers and some of them were genuine metalheads.  The end result was a 17-minute documentary called Heavy Metal Parking Lot.  In the days before YouTube, bootlegged VHS copies of this film made Heavy Metal Parking Lot into an underground classic.

In 17 minutes, Krulik and Heyn introduced viewers to several different fans.

There was this guy, who said his name was Graham, “as in gram of dope!,” and who had strong feelings about the legalization of drugs:

There was Michelle, who said she came from Mayberry, USA:

There were these people, who looked like the cast of every 80s teen comedy ever made:

There’s the Fuck Off Guy who says he plans to “get fucked up, drink a few beers, you know.”

There’s even this loser:

But the one that everyone remembers is Zebraman, a young man wearing a zebra-print jumpsuit who, fueled by alcohol, shares some thoughts on punk rock:

He followed up with some thoughts on Madonna:

13 years later, in 1999, Krulik and Heyn tracked down the famous Zebraman for a “Where Are They Now” update.  When they found him, living in a nice house in the suburbs, they discovered that not only did he not know that he had become an underground cult star but that he also no longer listened to heavy metal.  Zebraman described himself as being a country music fan:

Zebraman, grown up.

Both Heavy Metal Parking Lot and Heavy Metal Parking Lot Alumni: Where Are They Now? can be viewed on YouTube.

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