Heavy Metal Parking Lot

Heavy Metal Parking Lot, a mid-'80s film documenting lifeforms that once orbited around Judas Priest concerts, has been circulating on shitty-quality VHS bootlegs for years. I just watched it for the first time last night -- and it blowed mah mahnd. BB friends Coop + Ruth turned us on to it, and the film recently became available on DVD (along with Neil Diamond Parking Lot, and lots of other good stuff). Zebraman FTW!

Amazon Link for DVD purchase.

Update: Oh dear god there are ringtones.


  1. American Hi-Fi did a great job referencing this (love the band name slipped into Zebraman’s list):

  2. For anyone that’s enjoyed this video, keep an eye open for a new documentary on Iron Maiden.

    Un like this video, some 20 years later the crowds have not changed a bit. Though on the Canadian show they did not go shirt less, in fear of having their nipples freeze off.

  3. I agree with #1. Its nice to have a good quality copy of the video, but the extras (and sequels) are pretty bad. Mine was a xmas gift, and I still felt it was a lackluster package.

  4. There was also a similar documentary filmed entirely in a rave bathroom, called “Raver Bathroom”. Not sure which film is scarier.

  5. anything that was traded “bootleg-style” for a long period of time never retains much of its charm when “officially released.”

    still….Heavy Metal Parking Lot totally rules, dude!

  6. the co director of heavy metal parking lot is a guy named jeff krulik who has consistently made amazing films over his entire career. his movie hitlers hat made me laugh and cry in a span of a few minutes. and pretty much everything he has done is wonderful. he also is a great guy and remembered exactly who I was when I ran into him over a year after briefly meeting him.


  7. During my short stay in the cinema department back at school, there were two other shortish documentaryish films that, along with Heavy Metal Parking Lot, completed my holy blowed mah mahnd trinity. They are “These Hands” by Flora M’mbugu-Schelling, about female African refugees working in a quarry, and “First Contact” by Anderson and Connolly, about the first contact between a tribe of New Guinean natives and a white film crew.

  8. It’s been years since I saw this video. I remember hearing about it from people before I got a VHS copy, and it lived up to the hype. Now I’m having weird nostalgia for the original nostalgia I got when I first saw the video.

  9. My peeps (like it or not)!!

    Times have changed. Can “kids” gather in a parking lot like that today, drinking beer, etc., and not be immediately hassled by “the man”?

    Also, was the twenty-year-old guy at the beginning who was about to go into the Air Force with a thirteen-year-old? Did I hear here correctly??

  10. Great stuff I remember seeing bits and pieces of this ova’ time, xeni thanks for ticklin’ our fancies, lol. ha ha ha great stuff. lol.

  11. @Matt Staggs:”Waiting for Hipster Douchebag Parking Lot….”:

    Then come to my town, NYC, and you can see more than a parking lot full, you can see a whole island full :/

    And, yes, I love Judas Priest :)

  12. Portland Oregon also has a shocking surfeit of hipster douche bags, to use the kind in indelicate epithet perhaps favored by fans of metal.

  13. I saw this video in its first public showing at a record convention in 1986. I was one of the first 100 people to see it ever and was still in high school.

    What people may not fully understand is that the people featured in the video were strange early-1980s anachronisms in 1986. The joke was, what kind of weirdo sees Judas Priest in 1986 when Metallica, Megadeth, and related bands were the forefront of heavy metal? I mean, the priest were the New Wave of British Heavy Metal circa 1981. In 1986 people were listening to, I remember, Voivod and speedcore bands.

    Jeff Krulik is a national treasure.

  14. The scary part about this is that all those people in that parking lot are now 40 and still completely in the dark. I myself still go to see Metallica and Ministry and all the other heavy M-bands — but who the heck goes to Judas Priest??? I’m just sayin…

  15. Oh, this film is a classic! My local store has a tape with a bunch of Krulik films. Pure awesomeness. My husband and are are thinking about making one called “boat launch parking lot,” there’s always a lot of entertainment there.

  16. I saw this on Trio a few years ago (when Trio was still on the air..) Its STILL on my TIVO today..

  17. The DVD also has “Travels with Ernest”, where Ernest Borgnine talks about his role in “Devil’s Rain”.

  18. Heard all the hype about this, so I rented it. Wow. Absolutely overrated. I can’t believe it would blow anyone’s mind. Totally boring – and I had friends that were into Priest and metal back then.

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