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[NOTE: This post was initially published in September of 2010, but as this week marks the 25th birthday of Heavy Metal Parking Lot, we owe it to ourselves—and you—to repost it as a reminder of the greatness that happened in Landover, Maryland, on that seminal day.]

Directed by John Heyn and Jeff Krulik, Heavy Metal Parking Lot is a flat-out life-changer, a bona fide documentary masterpiece if there ever was such a thing. You don’t have to be familiar with the Capital Center in Landover, Maryland, or need to have grown up in the DC Beltway area to grasp the magic of the Maryland accents—and 1980s style—on display. Just sit back, relax, press play, and let your eyes widen and jaw slacken as Heavy Metal Parking Lot revisits an unforgettably sloppy tailgating session before a 1986 Judas Priest/Dokken concert. (On a personal note, the Cap Center is where I attended many sporting events as an adolescent and most of my concerts as a teenager—though they were of the hip-hop variety—so this film holds an extra special place in my heart.)

Even if you’ve seen this film as many times as I have, that’s no excuse not to watch it again. And if you somehow haven’t ever seen Heavy Metal Parking Lot, while I can’t quite fathom that, I will forgive you as long as you watch it right now:

— Michael Tully

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Michael Tully was born and raised in Maryland and now lives on Tennis Court in Brooklyn. His most recent narrative feature, Septien, world-premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and was picked up for distribution by Sundance Selects. In addition to directing Cocaine Angel (2006) and Silver Jew (2007), he is also a proud alumni of Filmmaker Magazine's annual "25 New Faces of Independent Film" club (2006). Visit his indieWIRE blog Boredom at its Boredest——for more sporadic personal updates.

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