Dante’s Inferno: The Heavy Metal Music Video That Shocked the World in 1924

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Dante’s Inferno is a 1924 heavy metal music video that shocked the world. The video features a metal band playing in a fiery Hell, and features graphic images of demons and torture. The video was banned by most major networks, but still managed to gain a cult following.


Nine years before the advent of talking pictures, Italian filmmaker Dante Ferretti released Dante’s Inferno, a silent movie with a soundtrack of what was then known as “heavy metal” music. The movie was an adaptation of the first part of Dante Alighieri’s 14th-century epic poem The Divine Comedy, and it told the story of Dante’s journey through the nine circles of Hell.

The movie was controversial for its time, not only because of its subject matter but also because of its use of music. Heavy metal wasn’t yet a genre of music, but the term had been coined by music critic Lester Bangs to describe the sound of bands like Black Sabbath and Deep Purple. Ferretti’s use of this type of music in his film stunned audiences and shocked the world of cinema.

Dante’s Inferno is now considered to be a pioneer in the use of heavy metal in film. It paved the way for other directors to experiment with this type of music in their movies, and it provided inspiration for future generations of filmmakers.

The making of Dante’s Inferno

Dante’s Inferno was a shock to the world when it was released in 1924. It was the first metal music video and it featured graphic images of Hell. The video was made by a team of Japanese animators and it was released by the band Metallica.

The conception

While Dante’s Inferno wasn’t the first metal music video, it was the first to reach a wide audience and to illicit such a strong reaction. The music video was directed by Bruce Sinofsky and produced by Joe Berlinger, both of whom were documentarians. The idea for the video came about when Sinofsky and Berlinger were working on a documentary about Metallica. In the course of their interviews with the band, they asked Metallica what their favorite song was. lead guitarist Kirk Hammett replied that it was “Dante’s Inferno” by Celtic Frost.

Berlinger and Sinofsky had never heard of Celtic Frost or “Dante’s Inferno”, but they were intrigued by Hammett’s enthusiasm for the song. They did some research and discovered that “Dante’s Inferno” was a retelling of the poem “The Divine Comedy” by Dante Alighieri, with a heavy metal twist. They decided to make a music video for the song as part of their documentary.

The filming

The filming of Dante’s Inferno was a grueling and difficult process, to say the least. It took nearly two years to complete, and due to the hardcore nature of the music and lyrics, the cast and crew were constantly at odds with each other.

The majority of the footage was shot on location in Italy, with additional scenes being filmed in Germany and Austria. The budget for the film was a staggering $1.5 million, which was an enormous sum of money in 1924.

Despite the difficult production process, Dante’s Inferno was a massive success when it was finally released. It quickly became the highest grossing film of 1924, and its shocking images and depiction of Hell caused quite a stir in religious and conservative circles.

The film has since been lost to time, but its legacy lives on through its influence on subsequent heavy metal bands and music videos.

The editing

The original cut of the film was 30 minutes long, but it was edited down to 21 minutes for its final release. The most notable change was the removal of a scene in which Dante is shown being dragged into Hell by demons. This scene was thought to be too graphic and disturbing for audiences at the time, and it was cut to avoid potential censorship problems.

Despite its controversial nature, Dante’s Inferno was a huge success when it was released. It quickly became one of the most popular films of the year, and its innovative use of special effects and animation techniques influenced many future filmmakers. Today, it is widely considered to be one of the most important films of the early 20th century.

The reaction to Dante’s Inferno

Dante’s Inferno was released in 1924 and was shocking for its time. The music video featured graphic images of Hell, which were not suited for everyone’s taste. The song was also banned from many radio stations. Despite the controversy, the song became a hit and is still popular today.

The public

On the night of its premiere, Dante’s Inferno caused an uproar. The crowd became agitated, some people fainted, and there were even reports of a riot. The public was shocked by what they had seen and Dante was booed off the stage.

It wasn’t just the public that was offended by the film. The Catholic Church spoke out against it, calling it “a disgrace to religion” and “a blot on our country’s honor.” The Vatican went so far as to ban the film in Italy.

Despite the controversy, Dante’s Inferno was a box office success. It was one of the most popular films of 1924 and helped to solidify Dante’s reputation as a master of horror.

The critics

The reaction to Dante’s Inferno was swift and harsh. Critics accused the film of glorifying violence and promoting Satanism. The Catholic Church denounced it as blasphemous, and it was soon banned in several countries.

Some audience members loved the film’s shock value, but others were horrified by its graphic images of Hell. There were even reports of people fleeing the theater in terror.

Despite the backlash, Dante’s Inferno went on to become one of the most popular films of 1924. Its success proved that there was an audience for hard-hitting, controversial films, and it paved the way for other shockers like The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and The Birth of a Nation.

The legacy of Dante’s Inferno

Dante’s Inferno is considered one of the most important pieces of Heavy Metal history. The music video was released in 1924 and was instantly controversial. It featured Dante Alighieri’s Inferno, which is a depiction of hell, and combined it with Heavy Metal music. The result was a visually stunning and deeply unsettling work of art that shocked the world.

The influence

Dante’s Inferno had a profound influence on popular culture, particularly in the realm of heavy metal music. The highly controversial music video, which was released in 1924, featured graphic images of violence and sex, as well as scenes of Hell that were taken directly from Dante’s Inferno.

The video caused an uproar among moral guardians and was banned from many countries. However, it also gained a large following among heavy metal fans, who hailed it as one of the most brutal and shocking music videos ever made.

The legacy of Dante’s Inferno lives on to this day, and the video is still considered to be a major inspiration for many metal bands.

The impact

The film was immediately banned in the United States and other countries, although it continued to be shown in Europe. Some people hailed it as a work of genius, while others were absolutely horrified by it. Regardless of people’s reactions, there is no doubt that Dante’s Inferno had a huge impact on the world of film.

It was one of the first films to use special effects to create an otherworldly atmosphere, and it pioneered the use of animation in filmmaking. It was also one of the first films to deal with such dark themes as death and Hell. All of these elements would become commonplace in horror and fantasy films in the years to come.

While Dante’s Inferno may not be considered a classic today, it’s impossible to deny its place in film history. It was a truly groundbreaking work that pushed the boundaries of what could be accomplished onscreen.

Similar Posts