ANVIL: THE STORY OF ANVIL
MOVIE: **** (out of 5)
DVD EXPERIENCE: ***1/2 (out of 5)
Steve “Lips” Kudlow as HIMSELF
Robb Reiner as HIMSELF
Studio: VH1 Films
Directed by: Sacha Gervasi
BY KEVIN CARR
We all have our dreams, and some of us dream really big. Those who dare to dream big are faced with certain failure, but few of us get so close to achieving our dreams and fall short. This is exactly what happened to the Canadian metal band Anvil. They came on strong in the 1980s and even toured with some of the greats like the Scorpions, Whitesnake and Bon Jovi.
But where these others made it big, Anvil disappeared into obscurity… until Sacha Gervasi decided to profile them in the documentary “Anvil: The Story of Anvil.”
The movie takes a contemporary look at the greatest metal band that never was. In a way, the film is like a real-life “This Is Spinal Tap” without the mega-success in the beginning. Here we see a group of musicians that have a story which breaks your heart. But give them credit: they keep trying and trying and trying.
“Anvil: The Story of Anvil” reminds me of the cinematic profile “American Movie” more than it does “Spinal Tap.” It features similar larger-than-life characters who are fighting to make the dream but keep falling short. As much as “Anvil” is heartbreaking, it is also inspiring because finally these guys are getting some recognition.
The movie is as lighthearted as you can make a rockumentary about a metal band. While they have intimidating stage presence, these guys are sweet and loveable behind the scenes. They’re teddy bears, which might explain their inability to crack the acerbic nut of the music industry.
I’ve never been a huge fan of documentaries, but when a good one comes around, I will sing its praises, and “Anvil: The Story of Anvil” is one of those movies. It’s worth seeing because it’s as dramatic as movies come, and the characters are more real than anything you’ll see in a work of fiction. God love these guys, and I hope they keep trying.
The DVD comes with a commentary track featuring director Gervasi, along with Anvil veterans Lips Kudlow and Robb Reiner. There’s also an extended interview with Metallica’s Lars Ulrich about the band as well as some deleted scenes.