Published Apr 02, 2009Spinal Tap director Rob Reiner is a genius, a modern day Nostradamus. He unwittingly predicted the reality and severity of heavy metal 30 years ago. In fact, while his rockumentary was haunting theatres in the early '80s, Toronto's metallic stalwarts Anvil were rockin' out to 60,000 Japanese fans, showing up many of their multi-platinum selling cohorts.
Yet while Spinal Tap went on to become a legendary film, Anvil fell to the wayside due to a series of bad decisions and worse luck. Eventually, much of the world thought they had dissolved into obscurity.
That is, until full-length documentary Anvil! The Story Of Anvil. Old school fan/director Sacha Gervasi (The Terminal) follows our beloved creators of seminal albums Hard'N'Heavy and Metal On Metal from formation through to today, revealing the very Spinal Tap quality of the current Anvil.
From performing to local bar patrons and struggling at shitty day jobs through a hope-inducing European tour that falls apart, recording 13th album This Is Thirteen in anticipation of re-establishing themselves and finally reaping rewards for never quitting, we witness the after-effects of Anvil's 30-year saga as heavy metal originators, veterans and eventually, forgotten soldiers despite never stopping.
More importantly, Anvil! The Story Of Anvil is a testament to guitarist Steve "Lips" Kudlow and drummer Robb Reiner's undying commitment to their craft and each other, confirmed by heartfelt interviews with the likes of Anthrax, Motörhead, Slash, Metallica and Slayer, who gladly boast about Anvil's influence on their sound/style.
No, it's not as heart wrenching as say, an anodized Lady And The Tramp, yet Anvil! The Story Of Anvil is easily one of the most compelling rock docs in years. By film's end, one would be hard-pressed not to feel a tinge of reward, pride or pleasure at seeing Anvil respected, if not yet back on top. (Films We Like)