DVD: Anvil (15)
Friday 12 June 2009
In 1982, Anvil, a heavy metal band from Canada, released an album, Metal on Metal, that influenced the future stars of the genre: Metallica, Slayer and Anthrax among others.
A quarter of a century on and the members of Anvil, now all in their fifties, live in obscurity in Toronto, doing menial jobs to make ends meet and support their families. But they have never stopped dreaming about the fame and fortune that has eluded them, yet once seemed close enough to touch.
There is the obvious debt to Spinal Tap, but this is real life. The only thing to assure you that we are in documentary territory here (as opposed to "mockumentary") is the old footage of the band rocking out in the 1980s. So, after an introduction from some of metals' biggest names, we follow Anvil's last ditch effort at stardom, as they record a self-funded album and embark on a poorly organised tour of Europe that will break your heart a little bit.
It's not all sad, though; at times it's hilariously funny and the band are never patronised for their ambition. These free-thinking old-timers are celebrated for daring to dream big.
It helps that their lead singer, Steve "Lips" Kudlow, is a great raconteur and really one of the sweetest men to ever sport a bondage harness. A poignant love letter to family, following your dreams, and, of course, rock'n' roll.
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