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Movie Review: Anvil: The Story of Anvil
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Anvil: The Story of Anvil
Directed by Sacha Gervasi
Starring Robb Reiner, Steve “Lips” Kudlow
Not rated
Release date: April 10, 2009 (limited)

Keep on pounding
Keep on pounding
Join the heavy metal fight

Ah, now that’s a mantra I can easily adopt.

Earlier this month, veteran metal band Anvil brought their heavy metal fight to New York City’s Blender Theater, where they played a short set of four songs in support of the film Anvil! The Story of Anvil, a documentary about the two founding members of the band and their decades-long struggle to recapture the glory of their early years in the 1980s.

Since its debut at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2008, the Anvil film has been a surprise hit with critics, nearly all of whom likened the documentary to director Rob Reiner’s 1984 musical mockumentary This Is Spinal Tap. As with the fictional Spinal Tap, Anvil had their 15 minutes of fame back in the early 1980s — before bands like Metallica made their way to the top of the speed metal pile — then spent the subsequent years in obscurity with low record sales and poor concert attendance. Anvil director Sacha Gervasi (best known for his script for Steven Spielberg’s The Terminal) was smart to hone in on the similarities between the bands by showing us an amp that goes to 11 (plus, Anvil’s drummer’s name is Robb Reiner), because it gave viewers, most of whom never even heard of Anvil, a reference point. But while Spinal Tap kept us laughing with their stupidity and their attempts to constantly reinvent themselves with current music trends, Anvil tugs at our heartstrings by staying true to themselves and to their heavy metal roots.

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