I just got in from dinner and a movie with my friend Pepper. We went to see “Anvil: The Story of Anvil“. It’s a documentary film about a heavy metal band from the 1980s that never quite made it but, now in their 50s, is still dreaming about becoming famous rock stars.
As you might guess, the movie was at times inspirational and at times depressing. Honestly, it’s a great film and I highly recommend it but there are times when it is hard to watch. It’s a live, honest-to-God “Spinal Tap”. It’s like an over-the-top caricature of a past-their-prime rock band still trying to make it big. Just as in “Spinal Tap”, the band is huge in Japan. It’s laughable. But these are very real people. Sometimes it becomes way too real. It’s painful.
In the beginning of the film, you follow these guys on a disastrous tour through Europe and you just want them to succeed. You want to see them make it. But you can see the huge trainload of fail coming their way. You know it’s going to be bad. You know it’s going to be ugly. You hurt for these guys. You want to turn away and hide your face. But you can’t. You just can’t.
Through all the setbacks and failures, though, these guys keep on trying and from thence comes the inspiration. Many of people would’ve given up years ago and almost everyone around them has given up on them.
But they don’t quit. And from that never-say-die attitude comes this film, a film that, even if you haven’t heard of it, got a lot of critical press. Apparently, it’s given the band a new life. The film follows the recording of their 13th album. A quick trip to their website shows them working on number 14. Whatever else happens, they’ve done well enough to keep on playing.
If you get a chance, go see the movie. You might not like metal music but I promise you will not see a story with more humanity in it this year.
You also will probably not see another movie this year that has a guy playing a guitar with a rubber penis. “Cause this movie has that. I don’t want anyone complaining that I didn’t warn them.
Because I clearly have.