“Heavy metal rules, all this punk sh** sucks, doesn’t belong in this world. It belongs on f***ing mars man!”
“I mean, heavy metal DEFINITELY rules.”
What are the odds of you not agreeing with these words nowadays? Aside from hating punk music which is a solid music pillar since long ago. In 1986 heavy metal became the most popular music in the whole world, and the scene of skin tight jeans on long haired boys and bikes holding a bearded gentleman with a hot wild lady behind him became a normal in numerous places around the globe. Kids flashing the “devil horns” and playing air guitar with a bottle of booze in hand also became a remarkable sight to highlight this era.
Still, not everybody was happy about that, lawsuits and trials were held against the heavy metal Gods of this era such as Mötley Crüe, Twisted Sister, and many more. So enough with the details and let’s look at it from a movie go-er point of view. Curiosity, was what brought me to watch this movie, though I don’t like documentaries that much, but truth be told it’s too entertaining and teasing. I mean come on! All those stars and tell me you will not be interested in seeing them talk outside the make-up and spotlights. Not just that, but they discuss your favorite music from their perspective.
This movie was the production of Sam Dunn, a Canadian musician, a film director, and an anthropologist whose work focuses on the culture of heavy metal. Together with co-director Scot McFadyen, Dunn owns the Toronto based production company Banger Films, Inc. Dunn holds a Master’s degree in Anthropology from York University where his thesis work centered on Guatemalan refugees.
The film follows Dunn on a journey to document the origins, culture and appeal of heavy metal. It also explores the themes of heavy metal- violence, death, religion and Satanism, gender and sexuality. The documentary featured interviews with some really heavy names in the industry such as Angela Gossow from Arch Enemy, Randy Blythe & Mark Morton from Lamb of God, DIO from Dio, Black Sabbath, Bruce Dickinson from Iron Maiden, Lemmy from Motörhead, and the list goes on and on.
From the first few scenes you are caught up into the movie as he backs up his story with self-narrated scenes regarding the era and dilemma discussed. Not just that, but to put a spotlight of justice over his – our – cause he asks for the professional help of numerous producers, writers, and musicologists who aren’t actually metal heads at all; hovering through the rises and falls of heavy metal from an academic perspective new to people’s taste.
The movie goes fine between the academic scale and passion very smoothly and efficiently as he delivers metal’s point of view through flowchart kinda-like method, backed up with narrative explanations of academic personas, then delivered to audience by the words of their own stars. Cleverly put to balance the criticism he might face. And faced.
According to Wikipedia, The film received mostly positive reviews. It currently holds an 90% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with an average rating of 6.9/10 and the critical consensus being:
“Made by a metalhead, this documentary of the musical genre both informs and entertains with its range of interviewees.”
Also some brief controversy arose over the film’s depiction of black metal, which many fans of the genre saw as being one-sided and biased during a screening documented in the film. In the special features to the DVD of the film, Dunn attempted a restitution to the concerns of the black metal fans by including an additional feature.
Highly recommended, exceptionally entertaining picks of the soundtrack, goes deeper into the “music” disregarding the life style. Enjoy!