DVD review – Anvil: The Story of Anvil
Heavy metal band Anvil, which played at Rocklahoma this year, has undergone something of a revival since appearing in “Anvil: The Story of Anvil,” a film that presents the hard-rocking group as a real-life Spinal Tap. Director Rob Reiner’s parody film “This Is Spinal Tap,” about a heavy metal band, is brought to mind several times in “Anvil.” Coincidentally, Anvil’s drummer is named Robb Reiner.
Robb Reiner and high school pal Steve “Lips” Kudlow formed Anvil in the late 1970s and by the early 1980s seemed on the cusp of stardom. The band’s 1982 release “Metal on Metal” influenced bands including Anthrax and Metallica. But Anvil never reached the top of the charts. The film, by Sacha Gervasi, explores the now 50-something founders of Anvil as they still struggle to find fame as rock stars.
Gervasi follows the band on a comedy-of-errors European tour and chronicles the band’s efforts to get a new album together. The passion and humanity shown by Kudlow and Reiner as they struggle to keep this enterprise together makes “Anvil” one of the best rock documentaries of all time.
It’s funny in places but also heartbreaking as it reminds viewers about the tenacity and sacrifices required to go for one’s dreams.
— Matthew Price
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