This is the best documentary I have ever seen. Anvil is the real life Spinal Tap, the ones that never made it. You are rooting for these 50 year old rockers from beginning to end. I am a Metalhead and I hadn't heard of them until this film. If you like Metal - go out buy their albums - they deserve the money.
Now back to the movie review. The story follows the remaining two original members, Steve 'Lips' Kudlow and Robb Reiner, as they set out on a European tour based off of what some crazy European fan set up. Europe is the stronghold of metal so they should be loved over there right? Some shows are packed while many others are not. They miss trains, have to sleep in their tiny camper, everything that could go wrong does, and you just feel for these guys. There is an incident towards the end in Prague, where they don't get paid for a full set, and during one gig five people show up and one dude just headbangs from his chair.
After that month long debacle, they return home to Canada in search of the right people to produce their 13th album. They get the producer and the cash but no label wants them, so they sell it themselves like true metalheads. Then in the third act they get a call to play a show in Tokyo for hundreds of screaming fans, which makes you leave the theater feeling Anvil might actually make it yet on their own terms.
In a long line of band documentaries, Anvil, stands out because they weren't on top of the world. It's better then Some Kind of Monster because Metallica didn't need to come back from bass player Jason Newstead's departure; they have millions or dollars. Kudlow has to work as a school cafeteria distributor, so the sense of urgency and perseverance is there through out the film. It's funny, sad, inspiring, awesome, and brutal all rolled into one.
The reason they are still struggling isn't because of their sound, it's because they never had the right people in their corner with them; they have had only the love and support of their families and fans. In the beginning, they have famous metal players singing their praises, which left me was upset at those artists for not helping Anvil out by bringing them on tour, although they claim to love the band.
Kudlow and Reiner are the two best characters a documentary maker could ask for. They are also the nicest people to ever come out of Canada who deserve fame and fortune. Even if you don't like Metal, go see this film. You can't hate these guys - they can teach us all a lot about being humble. It's a great story about humanity and being true to the ideals you grew up with.
Two metal horns way up for this one. Find it when it rolls into your town or wait for the DVD.