This documentary about a never-quite-made-it-big Canadian metal band is so much like Spinal Tap that I had to double-check to make sure that I wasn’t being hoaxed. But, no, as far as I can tell, there really is a band called Anvil that had a moment of semi-stardom in the ’80s and then spent the next 20 years slogging it out with minor recordings and pathetic tours. The film follows them on their latest effort at making it big, as they depart their sad day jobs and put on their leathers for a tour of Europe. Their manager turns out to be incompetent; they play tiny, basement venues and then don’t get paid; in the end, it seems like all hope is lost. Then, in the distance, one hears the sounds of a crowd of Japanese metal fans banging their heads in mystical approval. Truly an amazing experience, Anvil! is cringe-inducing, hilarious and ultimately a tribute to the studded, Spandex-enhanced, blow-dried human spirit.
Director: Sacha Gervasi
Producer: Rebecca Yeldham