Mini-Review: Anvil: The Story of Anvil (2009)

Starring Steve “Lips” Kudlow, Robb “Geza” Reiner, Glenn Gyorffy (Glenn Five), Ivan Hurd, Chris “CT” Tsangarides

Directed by Sacha Gervasi

Expectations: High, I love metal.

Anvil: The Story of Anvil is a tale of heart, dedication and dreams… and kick-fuckin’-ass metal! I’m a big metal fan, but I’m a recent convert so I had no idea who Anvil was going into this movie. Within the first few minutes I was instantly a fan, as Anvil’s impressive chops and thunderous melodies won me over with ease. The film shows the current lives of the band that was once on the forefront of the early ’80s metal scene, influencing the bigger bands that were about to breakout such as Metallica, Slayer & Anthrax. Anvil was there at the beginning, but due to some shit record deals and a few questionable management decisions, the only place they went was home to Canada with their instruments and their dreams. The thing about Anvil, though, is that they never stopped. Not to be deterred by their shit luck, Steve Kudlow and Robb Reiner kept at it, recording album after album and playing hundreds of shows for the local crowds.

Directed by former roadie Sacha Gervasi, Anvil: The Story of Anvil chronicles a rather fruitful time for the band as they acquire a new manager who books them on a tour of Europe. This eventually leads Anvil to record a new album, their thirteenth (appropriately titled This is Thirteen), and then shop said album around. The specifics of the plot aren’t the exciting part, but watching these guys interact and play their tunes with genuine heart and emotion is.

At times, this plays out like a real-life This is Spinal Tap, but the laughs are directed more at the surrounding circumstances then at the band themselves. Anvil: The Story of Anvil is a great story of the human spirit, of the will to continue despite all odds. Sure, dudes in their 50s keeping the ’80s metal dream alive may be kind of sad to some, but to me it’s impressive. These fuckers did it, they pushed on in spite of everything and it’s finally paying off for them.

They’ve recently released their fourteenth album, Juggernaut of Justice, recorded at Dave Grohl’s studio in Los Angeles. They’ve also been touring and playing huge rock festivals since the film came out. Hell, within minutes of finishing the film, I bought every Anvil album I could find and have enjoyed the shit out of them ever since. Up the irons and long live Anvil! Metal on Metal!

Uncle Jasper reviews: Rock ‘n’ Roll Nightmare (1987)

Rock ‘n’ Roll Nightmare (1987)
AKA “The Edge of Hell”

Starring John Mikl Thor, Jillian Peri, Teresa Simpson, Frank Dietz, Lara Daans

Directed By John Fasano

I remember back when I was a springy young kid of about ten my mom would occasionally babysit for some lady she used to go to church with. I don’t remember much about the brother and sister except they were extremely well-mannered, a little creepy, and ultra-religious. Sometimes I would come home from school only to see them sitting up straight on my living room sofa, hands folded softly in their laps, nodding attentively to whatever gibberish my mom happened to be spouting out at the time…. Very well-mannered kids.

It was after mom went to her room, leaving my brother and myself with the fresh-faced siblings, that shit would start to get weird real quick. See, according to them, they were knee-deep on the front lines of an ongoing epic battle of ultimate good vs. the most ultimate of evils. They spun bone-rattling tales of how their house was infested with evil spirits. But that was just the tip of the iceberg, they swore up and down that their mom was a top-secret leading practitioner of white magic. Deceptively paunchy on the surface, she was actually locked in an ongoing battle with Satan himself and his horde of demon minions. I knew it was all true of course, because they had actually laid eyes on these vile creatures of the netherworld firsthand. Their recollections of their mom’s first battle with the devil rattled me to the point of etching tiny crosses onto the wooden posts of my bunk bed for added protection. I had damned well believe in God now, I feared. Because according to these creepy-ass kids, Satan was fighting my mom’s friend in her kitchen on a daily basis and might come after friends of the family next. The real kicker in these eyewitness accounts however, was their odd description of the lord of darkness… this wasn’t your typical red horned, pitchfork wielding Satan. No. According to them he was very skinny and had a body “made out of black sticks”.

Continue reading Uncle Jasper reviews: Rock ‘n’ Roll Nightmare (1987) →

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