A winning and surprisingly moving documentary about -- wait for it -- a struggling Canadian heavy metal band that apparently influenced a generation of hard-rockers including Metallica, Anthrax and Guns N' Roses.
The new documentary Anvil! The Story of Anvil succeeds every which way, as '80s metal nostalgia, as a twisted sort of reality-show attempt at a comeback, as an unexpectedly touching portrait of a friendship.
Anvil! The Story of Anvil is a very funny documentary, following original band members Steve "Lips" Kudlow and Robb Reiner (seriously), on a disastrous European tour and an attempt at a comeback album.
Anvil! The Story of Anvil can't help but evoke This Is Spinal Tap, the classic 1984 mockumentary directed by the other Rob Reiner, in terms of both sheer hair-metal ludicrousness and indignities suffered by a not-so-successful rock band on the road.
There's just something utterly winning about the way the guys of Anvil hang on to their dream -- and when, in the movie's final scenes, they find it for a moment, it creates some genuine, headbanging joy.