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I first heard Anvil back in '84 or so. It was the MASTERS OF METAL II compilation, which had Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Helix, Triumph, and yes...Anvil. "Metal On Metal" was the track. I loved it. Then I saw their videos on Much such as "Metal On Metal" and "Mad Dog", and I thought, hey, this band is funny, they're heavy, and they're good!

After that, I don't know what happened. I probably never saw their albums in the stores or I would have picked one up. I sort of kept track of them over the years, saw they were still making records, and that Lips and Robb were still in the band. But still, never saw a record in the stores so I was able to buy it.

That all changed with the release of this movie. Now, everywhere I go, I can find their latest record "This Is Thirteen" which I snapped up on vinyl the first time I found it. Hopefully I will find more of their albums in stores, now that they are just about a household name, 30 years later!

I heard Michael Moore loved this movie. I heard it was the greatest rock movie of all time. I've seen a lot of rock movies, maybe every single one of them for all I know. Some Kind Of Monster...Still Crazy...This Is Spinal Tap...Rattle & Hum...

Yeah, this is the best rock movie I've ever seen. The reason it's so good is that Lips, Robb, Ivan & Glenn are just normal people like you and me. There's nobody here who seems detached from the world like Lars Ulrich (except Lars Ulrich who is interviewed in this film about his love of Anvil). These are regular guys, with regular families, friends, and problems, and you will be familiar with all of them. While money seems to be the constant problem, each guy gets by and seems happy to be in Anvil. But not quite satisfied. Lips in particular, after 30 years of trying, truly believes that Anvil has what it takes to make it. Maybe the next album will be the one, he thinks.

After a disasterous tour of Europe, Anvil are no further ahead. As a testament to his dedication, Lips said it was still a good time and he wouldn't trade that tour for anything. Back home, back at his catering job, Lips feels that Anvil's big problem is that none of their records recently have sounded any good. The only producer who ever made them sound good was Chris Tsangarides (Judas Priest, Thin Lizzy, Bruce Dickinson). He mails Chris a demo tape, hoping he'll like it, hoping he'll call.

Record labels turn them down while bald-faced lying to them saying, "We'll listen to the whole thing later on." Lips and Robb, lifelong friends -- no -- lifelong soul-mates; two guys who love each other as much or more than their own families, nearly come to blows. It's really hard watching two grown men cry for real. It's really hard.

Yet, this is not a depressing movie. It's actually a joyful movie. Lips' enthusiasm for his band and his music is so infectious, that nobody watching can help but cheer him on, and hope that the next turn of events won't be a screwup. Hopefully, he'll catch a break. The fans are there too, through it all, guys who have been there for 25 years and still love Anvil.

At the same time, Anvil are fans too. Lips gleefully meets up with Michael Schenker, Carmine Appice, and Tommy Alridge at the Sweden Rock Festival, chatting them up and hoping they remember him. (Schenker's reaction is priceless.) Like I said, these are regular guys, fans just like you and me. Just that they play their instruments a heck of a lot better than you or me.

This is not a movie to rent, this is a movie to own. After you watch it, go out and get This Is Thirteen, or any other Anvil albums you can fine. I have a feeling they won't be hard to find for very long.

5 stars.
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on December 18, 2010
Most of the other write-ups are pretty succinct in their assessment of the movie. I was fortunate enough to be one of the first to see this documentary while Anvil did a 6 or 8 show tour to begin promotion of the film and their new album. They viewed the film in theatre sized venues then followed it up with an hour performance followed by a meet-and-greet. It was really heavy being there to see this film and the depth and emotion it allows us to take part in. There were instances of great hope and absolute emotional devastation...and in the the middle are the corny, clichéd moments associated with the metal genre.

Regardless of your musical leanings, this is a movie worth picking up...if not for yourself do to keep the band's dream alive!
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on June 7, 2010
I didn't know that much about Anvil prior to watching this doc. But after watching it I want to know more. This is a very well done doc. I was actually on the edge of my seat throughout the entire pic. Great story, no need to be a fan of the band or even of the "metal" genre. A great story about great people on a journey to try and catch their dreams.
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on December 26, 2013
Any Canadian should enjoy this movie. This documentary breaks down the reality of struggling metal bands as well as the crash of the early 80's hair metal scene. You can't help but love these guys who struggle to carry on and who wear their hearts on their sleeves. Very enjoyable story of comeback for humble metal heroes.
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on March 10, 2010
What can you say about "The Story Of Anvil", a docu-biographical-drama, that almost coerces you to send money to these two somewhat hapless Canadian rockers who have just never learned how to say it's over...

The movie starts off in almost a farsical style, and we get the feeling that possibly we are being treated to Spinal Tap Pt. Deux... but as it develops, there's just not the over the top satirical bent that Rob Reiner, (The Producer of Spinal Tap, and "Meat Head on All In the Family, not Robb Reiner the drummer from Anvil), brought to the hilarity that Spinal Tap was...


Because Spinal Tap was a Mock-Cu-Mentary, and here we are faced with a movie that appears to start in the same fashion, and as it progresses, sadly delivers a down-and-out sort of reality, which brings the viewers down, down, down, and further down into the depths of their despair, a despair that these two "rockstars" feel... an urgent despair that tugs at your heart-strings!

Dedicated to their craft.. and ultimately believing they have their place in the annals of Rock History... this flick follows a somewhat scattered trek, as they try to once again resurrect what Anvil was, and what they would like it to be once again... Sort of a hope-filled journey towards success... a success which just never arrives... and so... all I could feel when the credits were rolling by. was a sort of sadness. A sadness for these two guys who care, believe and trust in the power of rock and their ability to conjure up the magic that rock 'n' roll is... even as age slowly pits it's plan against theirs.. with time is running out...

If you are a fan of Rock... of Canadiana... or of Lars Ulrich, (the drummer of Metallica, because god knows he shows up here enough)... well then this is a moment in Canadian Rock Film History that you should most likely watch... with the same allure of a roadside car crash... You know the kind... When you pass an accident at roadside... and you just cannot look away... and yet once past... you realize you really saw nothing...

Well...maybe that's the same thing with this movie... maybe you will see "something"...and maybe you won't...

Only you will be able to know after warching!

For me...I just felt kind of empty and kind of sad...

Rock on ANVIL...RAWK ON!!! Here's hoping you the best!!!

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on April 13, 2010
These are hard rockers who should have made it but didn't probably due to being young and stupid especially in the area of finding a good manager. Among the first and most influential bands when it comes to Metal these guys show how luck etc wins out over talent. Robb and Lips are awesome musicians who stayed true to the music and dream still keeping that dream alive after turning 50. Whan Lars and Slash say how infulential they were ya gotta listen. I personally am not into Metal but I totally enjoyed this documentary, probably the best ever when it comes to rock. Two thumbs up, keep on rockin' guys, not that it matters but ya got my respect.
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