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Anvil! The Story of Anvil - Movie Review

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating


Anvil! The Story of Anvil - Movie Review

Anvil Still Rocks!

Abrarama Films

The Bottom Line

Anvil! The Story of Anvil tells the story of Toronto-based musicians Steve 'Lips' Kudlow and Robb Reiner, two humorous guys who've been best friends and played together in Anvil, the heavy metal band, since they were in their teens. Their debut album Metal On Metal took the music world by storm, and Anvil was credited with setting the trend that boosted other metal bands--Anthrax, Metallica and Slayer--onto the charts, while poor management decisions pushed Kudlow and Reiner into the background. This is their revival.
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  • A very entertaining music documentary about heavy metal rockers with mettle.
  • Steve 'Lips' Kudlow and Robb Reiner are terrific leading characters.
  • Feel good about musicians who take day jobs to make their dreams come true.
  • Great archival footage of metal band performances
  • Up close interviews with legendary metal music makers


  • None worth mentioning


  • Title: Anvil! The Story of Anvil
  • Director: Sacha Gervasi
  • Release Date: April 2009
  • Running Time: 90 mins.
  • Location: Toronto
  • Languge: English
  • Parents Advisory: Parents Advisory for Some Content
  • Distribution: Abramorama

Guide Review - Anvil! The Story of Anvil - Movie Review

Anvil, the heavy metal band whose debut album, Metal on Metal, is credited with setting the trend for Metallica, Slayer and Anthrax, steps into the spotlight--after years of obscurity--in Sacha Gervasi's documentary Anvil! The Story of Anvil and a coincidental road tour, The Anvil Experience, in cities across the US in April 2009.

Don't know Anvil? Gervasi's documentary gives you the scoop: The band--lead by frontman Steve 'Lips' Kudlow and drummer Robb Reiner--was fast tracking to stardom, but poor management derailed them. Lips says, "We made a bad marketing choice way back when. We were getting hot, and we had to choose between two managers. We signed with a big shot, figuring he'd move us into the big leagues. But he didn't get us or our music and we didn't want to change to be what he thought would sell. So we got nowhere. Meanwhile, the other manager signed Metallica, and told them to sound like us. The rest is history."

Metallica outdistanced Anvil on the charts. Lips and Robb relinquished big venues for small ones, and supported their metal habit and families with day jobs in Toronto, their hometown. But they kept playing.

In 2007, Gervasi, renowned Hollywood screenwriter, catches up with the band. Years ago, he'd spent an unforgettable high school summer ("much to my mother's dismay," he confesses) as an Anvil roadie. In Toronto visiting, Sacha reconnects with Lips and Robb. They're in their 50s, starting a tour to promote a new album, This Is Thirteen. Sacha films the trip.

You'll be glad he did. Music-wise, Lips and Robb are solid. But beyond their sharp metal edge, they have mettle. They're talented, sophisticated players, dedicated to music, loyal to each other (they've been friends since they were 14 years old), full of quirky fun and genuinely fan friendly. They make Anvil! The Story of Anvil a real rush!

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