Anvil! The Story of Anvil is a rockumentary about metal band Anvil. If you catch it unaware (like I did – I saw it at the Pukkelpop festival) you may be inclined to think you’re watching the metal version of Spinal Tap, but make no mistake: Anvil really exists.
That Spinal Tap springs to mind isn’t that peculiar, as director Sacha Gervasi has willingly inserted several nods to the famous mockumentary, with the amplifier going all the way to 11 being the most obvious example.
One wouldn’t guess it, but this film is actually Gervasi’s debut as a director, though he had worked in the movie industry before. Gervasi wrote the screenplay for two movies, the most famous being Spielberg’s The Terminal.
The movie joins the band on their first tour through Eastern Europe in a very long time. Managed by a non-professional manager, the band finds out their tour isn’t exactly the most luxurious in the world. Anvil! The Story of Anvil is both cringe-worthy funny as deeply emotional.
Gervasi made this film because he’d worked as a roadie for Anvil in the 80s, back when at least certain people knew who they were. Gervasi felt close to the band and wanted to save them from obscurity.
This seems to have worked: Anvil may have gotten respect from colleagues (Anvil! The Story of Anvil contains interviews by Lemmy, Lars Ulrich and Slash), but the rockumentary has made sure Anvil is no longer a band dwelling at the back of everybody’s mind.
Anvil won’t give up. Let them rock on!