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By Zack Haddad | April 18, 2009

I am going to go out on a limb and assume a lot of you have seen “This is Spinal Tap.” If that is the case, then you are going to be thrilled when I tell you about a new movie that proves “Spinal Tap” is for real, and it is every bit enjoyable as that famed mockumentary. So lift up those devil horns and worship the great documentary “Anvil!: The True Story of Anvil.”

The doc follows two original members of the once-popular metal band, Anvil, who are now in their fifties as they try one last time for greatness. Both Steve “Lips” Kudlow and Robb Reiner (seriously, that is his name) are fascinating, with their never-die attitude, life-long friendship, and constant brotherly quarrels.

Both of these guys are extremely funny and entertaining, but beyond entertainment it’s easy to have a profound respect for these crusty rockers and even feel sorry for them. My favorite part of this film has to be when, in Prague for a show, they are two hours late since they can’t find the venue. Then after playing their hearts out, the owner tries to pay them in goulash. Things get ugly really quickly as a fight nearly ensues, and this was evidence enough to show the brutal reality these guys go through.

Ultimately, I had only one minor problem with this film: in scenes when they would arrive to a new location, the camera would be set up in a wide sweeping tracking shot. Whenever the filmmaker does this, it made me feel like it was all planned out, and less a realistic documentary. That quibble aside, however, the film was put together well.

Sacha Gervasi has known the band for decades, so it seemed only fitting that he was to make a documentary about them, and in the end, he has crafted a truly solid film which, at its core, is full of passion and awe-inspiring. It’s also heartbreaking at times to see these guys struggle for so long with little or no day off, but that is what is so enduring about this film. These guys want nothing more than to get their music to a large amount of people. It really doesn’t matter if you like metal or not – this film can appeal to anyone.

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