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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

trailer break: ‘Anvil! The Story of Anvil’

Take a break from work: watch a trailer…


“If i told them once, I told them a thousand times: ‘Spinal Tap’ first, ‘puppet show’ second…”

I’ve been seeing ads for this film in the London Underground, and I was sure it had to be a joke. And when I started searching online for info about the film, I continued to be convinced that it’s a joke, a riff on This Is Spinal Tap. One clue: one of the members of “Anvil” is named Robb Reiner.

And then there are the quotes: “The best documentary I’ve seen in years!” says (we’re told) Michael Moore. “Possibly the greatest film yet made about rock and roll,” says (apparently) The London Times. Right.

But also apparently, this is a true story, and the film is a documentary. I continue to be skeptical.

If it is all a put-on, though, it’s one of the most consistent put-ons I’ve ever come across. If it’s a put-on, the entire Internet has its fingers crossed behind its back.

Anvil! The Story of Anvil opens in the U.K. on February 20 and in the U.S. on April 10.



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  • Riley

    I’m still trying to figure out whether or not American Movie is real, and it’s 10 years old. Don’t even get me started on Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas being shelved under non-fiction.

  • HDJ

    These guys where real , trust me I know metal. I’m not familiar with there stuff, but they’ve been around since 1981 and they’re still active. Just so you know, there was metal before Spinal tap, they had to get there source from some where. The ridiculous looking cloths, playing crazy guitar solos , thats what it was all about at the time, if you knew Iron Maiden and Metallica back in the day you’d know.

  • JSW

    Their Wikipedia page has been around since 2006, which leads me to believe that they’re real.

  • Anne-Kari

    HDJ – are you kidding? No really, are you making a joke? Of course we all know that Spinal Tap was making fun of metal bands throughout the history of metal. That’s why it was so funny.

    And although I wouldn’t call myself a metal fan per se, I have a deep and abiding love of assorted bands who fall under the metal category. One of my alltime favorite songs is “Enter Sandman”.

  • Ryan

    A quick search on Amazon shows 15 albums by Anvil… if this is a put-on then they’re really covering their tracks.

  • hDJ

    Im not kidding at all, I honestly feel many people arn’t aware of this type of music. I play it for many people and they all seemed to be a bit cautious of it, as if it were some kinda devil music they never hear off. I figure ok maybe its because the radios pumping out rock music from the 70’s still as if the heavy tunes of the 80s and all the under ground music since then till now is still kept in the dark, maybe thats why Anvil or many other head banging bands could be seen as a goof because its been put in a goofy light to take away some of its edge, water it down to make it more mainstream
    I know people know of it , but you gota wonder how many people who seen Spinal Tap, and watched the Osbournes know that , all that is only a skim off the surface of a much deeper world.

  • Der Bruno Stroszek

    I think it’s the “Robb Reiner” detail that’s making people suspicious about this. I mean, that’s just too much, isn’t it?

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