Feature

‘Anvil! The Story of Anvil’ vs. ‘Spinal Tap’

A documentary about an '80s heavy metal band's comeback tour earns comparisons to the classic mockumentary

Anvil! The Story of Anvil really is the real-life Spinal Tap,” said Owen Gleiberman in Entertainment Weekly. This documentary about the 2007 comeback tour of the obscure but influential ’80s heavy metal band from Canada is “a hilarious, and unexpectedly moving” portrait of “the greatest metal band you've probably never heard of.” (watch the trailer for Anvil! The Story of Anvil)

No way, said The Sun. Anvil! The Story of Anvil isn’t nearly “as interesting as last year’s rockumentaries Heavy Load or Heavy Metal In Baghdad,” and it’s “nowhere near as funny as Spinal Tap”—and all the critics that think it is “must have done too much head-banging.” (watch the trailer for Spinal Tap)

When I first watched Anvil! The Story of Anvil, said David Edelstein in New York magazine, I thought it was “ultrasubtle, maybe not funny enough, played with admirable sincerity, but a neo–Spinal Tap mockumentary nonetheless.” But if you can forget Spinal Tap altogether, “it’s also rather touching the way these 50-year-olds still have the forged-in-fire fortitude.”

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