Anvil! The Story of Anvil

Anvil! The Story of Anvil: follows two friends who have been gigging together since 1978, and their continual struggle to re-emerge on the global rock scene. Don’t be fooled – or put off – by the heavy meal angle; the documentary is focused on their heart-warming dedication to the band, and mostly behind the scenes. Front man ‘Lips’ is an absolute legend of a personality; such a nice guy (running around the festivals meeting his heroes) – and sounds uncannily like Paul Giamatti. You end up feeling a bit sorry for his bandmate Rob who gets a raw deal and winds up as a punch bag / door mat. What Anvil! does best is capture the trials and tribs of a DIY tour – and band life in general – very well; the festivals, crummy venues, playing live, disappointing crowds, pay squabbles, transport chaos, emotions, recording… it’s all there, and it’s all raw – down to the drunk guy drinking beer through his nose. The only minor point from me is that some shots and scenes feel played just for documentary; although only the initial setup, there’s clearly no script. I didn’t realise how engaged I was until the very end, where I wept a few tears of joy… like a totally non-rock ‘n’ roll pussy. The Story of Anvil is the most upbeat of tragedies: you see these guys grinding away at shitty day jobs only to fund their gigs and albums; and in that way, this is one of the most universally inspirational stories you’ll ever see. Must-see documentary.

Score: 9/10

  1. Agreed. This IS a must see documentary, for SURE!

    Great flick, glad you really got into it… its been awhile since I thought of it, and I was happy just to see the post come through in my news feed. LOL.

    A true tribute to the human spirit, this one is.


  2. It’s weird: I have always had zero desire to see this, yet I haven’t heard a single bad thing about it. I might reconsider after your review, which, by the way, was fantastic.


    • Paragraph Film Reviews said:

      Definitely worth seeking this one out. Don’t let the metal aspect turn you off!


  3. Will said:

    Fuck yeah! Anvil is awesome. I saw this movie and became absolutely obsessed with them for a time, buying any and all albums I could get my hands on. Such a good doc.


    • Paragraph Film Reviews said:

      Wouldn’t say the music’s my thing, but the metal on metal riff was burned into my brain.


  4. Andrew said:

    I have nothing to add to this conversation other than enthusiasm at seeing it plugged. What a great, underrated, underseen movie.


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