Friday, 2 April 2010

Film Review: ANVIL! THE STORY OF ANVIL (2008)

Director: Sacha Gervasi
Running time: 80 mins (approx)
Certificate (UK): 15

UK Release Date: 20th February 2009

Watched on DVD Friday 2nd April 2010.


I have always been into rock music and I’ve seen many bands in my time, but I really can’t remember if I ever saw Anvil. I’m sure they must have played some of the ‘Monsters of Rock’ shows back in the 80’s, but the 80’s are pretty much a blur to me now. Anyhow, I digress, Anvil are from Canada and were formed by Steve ‘Lips’ Kudlow (Lead guitar & vocals) and Robb Reiner (Drummer). Thirty years on they are still going and still trying to get the recognition they deserve.

Steve Kudlow works for a company that delivers meals to schools for his day job. At night and at weekends he’s the lead singer and guitarist for the band Anvil. Now, back in the 80’s they were performing on stage with the likes of Whitesnake and Bon Jovi at sell-out shows in places like Tokyo, Japan. The other bands found fame and fortune but Anvil never did. Their music influenced likes of Metallica, Slayer, and Anthrax but they never got the recognition they deserved. This documentary takes us with the band on a tour of Europe, with tour manager Tiziana Arrigoni, through the recording of their thirteenth album and ends with them back playing live in Japan. It’s a roller coaster ride that, at times, gets very emotional, but their indomitable spirit wins you over and you can’t help but end up liking those guys. I won’t go into the specifics of what happens on screen, it’s better to see for yourselves.

I really liked this film, not just because it’s about a rock band, more because it’s about the determination they have to see their dream through. I really admire them for that. Even when they’re recording the album and Steve and Robb fall out, and the producer, Chris Tsangarides, is having to referee, you feel that it means so much to them.

There’s testimonials from the likes of Lemmy, Slash and Lars Ulrich, but I was more interested in the people in the band, rather than what they did in the past. A bunch of guys at 50 years old still playing their hearts out and putting everything they can into the band has to be admired. Whether you like rock music or not I highly recommend this film, I guarantee you’ll enjoy it; it’s only 80 minutes long and well worth it!

My score: 8.4/10

IMDb Site:
Official Site:

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