Metal: A Headbanger's Journey Review
By Christopher Null on Friday 8th June 2007
Everything else gets the documentary treatment. Why not heavy metal, too? Academic Sam Dunn puts metal under the microscope, tracing its origins back to bands like Cream and all the way through and beyond glam metal like Poison and Norwegian Death Metal like Ragnarok. Surprisingly, while Dunn is a devout metalhead, his movie is amazingly coherent and insightful, and he eventually tracks down just about every metal icon -- from Bruce Dickenson to Dee Snider to Rob Zombie to Alice Cooper -- all of whom are engaging on screen. The film is at its best with Snider, who discusses testifying before Congress in the days when metal was under fire for causing, among other things, teen suicides. At its worst is Ronnie James Dio, promoting himself when he's not bloviating about how Gene Simmons owns "the patent to the phrase 'OJ'" -- an absurd conjecture that Dunn should have cut from the movie. The film also takes a bizarre turn near the end, when Dunn basically throws a big "screw you" at everyone who's invested the time in watching his film. But hey, that's metal for ya.
The DVD includes extended interviews, outtakes, commentary track, and Dunn's awesome metal family tree.
Facts and Figures
In Theaters: Wednesday 21st June 2006
Distributed by: Séville Pictures
Production compaines: Banger Productions
Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 90%
Fresh: 26 Rotten: 3
Cast & Crew
Director: Sam Dunn, Scot McFadyen, Jessica Joy Wise
Producer: Sam Dunn, Scot McFadyen
Screenwriter: Sam Dunn, Scot McFadyen, Jessica Joy Wise
Starring: Sam Dunn as Himself, Chris Adler as Himself, Tom Araya as Himself, Gavin Baddeley as Himself, Blasphemer as Himself, Randy Blythe as Himself, Alice Cooper as Himself, Pamela Des Barres as Herself, Bruce Dickinson as Himself, Ronnie James Dio as Himself, Malcolm Dome as Himself