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Metal: A Headbanger's Journey (2005)

Directed by: Sam Dunn, Scot McFadyen, Jessica Joy Wise
Written by: Sam Dunn, Scot McFadyen, Jessica Joy Wise
Starring: Sam Dunn
Links: Metal: A Headbanger's Journey on the IMDb, Official site, Buy on DVD
Genre: Documentary

This movie gets: 7.00 (1 rating) Ranking: not yet ranked (awaiting 2 ratings)

"And now, back to biting heads off chickens" - a review by pearly

Metal: A Headbanger's Journey lives up to its title. It's the brainchild of Sam Dunn, a guy who grew up with heavy metal music, and became obsessed enough that he decided to quit his day job and make a documentary about the origins of the genre. The journey part of the title refers to the journey that Sam takes in putting the film together by travelling across the globe in search of interviews and live performance footage.

The film is at its best, though, when Sam himself is taken out of the picture. Sure, the back story about how he used to play air guitar in his bedroom as a kid is interesting, but what the film does better is its description of the lineage and the complicated structure of heavy metal. Having Dunn in front of the camera is not nearly as interesting as it is having him describing the history of metal as he sees it.

Then, of course, there's the whole argument about whether you can really pigeon hole bands into such genres. But Dunn is having none of this. He's an anthropologist, and it's in his makeup to classify in this manner. And he does so very convincingly, from Glam Metal through to Norwegian Death Metal. And he manages to get an appropriate interview with someone from almost all of these genres.

Metal: A Headbanger's Journey is an impressive feat for Dunn to have put together, and I could certainly appreciate it for what it was. Of course, it's going to appeal most to those people who are as interested in heavy metal as Dunn himself is. I'm not quite in that genre myself. I think perhaps you could place me into the curious heavy metal classification documentary onlooker box.

pearly gives this movie 7 out of 10.
Review created on Wed 2 Aug 2006

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