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"Anvil! The True Story of Anvil" Movie


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Old school metallers Anvil are the subject of a new documentary that's currently making the film-festival rounds... this flick sounds like a ton of fun. Anvil are a totally overlooked, underrated band (I was lucky enough to see'em once!) and it's a shame that they never got their shot at the brass ring like so many of their early 80s contemporaries.

 

Here's a review of the film from the L.A. Times

 

SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL

Thundering Anvil makes some noise

 

By John Horn, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

 

PARK CITY, Utah -- The lead singer wears a dog collar and plays his guitar with a sex toy. One of their first songs, "Thumb Hang," is about the Spanish inquisition. And the amplifier knob actually goes to 11.

 

In so many ways, the heavy metal band Anvil is indeed Spinal Tap (did we mention the drummer's name is Robb Reiner?).

 

But "Anvil! The True Story of Anvil," tracing the Canadian band's resolute determination in the face of countless setbacks, isn't really a rock 'n' roll comedy. Instead, this documentary, which premieres today at the Sundance Film Festival, is an alternatively moving and hilarious love story -- a tale of two people hopelessly devoted to playing heavy metal music.

 

Guitarist Steve "Lips" Kudlow met drummer Reiner in 1973, and four years later they formed Anvil. The late 1970s and early 1980s saw a gold rush of hard-core rockers: Scorpions, Iron Maiden, Whitesnake, Metallica, Anthrax and Motorhead among them. With its outrageous stage antics and pulsing rhythms, Anvil was right in the mix too, its album "Metal on Metal" envied by the band's head-banging brethren.

 

As a teen living in London, screenwriter Sacha Gervasi saw one of Anvil's first British gigs. "I was blown away," he recalls. "It was heavy music with really funny entertainment."

 

After meeting the band at an after-concert party, Gervasi showed Lips and Reiner around London the next day and soon thereafter was invited to be a roadie for Anvil's Canadian tour. "I would sit behind the drum kit every night, watch Robb play, and he taught me how to be a drummer," says Gervasi, who would later play with (and drop out of) the band that became Bush.

 

Gervasi went to college, his musical tastes evolved and he eventually came to Hollywood (where he co-wrote Steven Spielberg's "The Terminal"). But he never forgot the band -- "I wondered what happened to my old friends" -- so in the summer of 2005 he looked them up. Anvil had never made it -- yet nearly three decades after they first joined forces, Lips and Reiner were still making music, trying to sell a few albums here and get a live gig there. "I thought they had split up," Gervasi says. "But I found out they were still going."

 

Lips was working at a food service company, Reiner in construction. They were in their 50s, their hair thinning, but their passion for music hadn't dimmed over the years. Having seen all of their contemporaries make it, Lips and Reiner weren't bitter -- they were hungry. "I just kind of felt, 'I think there's a movie here,' " Gervasi says.

 

So Gervasi hit the road with Anvil again, collecting 300 hours of footage as the band launched a tour of Eastern Europe.

 

Tiziana, a girlfriend of the band's guitarist Ivan Hurd, organizes the tour, but her organizational skills are indiscernible: Train tickets aren't bought, plane schedules are mixed up and the band doesn't get paid. Ever. What is supposed to be the tour's highlight -- an appearance at the Monsters of Transylvania rock festival in front of thousands of fans -- turns instead into a cheerless appearance in front of 174 fans.

 

"It's been nothing but a nightmare," Lips says at one point. As the tour unravels, so does Lips and Reiner's relationship. But Lips bears no visible ill will. "I'm grateful," he says. "I don't regret a minute of it."

 

Back in Canada, the band tries to record another album, "This Is Thirteen," which will cost about $20,000 that neither Lips nor Reiner has. Having tried the patience of family and friends, Lips and Reiner must decide if it's finally time to call it quits or try one last time. "I need to realize this," Reiner says, "while I can." Says Lips: "I look at this particular chapter as my last chance."

 

Gervasi, who had never directed a movie, says he was unprepared for what he would eventually capture and how Anvil's story would unfold so much like "This Is Spinal Tap."

 

"On the second day of filming, my cameraman pulled me aside and said, 'Listen, you don't have to tell the rest of the crew, but you have to tell me: Are these guys actors?' "

 

Gervasi says that while the movie is doubtlessly funny, it's also a serious testament to believing in a dream. "Their dedication and integrity and commitment is without parallel," the director says.

 

In an interview, Lips says Gervasi's film is strangely affecting, especially when he sees rockers such as Motorhead's Lemmy, Guns N' Roses' Slash and Metallica's Lars Ulrich offer glowing Anvil testimonials. "To me, it's a little bit like I passed away and everybody celebrated what I did -- but I get to witness it," Lips says. "It makes me feel great that I am getting the biggest respect from the biggest names in the business."

 

Gervasi brings "Anvil" to Park City not only in search of a theatrical distributor but also with the hope that his movie might somehow help Anvil realize its elusive wish for rock 'n' roll fame. "We've made this movie, but no one has seen it, so nothing has changed for Anvil," Gervasi says. "The happy ending will be decided by the audience, and I'm hoping that even if people don't like their music, they will go on their website and buy their record."

 

Lips wasn't even sure he should pack his guitar for Park City, but he's hoping there's at least one more big live show ahead. "The centerpiece of it all is getting to play live -- that's what it's all about," he says. "There's a reason actors like to do Broadway; it's instant gratification. And nothing surpasses that."

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Wow this looks like it will be great. Anvil's "Metal on Metal" and "Forged In Fire "are true

Metal Classics..They were released BEFORE Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer

had anything out and they NEVER Got credit for the sound they started ..The sad thing is they made horrible business/management decisions, and after the 2 classic releases they seemed to forget how to write good songs....shame cause they coulda been huge..

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Wow this looks like it will be great. Anvil's "Metal on Metal" and "Forged In Fire "are true

Metal Classics..They were released BEFORE Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer

had anything out and they NEVER Got credit for the sound they started ..The sad thing is they made horrible business/management decisions, and after the 2 classic releases they seemed to forget how to write good songs....shame cause they coulda been huge..

 

Amen. Hard to believe that there was actually a point in time when Little Lars Ulrich's only goal for his garage band was to be "as big as Anvil someday" :lol:

 

Totally agree that METAL ON METAL and FORGED IN FIRE are great records... I also like STRENGTH OF STEEL and POUND FOR POUND quite a bit. Last album I heard from them was PLUGGED IN PERMANENT from '96, though they've cranked out a few more since then.

 

I saw Anvil open for Raven back in 1995... fuckin' GREAT live band... heavy as hell, and funny as hell too... I'd gladly see'em again but they rarely play the US...

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Wow this looks like it will be great. Anvil's "Metal on Metal" and "Forged In Fire "are true

Metal Classics..They were released BEFORE Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer

had anything out and they NEVER Got credit for the sound they started ..The sad thing is they made horrible business/management decisions, and after the 2 classic releases they seemed to forget how to write good songs....shame cause they coulda been huge..

 

Amen. Hard to believe that there was actually a point in time when Little Lars Ulrich's only goal for his garage band was to be "as big as Anvil someday" :lol:

 

Totally agree that METAL ON METAL and FORGED IN FIRE are great records... I also like STRENGTH OF STEEL and POUND FOR POUND quite a bit. Last album I heard from them was PLUGGED IN PERMANENT from '96, though they've cranked out a few more since then.

 

I saw Anvil open for Raven back in 1995... fuckin' GREAT live band... heavy as hell, and funny as hell too... I'd gladly see'em again but they rarely play the US...

Yeah I forgot about "Strength of Steel" that was pretty good too...It would have been great to

see them live...

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Speaking of "Strength of Steel," I just found their video from that album ("Mad Dog") on good ole YouTube :banger:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bD8P7aNGbt8

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Speaking of "Strength of Steel," I just found their video from that album ("Mad Dog") on good ole YouTube :banger:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bD8P7aNGbt8

Damn..I need to check this out when I get home... :beerbang:

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The other day I found an Anvil cd called Strength Of Steel, is it rare because I can't find a place to quote a price? Just wanted to know if I found something special.

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The other day I found an Anvil cd called Strength Of Steel, is it rare because I can't find a place to quote a price? Just wanted to know if I found something special.

 

Dunno how rare it is (it was released on Metal Blade back in the day) but it's a damn good album!! :lol:

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  • 1 year later...

According to the official "Anvil: The Story of Anvil!" movie site ( http://www.anvilmovie.com ), the flick will be getting released to theatres (outside of the art/festival circuit) in April of '09.

 

There's also a book tied in to the movie (written by Lips & Robb Reiner) on the way that will feature a foreword written by Slash of GNR fame!

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According to the official "Anvil: The Story of Anvil!" movie site ( http://www.anvilmovie.com ), the flick will be getting released to theatres (outside of the art/festival circuit) in April of '09.

 

There's also a book tied in to the movie (written by Lips & Robb Reiner) on the way that will feature a foreword written by Slash of GNR fame!

Wow...I can't wait....

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New U.K. trailer for "Anvil: The Story of Anvil"

 

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This looks like this is going to be really entertaining film. I remember seeing them way back in the early 80's and they fucking rocked live. :headbanger:

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Some chit chat with Lips and Robb Reiner about the "Anvil!" book and movie

 

 

Im a dork. Ive never heard of Anvil. Im gonna have to check them out!!

 

Start with METAL ON METAL, FORGED IN FIRE and POUND FOR POUND.

 

I remember seeing them way back in the early 80's and they fucking rocked live.

 

Hell ya... I saw'em once back in the 90s and they blew the roof off the joint! I was somewhat familiar with them prior to the show but the live gig made me an instant fanboy!

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Some chit chat with Lips and Robb Reiner about the "Anvil!" book and movie

 

 

Im a dork. Ive never heard of Anvil. Im gonna have to check them out!!

 

Start with METAL ON METAL, FORGED IN FIRE and POUND FOR POUND.

 

I remember seeing them way back in the early 80's and they fucking rocked live.

 

Hell ya... I saw'em once back in the 90s and they blew the roof off the joint! I was somewhat familiar with them prior to the show but the live gig made me an instant fanboy!

 

Yeah - I saw them at the Reading festival back in 1983 and they caught my attention straight away, especially when Lips started playing his guitar with a Vibrator - original if nothing else.

 

I'll also add 'Hard 'n' Heavy' to that list of must have Anvil stuff. Always loved that disc ,aswell as 'Metal On Metal' and 'Forged In Fire'. :headbanger:

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I'll also add 'Hard 'n' Heavy' to that list of must have Anvil stuff. Always loved that disc ,aswell as 'Metal On Metal' and 'Forged In Fire'. :headbanger:

 

Meh, I was never crazy about "Hard N Heavy" - I picked that one up (on vinyl!) after I'd seen Anvil live back in '95 and by then I'd already heard METAL ON METAL and FORGED IN FIRE; compared to those two HARD N HEAVY seems kinda weak. Not a bad album but not terribly hard nor particularly metal. It's pretty average 70s boogie rock to these ears.

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  • 2 weeks later...

You can read an extract (the first 39 pages!) from the "Anvil! The Story of Anvil" book here...

 

http://www.anvilbook.co.uk/anvilextract.asp

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New developments in the "Anvil! The Story of Anvil" saga... damn, sounds like their ship has finally come in...

 

VH1 ACQUIRES “ANVIL! THE STORY OF ANVIL”

 

Network To Create Multi-Platform Promotional Campaign In Support Of April 10, 2009 Theatrical Release

 

NEW YORK, NY (March 11, 2009) -- VH1 has acquired the exclusive rights for the critically acclaimed documentary "Anvil! The Story of Anvil.” VH1 will handle the television and DVD release and distribute the film theatrically in association with Abramorama. The world television premiere on VH1 this summer and the subsequent DVD release of the film follow a network-wide, multi-platform promotional campaign supporting the theatrical film release April 10, 2009 in New York and Los Angeles followed by a national roll-out.

 

“Anvil! The Story of Anvil” is the directorial debut of screenwriter Sacha Gervasi (“The Terminal”) and was produced by Rebecca Yeldham (“The Kite Runner” and “The Motorcycle Diaries”). The film follows Steve “Lips” Kudlow and Robb Reiner and their band, Anvil, which released one of the heaviest albums in metal history, 1982’s Metal on Metal. The album influenced an entire musical generation of rock bands, including Metallica, Slayer, and Anthrax, who all went on to sell millions of records. Anvil, on the other hand, took a different path—straight to obscurity. The film is both entertaining and touching as it follows their last-ditch quest for the fame and fortune that has been so elusive to them. “Anvil! The Story of Anvil” is a timeless tale of survival and the unadulterated passion it takes to follow your dream, year after year.

 

Ironically, life is now looking up for the band. After years of playing to empty bars and working dead end jobs, the band is beginning to find the success that evaded them for decades. They have recently been signed by manager Rick Sales (Slayer), US agent Scott Sokol (Megadeth, Heaven and Hell), and UK agent Steve Strange (Coldplay). The band is being welcomed with open arms everywhere they go. Their latest fan, Sarah Brown (wife of the Prime Minister), attended the red carpet premiere of the film in the UK. Now with a U.S. Tour, the support of VH1 and VH1 Classic, a feature documentary, and an immeasurable amount of will and determination, the band is picking up where they left off twenty five years ago.

 

“When I was sixteen years old Anvil was my favorite band in the world. I couldn’t believe it when I met Lips and Robb in London and they invited me to come out on the road with them. Running away to join the rock and roll circus was, of course, an experience I never forgot. When I met the band again twenty years later I was completely awed and inspired to discover that they simply refused to give up on the dream they had had as kids. It makes me intensely happy and proud to see the band finally getting the recognition they so richly deserve. Anvil rocks!” said Sacha Gervasi, director of the film.

 

“Anvil! The Story of Anvil” premiered at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, where it received acclaim from critics and audiences alike. It went on to win the Audience Awards at the 2008 Los Angeles Film Festival, 2008 Sydney Film Festival, and 2009 Jameson Dublin International Film Festival, as well as the Best Documentary Feature Awards at 2008 Galway Film Fleadh, 2008 Calgary Film Festival, 2008 Edmonton Film Festival, and 2009 Jameson Dublin International Film Festival. The film was also nominated for the Truer Than Fiction Award at the 2009 Film Independent Spirit Awards. The film was released in the UK to critical acclaim on February 20, 2009.

 

“This film is so much more than a documentary about the roots of metal. It's a story about the power of perseverance and friendship and the passion that drives them,” said Tom Calderone, President of VH1. “ ‘Anvil! The Story of Anvil’ has a huge heart and will resonate with all of our viewers. This is the type of project that drew me into the VH1 fold and makes me especially proud to work here.”

 

Praised as “The best documentary I’ve seen in years,” by documentarian Michael Moore, the London Times calls it “Possibly the greatest film yet made about rock and roll;” “Anvil! The Story of Anvil” contains appearances by an array of heavy metal icons, including Metallica’s Lars Ulrich, former member of Guns N’ Roses’ Slash, Anthrax’s Scott Ian, and Slayer’s Tom Araya, among others.

 

"Sacha knew from the beginning that this was not just a "metal" film. In my first encounter with ANVIL, it was impossible not to be moved by their loyalty, determination and mad, blind faith. How sweet it is to see them now ride this tide of success - not just to be heard, finally - but to be heralded for their humbling tenacity and devotion to their art and to each other," said producer Rebecca Yeldham.

 

VH1 has thrown the full support of the network behind Anvil, the band’s music and the film on all platforms. The timing of this support from not only VH1 but from the music and film industry coincides with the realization of Anvil’s lifelong dream to “make it.”

 

Timed to the release of the film in April, VH1 Classic will serve as the exclusive presenter for the band’s U.S. tour. “VH1 Classic Presents: The Anvil Experience” will cover 7 markets and upcoming dates, venues and ticket information will be available immediately on the film’s website anvilmovie.com and vh1classic.com. At each tour stop, the film will be played immediately followed by a short performance by the band.

 

Tour Dates:

 

· April 6 – NY, NY – Blender Theater

· April 12 – San Francisco, CA – Slim’s

· April 14 – Seattle, WA – El Corazon

· April 16 – Worcester, MA – The Palladium

· April 17 – Philadelphia, PA – Trocadero

· April 21 – Pontiac, MI – Crofoot Ballroom

· April 22 – Chicago, IL - Metro

 

Additional elements include:

 

In an unprecedented move, for the first time ever the network will run the full length movie trailer of the film like a music video throughout all VH1 video hours – morning, overnights, on VH1 Classic and on vh1.com and vh1classic.com.

· In the weeks leading up to the theatrical release, VH1 will be creating a VH1 News package that will include a new interview with Lips and Robb.

 

· On vh1.com and vh1classic.com, Robb and Lips will be featured on an episode of the original series “My Playlist” as they discuss their influences and favorite Classic Rock songs.

 

· VH1 Classic will air an episode of its original talk show “That Metal Show” with Robb and Lips and will center on Anvil’s career, music, upcoming tour and the film. This episode will run timed to the film’s April theatrical release and will then repeat promoting the film’s television premiere on VH1 and the film’s availability on DVD.

 

The DVD release and world television premiere of the film on VH1 and VH1 Classic this summer will be supported by significant on-air promos on VH1 and VH1 Classic and dedicated online promotion on VH1.com. Each telecast will include a customized on-screen graphic supporting the DVD release which will be made available to fans at a later date yet to be announced. Promotional excerpt clips of the film will also be supported and streamed on FVOD, online and wireless.

 

“Anvil! The Story of Anvil” is directed by Sacha Gervasi and produced by Rebecca Yeldham, with cinematography by Chris Soos, editing by Jeff Renfroe and Andrew Dickler, and music supervision by Dana Sano.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Lips and Robb from Anvil were on Eddie (Doofus) Trunk's "That Metal Show" this past weekend to pimp the movie... they showed some new clips from the film that have me foamin' at the mouth to see this flick! I can't wait for it to hit DVD!

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Anvil is the one and only band(that I can think of) that I've ever heard Venom's Cronos, compliment under his own free will, I believe it was something to the effect of "Metallica and Slayer think they rock, they think they know how to kick peoples fuckin ass on stage, they couldn't make the B List, they are the bottom of the barrel, if they wanted to know how to play a show live, they would quit and become roadies for Anvil for a year, then they would know how a live show is done, and they could take lessons from the masters!" that's paraphrasing actually, I read it in R.I.P. Years and years ago, I hadn't heard Anvil at the time, that's why it stuck in my head, that and Cronos doesn't ever pay compliments to anybody, he doesn't need to, he's Cronos!

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Did anyone that's seen the 'Get Thrashed' DVD notice the comments on Anvil?

I can't remember who said it but the statement was something to the effect of "they could do a whole movie on Anvil".

I find that hilarious since that comment was waaaay before the Anvil movie was being made.

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Blabbermouth sez Anvil are "strongly rumored" to be joining the Judas Priest/Whitesnake U.S. tour this summer. That would be killer!!

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