Dir Sam Dunn, Scot McFadyen, Jessica Joy Wise, 2005, CA, (96 mins)
Tony Iommi, Alice Cooper, Bruce Dickinson, Lemmy
The aim of Sam Dunn’s documentary is to offer an anthropology of heavy metal. It’s a chance to reflect on where it’s come from, why it remains maligned, and who really invented that ‘devil horns’ hand gesture.
Treats come in the form of Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi, shot in a grubby twilight Birmingham, and Dee Snider (Twisted Sister) recounting his triumphant statement to the US Senate in 1985. However, things come a cropper for Dunn when he meets the Norwegian death metallers who actually burn down churches, and tellingly the film’s credits include both therapist and moral guide.
The roll call of contributors is lengthy, but many are wasted (in every sense) as we catch a soundbite or two rather than extended commentary. And while Chuck Klosterman and Rob Zombie offer insights into the role of metal in embracing outsiders, the rhetoric remains cultural and free of economics. A film made by fans for fans. Kate Taylor