An early-80s contemporary of Anthrax, Slayer, Metallica, and Megadeth, the Canadian speed-metal band Anvil never made the big time, and 25 years after the band's commercial peak, documentary maker (and former Anvil roadie) Sacha Gervasi finds the two founding members—Robb Reiner and Steven “Lips” Kudlow—hacking out a lower-middle-class existence in Scarborough, Ontario, still dreaming of rock stardom. The movie has been described as a real-life This Is Spinal Tap, and early scenes of an ill-planned European tour are similarly excruciating, as the frazzled middle-aged men play to nearly empty rooms and get stiffed by a promoter for their trouble. Back home, a new batch of songs and the chance to record in Dover with their old producer offer the prospect of a comeback, and the documentary turns into something much richer as Reiner and Kudlow agonize with their families over the money needed to start the project. Gervasi has tapped into a powerful if much-overlooked truth: humanity rocks.
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