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Metal: A Headbanger's Journey (2005)

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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 8,689 users   Metascore: 73/100
Reviews: 53 user | 43 critic | 10 from Metacritic.com

Sam Dunn is a 30-year old anthropologist who wrote his graduate thesis on the plight of Guatemalan refugees. Recenly he has decided to study the plight of a different culture, one he has ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tom Araya ...
Himself
Gavin Baddeley ...
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Blasphemer ...
Himself
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Joe Bottiglieri ...
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Eric Bryan ...
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Jackie Chambers ...
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Monte Conner ...
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...
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Denis 'Piggy' D'Amour ...
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Pamela Des Barres ...
Herself
...
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...
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Malcolm Dome ...
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Rose Dyson ...
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Storyline

Sam Dunn is a 30-year old anthropologist who wrote his graduate thesis on the plight of Guatemalan refugees. Recenly he has decided to study the plight of a different culture, one he has been a part of since he was a 12-year old: the culture of heavy metal. Sam sets out on a global journey to find out why this music has been consistently stereotyped, dismissed and condemned and yet is loved so passionately by its millions of fans. Along the way, Sam explores metals' obsession with some of life's most provacative subjects - sexuality, religion, violence and death - and discovers some things about the culture that even he can't defend. Shot on location in the UK, Germany, Norway, Canada and the US, this documentary is the first of its kind. It is both a defense of a long-misunderstood art form and a window for the outsider into the spectacle that is heavy metal. Written by Scot McFadyen

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Film That Will Take You Into the Heart of the Beast.

Genres:

Documentary | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, violent images, some nudity and sexual content | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

21 June 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Metal - Uma Jornada pelo Mundo do Heavy Metal  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$1,300,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The 21 year sentence in Norway is called "life sentence", so the life sentence in Norway is 21 years. See more »

Goofs

Dunn also mentions the "Filthy 15", a list of artists with lyrics considered obscene in one of a number of ways. Sam mentions that, of the 15, 8 are metal bands- he has miscounted. Upon reviewing the list, Danish black metal band Mercyful Fate make the list but bump the count to 9 bands. They are also not highlighted like the other metal bands sharing spots on the list. See more »

Quotes

Tom Araya: Regardless of whatever fucking religion you believe in, whatever it is you feel is right, everybody knows what's wrong.
See more »

Connections

References This Is Spinal Tap (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

Silent Wars
Performed by Arch Enemy
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User Reviews

 
And what a journey!
9 November 2006 | by (Melbourne, Australia) – See all my reviews

I don't like heavy metal music; in fact I hate most heavy metal music. I loved Metal: A Headbanger's Journey. It had all the best components of a good documentary, one of the best released in a long time and a good companion piece on a par with Metallica – Some Kind of Monster.

Co-director Sam Dunn is both a metal aficionado and a student of anthropology. He knew how and where to delve into the culture with a healthy reverence for his subject matter, but with the objectivity to examine in a way that outsiders could glean appreciation. I found it fascinating.

In a systematic, well-structured manner, heavy metal's origins and history were examined, as was the disparity between its followers and detractors. Fans, band members and industry experts were interviewed. The questions and answers were intelligent. Historic file footage was used. The culture and its many sub-genres was analysed. The relationships between heavy metal and gender, sex, religion, Satanism and violence were all covered in a most interesting and enlightening manner.

It was shot on location, including at various concerts, across North America, UK and Europe. I found Dee Snider of Twisted Sister, Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath and Ronnie James Dio of Dio (accredited as the inventor of the devil horn sign) the most compelling interviewees, though there were many others too numerous to mention. The sum of the whole turned out a rich result.

Unlike many documentaries of late, where the primary goal appears to be light entertainment using celebrity heads, this film is truly insightful, intelligent, balanced, educational, funny and entertaining! Whatever your taste in music, I highly recommend it.


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