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Metal: A Headbanger's Journey (2005)

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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 »
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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


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


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


Documentary | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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




Release Date:

21 June 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Metal - A Headbanger's Journey  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$1,300,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


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


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 »


Rob Zombie: That's what I love about it is, it's so fucking huge, and yet certain people don't even know it exists.
See more »


Followed by Global Metal (2008) See more »


Laid to Rest
Written by Adler/Adler/Randy Blythe/Campbell/Morton
Performed by Lamb of God
Licensed courtesy of Sony BMG Music (Canada) Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

A Rock N Roll film that gets it RIGHT!
17 November 2005 | by (US) – See all my reviews

This was shown during the AFI Festival held in Santa Monica, CA.

Unlike 1988' The Decline II: "The Metal Years" disaster while a big deal at the time, it still remains a brutal "cringe-fest" from start to finish and focused on predominately one style (Glam)one era (The 80s) one location(Sunset Strip) and barely covers the period of Heavy Metal that is STILL alive and well: thrash, black, speed,etc

I would have never guessed that a film about Heavy Metal would take serious the attitudes, styles, individuals,genres and provide a clear history time-line unlike Decline and any others of that ilk.

Don't know when this will come out officially, but hopefully a distributor out there will take notice, even if its headed for the midnight movie circuit.

FEATURED INTERVIEWS: Dio *Iron Maiden * Girlschool * Twisted Sister * Motorhead * Slayer * Rob Zombie* Tony Iommi * Slipknot and more.

14 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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