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The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years (1988)

Documentary showcase, what life was like for the music artists living during the Los Angeles Heavy Metal scene in the mid and late 1980s.


Penelope Spheeris

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Steven Tyler ... Himself
Joe Perry ... Himself
Alice Cooper ... Himself
Gene Simmons ... Himself
Paul Stanley ... Himself
Lemmy ... Himself
Ozzy Osbourne ... Himself
Bobby Dall Bobby Dall ... Himself (Poison bassist)
Bret Michaels ... Himself (Poison vocalist)
Rikki Rockett ... Himself (Poison drummer)
Joey Scott Harges Joey Scott Harges ... Himself
Gene Allen Gene Allen ... Himself
Mychal Davis Mychal Davis ... Himself
J. Holmes J. Holmes ... Himself
Mark Michals Mark Michals ... Himself


Documentary showcase, what life was like for the music artists living during the Los Angeles Heavy Metal scene in the mid and late 1980s.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


It's more than music...it's a way of life.


Documentary | Music


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Official Sites:

Official Site





Release Date:

24 August 1989 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

O Declínio da Civilização do Ocidente - Os Anos do Metal See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »


Box Office


$500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The women lying in bed with Paul Stanley were Playboy models. See more »


On the Blu-ray Disc menus, under commentary, Nadir D'Priest (singer from London) is incorrectly referred to as "THE Nadir D'Priest." See more »


Dave Mustaine - Megadeth Guitarist: Without death, life would be meaningless.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Additional interview clips play alongside the first half of the credits. See more »


Follows The Decline of Western Civilization (1981) See more »


The Prophecy
Written by Chris De Garmo (as DeGarmo)
Performed by Queensrÿche
Produced by NEIL KERNON
QUEENSRYCHE appears Courtesy of EMI-MANHATTAN Records
See more »

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User Reviews

Interesting, but it's a big joke
28 September 2010 | by stevenfallonnycSee all my reviews

I'm giving this a "7" rating because "The Metal Years" film is an interesting one. Interesting, in that almost all the bands showcased are so bad, and the "musicians" so horrid, that you can't take your eyes off them.

You get a bunch of big guns, like Ozzy, Alice, Kiss, Poison, Lemmy and a few more. But mostly the movie is made of lesser metal heads, and it's not a pretty sight. It's like a Saturday Night Live skit that is 90 minutes long, all making fun of rock and roll, trying to make rock look as silly and ridiculous as possible. Only thing is, this film is dead serious.

"The Delusional Years" would have been a decent title for this movie, when it comes to the unsigned bands they speak to - ALL of them are sure they are going to be rich, wealthy, legendary rock and rollers. It's downright sad (almost), as in one incredible sequence, where the narrator asks a bunch of musicians what will happen to them if they don't "make it." All of them pretty much say they will make it. Now, positivity is a good attitude, but there were so many cookie-cutter hair metal bands back then, how can they all seriously think this.

One band, Odin, is especially pathetic. Odin is one of the absolute worst bands you will ever hear, or see. The singer defines "unlistenable." But there they are, in a hot tub with sluts, all sure they will make it. One of them admits to almost killing himself at times, dampening the festive chicks-in-hot-tub mood. Odin what you see in this movie, is exactly what you'd see today if comics made fun of the era. They are BAD.

But not to single them out, so are a bunch of the others. Truthfully though, you really don't get a sense of the inside of rock with this movie. It's kind of cookie-cutter, just like the bands - a typical documentary that really could have been about many genres of music.

The saddest part of course is the Chris Holmes sequence, with him drunk in a swimming pool while his mom watches. The saddest thing here really isn't Chris - it's his mom, for just sitting there like a rock while her son drinks himself to death on a raft in a pool. Good going, mom.

If you want to laugh for 90 minutes and think to yourself that some people out there actually took this (for the most part) horrible music seriously, this is the movie for you.

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