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Metal: A Headbanger's Journey (2005)

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An examination of the heavy metal music subculture that tries to explain why, despite the longevity and popularity of the genre, fans are marginalized and ridiculed for their passion.
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tom Araya ... Himself
Gavin Baddeley Gavin Baddeley ... Himself
Blasphemer Blasphemer ... Himself
Randy Blythe ... Himself
Joe Bottiglieri Joe Bottiglieri ... Himself
Eric Bryan Eric Bryan ... Himself
Jackie Chambers Jackie Chambers ... Herself
Monte Conner Monte Conner ... Himself
Alice Cooper ... Himself
Denis 'Piggy' D'Amour Denis 'Piggy' D'Amour ... Himself
Pamela Des Barres ... Herself
Bruce Dickinson ... Himself
Ronnie James Dio ... Himself
Malcolm Dome Malcolm Dome ... Himself
Rose Dyson Rose Dyson ... Herself
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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

Country:

Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 June 2006 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Metal - A Headbanger's Journey See more »

Filming Locations:

Canada

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,300,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Varg Vikernes was released from prison the week of May 13 2009 after serving nearly 16 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

Bruce Dickinson: My intention as a frontman is to try and find the guy who's right at the back of the 30 000 capacity festival and go, "You. Yeah, you!" And the guy goes "Me?" And you can do that! You can actually do that.
See more »

Connections

References Braveheart (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Needled 24-7
Performed by Children Of Bodom
See more »

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User Reviews

 
And what a journey!
9 November 2006 | by paulmartin-2See 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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