1 Nov

I just watched the documentary about the heavy metal band “Anvil” titled “The Story Of Anvil“.


It was a fun movie. It’s like a real life “This Is Spinal Tap” (which is a “mockumentary”, or mock documentary, about a fake heavy metal band called “Spinal Tap”).


Anyways, I knew the Canadian heavy metal band Anvil in the ’80s. But I was never really a big fan of theirs.
Actually I had totally forgotten about Anvil for the past twenty-some years…until this movie was released last month.
But Japanese fans are famous for being dedicated for life. This documentary about Anvil begins with the band playing at a heavy metal festival in Japan in the mid-80s, and then it shows how they struggled for nearly three decades in obscurity in their small hometown in Canada…until they were offered the chance in 2006 to return to Japan and play at the LoudPark ’06 heavy metal festival in front of a huge Japanese crowd again.

The behavior of the members of Anvil in this documentary makes me think that maybe “This Is Spinal Tap” is inspired by Anvil…even though the Spinal Tap mockumentary was released in the mid-80s.

For example, in the Spinal Tap movie, one member of that band changed the numbers on his amplifier so that the maximum volume read “11” rather than “10”, and he thought that that made it louder than other amps.
And in the Anvil movie, the guitarist’s amplifier also goes up to eleven.

Also, the Spinal Tap band went to “Stonehenge” and were inspired by it and decided to add a giant 18-foot prop Stonehenge to their stage…but a misunderstanding led the prop to be designed at only 18 inches tall.
And in their movie, Anvil also went to “Stonehenge” for inspiration.

Another similarity between the two movies is that both bands struggled to become successful, often playing in front of audiences of less than six people…until they learned how popular they were in Japan.

And an usual coincidence is that “This Is Spinal Tap” was directed by Rob Reiner…and the drummer of Anvil is named Robb Reiner.

I’m convinced. Anvil is the real Spinal Tap.

Here’s the official trailer for “The Story Of Anvil“:

And here’s the scene from “This Is Spinal Tap” where the guitarist is convinced that having “11” written on the amp makes it louder:

17 Responses to “Anvil”

  1. Blue Shoe March 28, 2011 at 7:55 am #

    Nice post, man. I’m a fan of both movies!


    • tokyo5 March 28, 2011 at 12:16 pm #

      >Nice post, man.


      >I’m a fan of both movies!

      Yeah, they’re entertaining!


  2. Sir Pent November 4, 2009 at 4:01 am #

    Some of the things are just WAY too coincidental:
    – a trip to Stonehenge
    – an amp that goes to 11
    – scheduling an event where nobody shows up
    – a triumphant return concert in Japan to end the movie

    I think the director helped steer this movie to emulate and present a “real life Spinal Tap”.

    Having said that, I think as a movie it works wonderfully and I enjoyed it quite a bit.


    • tokyo5 November 5, 2009 at 2:02 am #

      Yeah, as I said, I began to think that it was intended to have them look like the “real” Spinal Tap.


  3. Sir Pent November 4, 2009 at 12:04 am #

    I recently watched this on VH1-Classic channel.
    I remember Anvil from the 80s, but also remember that they weren’t very popular. I heard one of their albums once.

    The movie itself is fantastic, but I don’t think Anvil inspired Spinal Tap. (The first performances of Spinal Tap actually happened in the late 70s and early 80s…long before the movie.) I think the director of the Anvil movie specifically created this movie as an homage to the Spinal Tap movie.


    • tokyo5 November 4, 2009 at 12:25 am #

      >I remember Anvil from the 80s…I heard one of their albums once.

      Me, too.

      >I think the director of the Anvil movie specifically created this movie as an homage to the Spinal Tap movie.

      Actually, I was thinking that that might be the case too. That maybe parts (or all) of the Anvil movie were staged to purposely be similar to Spinal Tap.


  4. cupofjoegill November 1, 2009 at 8:05 pm #

    Nice Movie review. I really enjoyed the movie and the band’s dedication to “make it”. Its a must see!

    Joe Gill


    • tokyo5 November 1, 2009 at 8:42 pm #


      Yeah, I enjoyed this movie too.


  5. Eric November 1, 2009 at 6:24 pm #

    Spinal Tap isn’t from the mid 90’s. It came out in 1984.


    • tokyo5 November 1, 2009 at 7:44 pm #

      Sorry. Typo.
      I meant “mid 80’s”. (I just changed it. Thanks.)

      Do you know the band “Anvil“? They’re Canadian.


      • Eric November 2, 2009 at 10:53 am #

        I had heard of them when I was young. They used to play small carnivals back in the day. I did see the movie on the flight back from Canada. Very interesting. Funny and sad at the same time.


      • tokyo5 November 2, 2009 at 10:11 pm #

        Some parts of the movie have bad language. Is it OK for an in-flight movie?


      • Eric November 3, 2009 at 12:38 am #

        On Air Canada they have video screens in each seat and you can choose which movie you want to watch. That way they don’t have to worry about children on the flight or other people who might object to foul language.


      • tokyo5 November 3, 2009 at 12:48 am #

        I think all airlines have those personal screens now. But I was just thinking that if the parents are sleeping and the kids are watching the movie…

        And Air Canada! It makes sense that Canada has an airline…but I don’t think I’ve ever heard of it before!


  6. tokyo5 November 1, 2009 at 12:19 pm #

    I guess that Anvil movie trailer isn’t showing.


  7. In10Words aka "Galileo" November 1, 2009 at 12:11 pm #

    I know that this has nothing to do with your entry, but I finally found a Youtube clip of the Mr, Sparkle commercial from the Simpsons: Enjoy!


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