I'm a huge metal fan and have been since I was about 10. I'm also a fan of documentaries. Recently on VH1 there was a Metal Documentary called "Metal: A Headbangers Journey" that I sat through and realized...the two together...equals one amazing movie.
Sam Dunn is a 30 year old anthropologist who has been a big fan of metal ever since he was a kid. Throughout his life, he's had to defend why he loves his music so much and has always wondered why it's been stereotyped and dismissed as not music for so many years. So he sets out to make a documentary on metal, metal fans, musicians...everything. This is the simple story behind this movie.
Sam Dunn does his research thoroughly and covers it from top to bottom. Starting with metals first big names such as Sabbath and Zepplin, moving to today’s big metal acts such as Slipknot, Lamb of God, and Shadows Fall. Through the whole movie, Sam interviews some of the biggest names in the metal industry, such as the likes of Alice Cooper, Tony Iommi, Ronnie James Dio, Dee Snider...just to name a few. He really present his information well and credible. I mean how much more credible can you get than straight from the horses mouth?
The movie is extremely informative. You'll learn lots of stuff about bands you didn't know, and even bands you'd never heard of that were the inspiration for the big acts today. Also, Sam goes into depth of explaining where each genre came from and branched from, and even charts out all of it so you can track it. If you buy the DVD, on the second disk, you can view the whole chart and study it for yourself.
There is, however, a weak point to all the information, and that comes in the Norwegian Death Metal scene. Sam Dunn shows Norway in the light that it's notorious for, Satan worshipping, church burning, evil people. It seems the whole chapter on Norway's metal scene was the convince you these guys are insane and will kill you. Sam received a lot of flak for this and went back to Norway to do more research on the Death Metal scene there, creating a whole mini-documentary for people to watch, which is on the second disk of the DVD. Even after he does his research again, it still comes out as everyone in Norway hates God, and will kill you. Though it appears to be true, I just think the view and opinions of the Norwegian people were not really shown in order to scare you.
Lastly, though the documentary is kind of on the long side( an hour and 36 minutes), but, it feels like its not long enough when you think of all the information he would have to cover. He leaves out a lot of the genre's and a lot of the things going on today in the Metal scene that is just as important as the past. But, you'd have to make this thing a mini series to cover everything. And as much as I'd love that, he didn't do it, so this feels like a short documentary because a lot was left out.
Overall, this documentary is a must watch for any metal fans or music historians. It's also a good watch for those who denounce metal as music and bad mouth it all the time. Sam Dunn has really done his research, and it shines wonderfully in this awesome movie.