Confirmed for life metalhead Dunn is our narrator-guide in this slight but entertaining documentary about that most misunderstood of musical genres, heavy metal. Dunn, an anthropologist, is intrigued at how outsiders view metal so sets out to explore how the culture compares with the clichés of satanism, spots and sexual confusion. In so doing, he speaks to key metallers Tony Iommi, Bruce Dickinson, Lemmy, Alice Cooper, Rob Zombie and Dee Snider, plus a couple of hilarious stereotypes from the nutsoid Scandinivian death metal scene (question: ‘What does heavy metal mean to you?’ Answer, after long pause: ‘Satan’, swigs from goblet, glares at camera). While there’s considerable fun and fine music to be had, Dunn’s own passion for the culture he’s studying means he’s not prepared to look too closely at some contentious issues, and the film lacks critical rigour – his passage on metal and sexuality is particularly weak (wot no Rob Halford?). ‘Metal…’ is preaching to the choir, but it’ll go down well with an audience that has a prodigious appetite for anything that shares its enthusiasm.
Friday April 28 2006
Sam Dunn, Scot McFadyen, Jessica Joy Wise