Mark Wahlberg stars as Chris Cole, the lead singer of a tribute band who becomes lead singer of the real band he idolizes. This movie explores the rabid popularity and backstage excesses of the glam rock bands that dominated 1980's music.
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!!This film contains examples of:
* APartyAlsoKnownAsAnOrgy: The party that occurs after Chris' first performance with Steel Dragon.
* TheAllegedCar : The band is shown pushing the car to get it started, although Emily's little orange number apparently gets her all the way to Seattle.
* AlliterativeName: Chris Cole, Bobby Beers, and (sound-wise) Kirk Cuddy.
* ArmoredClosetGay: Steel Dragon's original singer. Also, according to WordofGod (on the commentary), Bradley, the rival singer who replaces Chris in Blood Pollution.
* AscendedFanboy: The plot.
* BasedOnATrueStory: [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_%22Ripper%22_Owens Tim "Ripper" Owens was in a Judas Priest tribute band before joining Judas Priest itself]].
** To hammer the point home, the working title of the film (seen on the clapper on outtakes on the [=DVD=]) was Rock God. "Rock God" is the nickname of Rob Halford, the man Owens replaced.
* BasementDweller: Although he doesn't live in the basement, pre-fame Chris Cole is a grown man who still lives with his parents (a fact that his police officer brother loves pointing out), and his bedroom walls are covered in Steel Dragon posters.
* BigBrotherMentor: Mats.
* BingeMontage: Happens while Steel Dragon is on tour and living the rock and roll lifestyle.
* BookEnds: Chris impresses the lead singer by singing along at a concert; a fan later does the same thing to him.
* BritishRockstar: Most of the other members of Steel Dragon, although Ghode (the other guitarist, played by [[Music/BlackLabelSociety Zakk Wylde]]) is American, as evidenced by his New Jersey accent.
* TheCameo: Part of the fun of the movie is its cast of rock stars, including an appearance from ''Creator/MylesKennedy'' when he was just some guy in a band.
* ControlFreak: Chris' insistence that Blood Pollution play the songs ''exactly'' the same way Steel Dragon does, as well as refusing to let his bandmates play original songs, eventually results in him being kicked out of the band.
* CoolOldGuy: Mats, the road manager for Steel Dragon. He becomes somewhat of a mentor to Chris, giving him advice on how to adapt to the lifestyle of a famous rock star. WordOfGod on the DVD says he was envisioned as a "demented Obi Wan Kenobi."
* CreativeClosingCredits: Along with some HilariousOuttakes, it's revealed Bobby Beers joined a Scottish dance troupe, and while [[ActorAllusion Marky Mark's "Good Vibrations" plays,]] [[SelfDeprecation Chris breakdances and says "No more of this metal shit,]] [[OldShame hip-hop is where it is!"]].
* DeadpanSnarker: Emily is one of these. So is Bobby.
--> Chris: Wait, you're gay?
--> Bobby: No, I bought a house in Morocco and pierced both my nipples because I'm John [[PrecisionFStrike Fucking]] Wayne.
* DoingItForTheArt: [[invoked]] How Chris feels about his tribute band. Also, Bobby Beers' project at the end.
* DudeLooksLikeALady: [[spoiler: Tanya]]
** When Ricki can't figure out how to put on mascara.
--> Rob: I just keep piling this shit on until I want to fuck myself.
** In the stinger, Creator/MarkWahlberg jokes around about the makeup.
--> Ever had your ass kicked by a guy wearing more makeup than your mom?
* TheEighties : According to WordOfGod on the commentary, they all had trouble with the incredibly tight pants.
** Also crosses into TheNineties by the end, with the Seattle grunge scene.
* EightiesHair : Most of them are wearing wigs and extensions, except Blas Elias (Blood Pollution's drummer).
* EndOfAnAge: The hair-metal/glam rock era of the 80's.
* FakeBand
* GenderBlenderName : Kim, Bobby's lover.
* GoldDigger: The wives of the Steel Dragon members. It's even implied that they tolerate their husbands having sex with groupies in exchange for expensive gifts and a lavish lifestyle.
* GroupieBrigade: And how!
* {{Grunge}}: [[spoiler:At the end of the film Chris becomes disillusioned with the rock star lifestyle, so he quits Steel Dragon, moves to Seattle, and starts making grunge music.]]
* IAmTheBand: Kurt Cutty feels this way.
** Bobby Beers outright says it.
* ImportantHaircut: Chris gets one at the end, going from metal length to [[Music/KurtCobain Cobain]] length.
* InsistentTerminology: Blood Pollution is a ''tribute'' band, ''not'' a cover band (at least according to Chris).
** Justified, as there ''is'' a difference. A cover band plays songs by many groups, while a tribute band only plays the songs of one group or singer. He is a little too caught up in it, though.
* IntercourseWithYou: The Steel Dragon song "Stand Up And Shout".
* MeaningfulEcho: When Bobby Beers is fired from Steel Dragon, it plays out very similarly to Chris being kicked out of Blood Pollution earlier in the film.
** Likewise at the end when Chris sees Thor mimicking him in the same way he (Chris) mimicked Bobby in the beginning of the film.
* MetalHead: The members of Steel Dragon, their fans, and their groupies.
* MetalScream: Stand up and SHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOUUUUT!
** Also Chris' extended "HALLELUJAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHH" during choir practice, and Thor's "God of THUNDER!"
* MinimalisticCoverArt: Chris is scoffed at when he recommends this.
* MirrorMatch : The parking lot fight between Blood Pollution and Black Babylon, identically-dressed Steel Dragon tribute bands.
* ModestyBedsheet : After the party, Emily doesn't bother getting dressed, just wraps a sheet around her for her "walk of shame" back to the hotel room.
* MrFanservice: As the manager explains, this is why the band is popular.
* MsFanservice: Nina and Samantha, the two Steel Dragon fangirls/groupies. Their only roles in the film seem to be looking sexy and saying everything in unison (although they were ultimately responsible for Chris joining Steel Dragon by showing a Blood Pollution video tape to Kurt Cuddy). GirlOnGirlIsHot is also implied, as they're holding hands in one or two shots.
** Creator/JenniferAniston wears some pretty revealing outfits, too, including the crocheted dress and a see-through t-shirt.
** Subverted with Tania.
* NewSoundAlbum: Chris wants to do one of these, but is overruled. Ironically, the last thing he's seen recording sounds more early00s Nu Metal than the NWOBHM style they've rocked so far in the film.
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed: No bands were harmed; although their story is based on Judas Priest, Steel Dragon could easily be a stand-in for Def Leppard, Mötley Crüe, Judas Priest, Guns N' Roses, Twisted Sister, Poison, Winger, Slaughter, Warrant, etc.
** And, of course, Chris Cole is loosely based on Tim "Ripper" Owens, who sang in a Judas Priest tribute band and later became Judas Priest's main vocalist after Rob Halford temporarily quit the band.
* NobodyLovesTheBassist: Played straight. The singer and lead guitar are the only members written in any detail.
* OnlyKnownByTheirNickname : Kirk, due to some name confusion between his second and third wives, refers to all women as "Tottie."
* OpenMindedParent : Chris' parents, rather than hating on rock music the way movie parents often do, support him and adore the band.
* PosterGalleryBedroom: Chris has one. Covered in (you guessed it) Steel Dragon posters.
* PowerBallad: "We All Die Young". "Colorful," from the ending.
* RealMenWearPink: "Is that mascara?" "I'm in a band."
* TheRockStar: Chris becomes one.
* RunningGag: Don't call Blood Pollution a cover band.
* SexDrugsAndRockAndRoll: A lot of each, but subverted in Bobby's speech to Chris.
--> You got the sex wrong, didn't you? And drugs, I never touch 'em. No one does a gig like I do half-cut, not even at your age!
* ShoutOut : Several, to rock and roll films, but noted on the commentary is a [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heavy_Metal_Parking_Lot documentary]] called ''Heavy Metal Parking Lot.''
* TheShowMustGoOn: In the very beginning of the first song in his first concert with [[FakeBand Steel Dragon]], [[AscendedFanboy Chris Cole]] slips and falls down the stairs. Despite a nasty head wound and possible concussion, Chris rallies and finishes the song and the concert.
* SiblingRivalry: Chris and his brother, Joe, fight constantly. Joe thinks Chris is a pathetic BasementDweller, while Chris thinks Joe is a pig cop. Their relationship seems to improve after Chris joins Steel Dragon.
* ShownTheirWork: In-universe, Chris knows everything about Steel Dragon. "The stitching should be green... and has anyone ever seen Bobby wear a jacket with blue lapels?"
* StageNames: Izzy.
* StopHavingFunGuys: An in-universe example. The other members of Blood Pollution are playing to have a good time, but Chris is so obsessive about perfectly imitating Steel Dragon that it causes his bandmates to resent him, and ultimately results in him being kicked out of the band.
* TantrumThrowing : While Bobby and Chris both throw tantrums, A.C. throws a TV out a hotel window after his girlfriend dumps him.
* UnsettlingGenderReveal : [[spoiler: Tania]], while wearing Chris' pants.
* YokoOhNo: Averted in-universe. Emily is very supportive of Chris.
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