Film / Anvil! The Story of Anvil
Anvil! The Story of Anvil is a 2008 rockumentary film by Sacha Gervasi. The film follows the life of Canadian Heavy Metal band Anvil, that saw some success in the 1980s, but, unlike their contemporaries like Whitesnake, Bon Jovi or Metallica, never got their big break.

The film follows the band's key members, vocalist and guitarist Steve "Lips" Kudlow and drummer Robb Reiner (no, not that Rob Reiner) as Anvil goes on a poorly organized European tour. While it starts out hopeful enough, soon they find themselves playing in small clubs for no more than a dozen people. Back home, they begin working on their 13th album. Things start to look up as they collaborate with renowned producer Chris "CT" Tsangarides, but tensions are rising in the band.

Anvil! The Story of Anvil is a heartwarming story about two guys who have spent their whole life chasing their dream, keeping at it against all odds out of loyalty to their art and to each other.

As usual, you can find the basics at IMDB.

"Tropes! The Story of Tropes":

  • Bar Brawl: Lips gets in one when he realizes he isn't getting paid for his gig..
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Don't refuse Lipps his pay for playing a gig.
  • Book Ends: The concerts in Japan.
  • Canada, Eh?
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Lips sure knows how to drop 'em when he's mad.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: The title.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Robb is about to give up on Anvil in the process of recording This Is Thirteen. Lips and CT talk him out of it.
  • Determinator: Every one of them. If you have to give them credit for only one thing: These guys are unstoppable!
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Washed-up hard rock band, struggling to get some love and respect, is saved by Japanese fans - Again!
    We're going to do it together. We're gonna get there. We're going to fucking do it. Since we were fucking 14 years old, and here we sit in our fucking fifties, man... We're gonna be rock stars!
  • Excited Show Title!
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: In-Universe. This trope's other name "Big in Japan" figures literally as the band finds more success there than at home.
  • Gilligan Cut: One member of the band, standing outside of a club, says that the place is totally packed. Cut inside to Anvil playing their set to about four headbangers, one of them sitting in an office chair.
  • Glory Days: That festival in 1984, when they shared the stage with Whitesnake, Scorpions and Bon Jovi. Anvil was the only band on stage that didn't make it big.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Lips and Robb.
  • Hot-Blooded: Lips is as emotional as you'd expect from a metal singer.
  • Humiliation Conga: This trope is in full effect in this film. One misfortune after another keeps befalling the band. It's no wonder that Anvil has been referred to as "The real-life Spinal Tap."
  • Iron Butt Monkey: Lips and Robb.
  • Needs More Love: The central driving In-Universe principle of the film, but perhaps summed up best in the opening. The concert in Japan features acts such as Whitesnake and Bon Jovi playing alongside Anvil, before hammering home the point that Anvil was the only one of these acts which faded into obscurity.
  • Nice Guy: Everyone in the band.
    • Nice Jewish Boy: Lipps and Rob are both Jewish and are shown to be very friendly, easy going and well spoken. Though Lipps does let his anger get the better of him several times throughout the movie.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Lips is red, Robb is blue.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Lips' infamous vibrator solos.
  • Rockumentary
  • Shout-Out: At one point, CT Tsangarides turns one of the volume knobs Up to Eleven. Also, they visit Stonehenge.
  • Up to Eleven: Played straight at CT Tsangarides' studio as he turns the input level knob to 11.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Rob mentions that he and Lipps have gotten into physical confrontations more than once over the years, and they also have a very heated argument while recording for their new album. Despite this, the two are as close as brothers and are practically inseperable.
  • White-Dwarf Starlet: Which went nova after the film. Lips and Robb have now been able to quit their day jobs and live on music.