Documentary My Dear Watson

Good day all,

Let’s talk about heavy metal documentaries! Surprisingly there are a lot of them out there, and more surprisingly there are some out there that you can learn a lot about heavy metal. I am only going to discuss the docs I have actually seen but there are a ton out there, so see as many as you can. Let’s first start with the Banger Films produced docs, “Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey”, and ” Iron Maiden: Flight 666″.  Banger Films is the company that produces “Metal Evolution” on VH1 Classic. “Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey” is, to me, a must see for all metal fans. Sam Dunn and company take an exhausting world-wide look at heavy metal and many of the sub-genres that were and still are popular for the time. The film was released in 2005 and as many of us current headbangers know, a lot has happened in metal since that time. But this doc delves into the small crevices that created metal and gives the viewer an appreciation for all things heavy metal. Towards the end of the film is a section about the Norwegian black metal scene and the “characters” that made this scene popular. Dunn and company interview some of the heavy hitters in this genre and the things that they do to prove their allegiance to black metal, and it literally will frighten you. These guys are serious (I think!?). But never the less, this is a mandatory film for a strong and well thought out history of metal.

The other release I watched from Banger Films was “Iron Maiden: Flight 666”. It seems that the main selling point of this film was that Bruce Dickinson would not only be singing on the tour , but would be the pilot of the plane that would take the band around the world. This film is an interesting look at the way a band works on the road and what it takes to put on a show. It is a fun film, but not that thought-provoking.

“Lemmy” was released in 2010 and is a doc about the life and career of Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead. This film is interesting look at a quirky man. The fact that he lives in a tiny apartment in Hollywood is comical to say the least. The man has made more money than I will ever see and he basically lives in a hole. This movie is fun for fans of Lemmy to see his quirkyness and how he goes about his everyday life, Some of the stories told by him and fellow musicians make this worth watching. But don’t expect any huge revelations about the man who is a living god to metal fans world-wide. The same nonchalance he has on stage isn’t any different when he is off the stage.

“Metallica: Some Kind of Monster” is an excellent movie and should be mandatory viewing even if you are not a fan of Metallica. This is a true look at the inner workings of a band that is fraying at the seams and has to come together and find a new bass player, as well as write and record a new album. It really is a great look at how the song writing process works for a band and the issues that bands have to deal with to make the process work appropriately. Plus the scene where Lars, Kirk, and James tell their lawyers that Robert gets his fair 1/4 of profits and royalties is worth the watch. I understand that the result of this movie and the song writing process was “St. Anger”, but trust me on this one.

A couple of old school documentaries that should not be missed is “Heavy Metal Parking Lot” this thirty minute tour of the parking lot of the Capital Center in Washington DC will remind those of you/us that where around during these times of the fun of our youth. Sitting in the parking lot of an arena, tailgating, possibly drinking underage, right before a Judas Priest show. If nothing else it is worth it for the nostalgia of the mullet.

Another doc that should be mandatory viewing is “The Decline of Western Civilization Pt.II”. This is a doc that mainly focuses on the hair metal bands of the ’80’s but there are some great interviews. The most notorious being Chris Holmes of WASP in his pool with his mother watching. This is a can’t  miss doc.

One more I will mention because it follows a heavy metal band is “Heavy Metal in Baghdad”. This is an interesting documentary that follows a group of kids in war torn Iraq who have a heavy metal band and what they have to endure to keep playing. However this doc is more of a statement on the war and what it is doing to the people living there than on Heavy Metal. Don’t get me wrong I really liked this movie, but it is not all about the music like the others I mentioned.

Some others to consider:

“God Bless Ozzy Osbourne”; “Heavy Metal: Louder Than LIfe”, “Anvil: The Story of Anvil”; Just to name a few, there are a ton of docs out there you just have to look. Heck just search Heavy Metal Documentary on Amazon and you will get a great selection.

I forgot to add the new releases for yesterday, not that many but here they are:

Pallbearer – Sorrow And Extinction (Profound Lore)
Soen –
Cognitive (Spinefarm) 

Song of the Day:

Until Later, Peace



4 thoughts on “Documentary My Dear Watson

  1. Thank you VH1 classic. I wouldn’t have seen most of this stuff without it. I wish Lemmy would have gotten a bigger response, great doc.

    • I also liked the Lemmy doc especially how it showed how down to earth and I only care about the music attitude he has. That is the point of the tiny little apartment he lives in. He would rather tour and write music than sit around. I look foreward to seeing Ozzy’s doc, just haven’t had the time. Thanks for reading!

      • I wish we could get more Doc.’s out there. Stryper and their faith – how real? Tesla and their rise.

  2. I loved watching Dunn’s documentary, extremely well done.

    I watched a VH1 series called Heavy, which was utter crap as it basically said metal went Maiden-thrash-glam-altmetal, and skipped out all of the subgenres. That said, it did great coverage of the PMRC issue, and with Dee Snider’s own take on the situation. Useful for my essay on metal in any case 😉

    I remember Some Kind Of Monster was on TV at some point, a very thought-provoking documentary when I watched it years ago.

    Also, cool song of the day, blasting it now.

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