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Metal - A Headbanger's Journey

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Product Details

  • Actors: Tony Iommi, Dee Snider, Alice Cooper, Rob Zombie, Vince Neil
  • Directors: Sam Dunn, Scott McFadyen, Jessica Joy Wise
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, PAL
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: January 2, 2007
  • Run Time: 180 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,282 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Metal - A Headbanger's Journey" on IMDb

Special Features

  • 17 extended interviews
  • 20-minute mini-documentary on Norwegian Black Metal
  • Footage with Lemmy from Motorhead at the Rainbow
  • Travel outtakes
  • The definitive metal history family tree

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Anthropologist Sam Dunn decided to study the plight of a different culture, one he has been a part of since he was a 12-year-old: the culture of heavy metal. Sam sets out on a global journey to find out why this music has been consistently stereotyped, dismissed and condemned and yet is loved so passionately by millions. Sam explores metal's obsession with some of life's most provocative subjects - sexuality, religion, violence and death - and discovers some things about the culture that even he can't defend. This documentary, the first of its kind, is both a defense of a long-misunderstood art form and a window for the outsider into the spectacle that is heavy metal.


An anthropological study of Heavy Metal? Is this for real? Believe it man, it's true, and it's pretty darn good at that. Metal - A Headbanger's Journey is a labor of love for director/ producer Sam Dunn; anthropologist, academia, metalhead. Like a good anthropologist Dunn has often wondered about cultures, societies, and the key elements that makes them thrive. Being a life-long headbanger, Sam Dunn decided to turn his academic skills onto himself to study and attempt to explain the often misunderstood culture that shaped his existence and millions of others around the world. Structured like a traditional anthropological journal, Metal - A Headbanger's Journey is broken into sections such as "Origins," "Roots," "Environments," "Culture," "Sexuality," "Religion," and "Death." Many topics are addressed such as identifying the first heavy metal band, what in the music defines the heavy metal sound, why heavy metal unites fans from around the world, why the music has been a target for so many watchdog groups, and who really popularized the heavy metal horn salute. For non-metalheads, the structured approach keeps the documentary on track and prevents it from getting cartoonish and too fan-based and self congratulatory. Metalheads that don't care about film's structure, will thoroughly enjoy the interviews of metal's elite (including originators Tony Iommi, Alice Cooper, Dio, and Bruce Dickinson to modern day heroes Tom Morello, Rob Zombie and Lamb of God) the music, fan commentaries and the concert footage. So raise your horns up high, turn it up loud and check out the best Heavy Metal film ever made. Metal - A Headbanger's Journey will not disappoint. --Rob Bracco

Customer Reviews

This is a great, fresh documentary about metal, and about music in general.
Jonathan Molina M
Never before have I found something which so accurately puts into words why this type of music can hit people like it does.
Levon Guaderrama
Create a real documentary of the history of the HEAVY METAL is a great idea!
Rio Fluzão

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Jordan Itkowitz on September 18, 2006
Format: DVD
Horns up to Sam Dunn and co. for not only finally putting together a definitive documentary on my favorite genre of music, but for also having the excellent taste to do it right. It covers everyone from SABBATH to SLAYER to ENSLAVED, hits on Satanism, censorship and sexuality, and does a fantastic job of showcasing just how deep and varied metal really is. Worth the viewing alone for the metal genealogy chart. Where the film falters, however, is in trying to objectively explain the music's appeal - it sometimes feels at once passionate and defensive. Still, required viewing for anyone who knows the unfortunate difference between Ride the Lightning and St. Anger. 4.5/5.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Pain with no Remorse on April 20, 2006
Format: DVD
I saw this awesome documentary at the Gene Siskel Film Theater in Chicago a couple days ago, and I feel that Sam Dunn has done an incredibly accurate analysis of the evolution, misconceptions, and ideas involved in metal culture. Though lacking in extensive detail for time's sake, Mr. Dunn has still worked to debunk many of the common stereotypes and misconceptions about the brotherhood of metalheads, both past and present. My favorite interviews include those of Ronnie James Dio- the guy seems so nice, and has a great sense of humor....and my other favorite is with one of the guys from Gorgoroth. The guy is so drugged up or brainwashed by something, that he barely can answer a question. I picked up this DVD and it's definitely going to be a an awesome thing to show to my metalhead and non-metalhead friends. Incredibly entertaining, and highly recommended. Buy it now.
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51 of 65 people found the following review helpful By Triniman on May 9, 2006
Format: DVD
From Blogcritics.org and Triniman's Blog.

Metal - A Headbanger's Journey begins with footage from 1986 with kids gathering for a rock festival. They're partying, playing air guitar, dressed in the proper attire of black t-shirts or no shirts at all, but most of all, they just look like they are out for a good time. But, someone is out to ruin their fun...

The film switches to the September 19, 1985 Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC) Senate hearings. The group published their "Filthy Fifteen" list of songs, along with their interpretation of what the lyrics are about. Artists included Venom, Mercyful Fate, Def Leppard, Prince, Sheena Easton, Vanity, Madonna and Cyndi Lauper, among others.

Looking precisely like he just left the stage, singer Dee Snider, addressed the Senate suits, including future VP Al Gore. It's interesting to note that in part of Snider's speech which wasn't included in the film, he explained that he was raised a Christian and follows many of the same ideals, doesn't drink, smoke or do drugs and is a married father of a three-year-old. In other words, he was showing that beneath his mountainous blonde mane, he's actually not unlike most adults, except that he sings in a heavy metal band.

Since I seem to be the only person addressing this committee today who has been a direct target of accusations from the presumably responsible PMRC, I would like to use this occasion to speak on a more personal note and show just how unfair the whole concept of lyrical interpretation and judgement can be and how many times this can amount to little more than character assassination.

The hysteria surrounding the questionable lyrics was described as being the "moral panic of the day.
Read more ›
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By S. Mosier on April 24, 2006
Format: DVD
I saw this movie in New York City April 21. I must say that I was refreshed to see a movie that didn't focus on the "meathead" stereotype that Metal as a genre has. I was pleasantly surprised to hear intelligent interviews about reasoning, history, folklore and roots of metal. It is good for fans to see their favorite Metal artists talking in an intelligent fashion, which shows that Metal isn't just a no brain, long haired world. Every Metal fan should see this, especially young kids whom think that this genre is all about violence, gore, and satanism. Metal: A Headbangers Journey is the ultimate study in a genre many misunderstand, and many partake in.

The movie also features great footage, editing, found footage, and obviously the music featured is spectacular.

Great job, I will have the dvd the day it comes out!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By John Clements on May 26, 2006
Format: DVD
I'll keep my review fairly brief. This movie is very well done and is a comprehensive look at the heavy metal genre. Though it does go into a brief history of heavy metal, that is not the focus of the film. The film is meant to show people that there's more to heavy metal then the stereotypes that have been given to the genre. If you watch the mini-documentry on the Norweigian Black Metal scene featured on the second disc, you see that a lot of people complained about the length of the original film. In all honesty, if this was the history of heavy metal, then i'd agree that they could've done A LOT more since they really only scratched the surface when it came to the history (I personally wished they did a lot more with the thrash metal movement as well as make mention of more modern metal bands) BUT since the focus of the film is to debunk stereotypes and explain the genre in general, I felt that the goal was executed in the time presented.

Overall, I highly recommend this to fans of the genre as well as to those may not be fans of the genre, but wish to at least understand it a bit more.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews


Topic From this Discussion
metal: a headbanger's journey
not a printed out chart, Its an interactive chart on the bonus disk
Nov 15, 2010 by Grabow |  See all 2 posts
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