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Metal - A Headbanger's Journey

4.7 out of 5 stars 104 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Metal: A Headbanger's Journey (Dbl DVD)

Sam Dunn, a 30-year old anthropologist, 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 its millions of fans. Along the way, Sam explores metals 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. Shot on location in the UK, Germany, Norway, Canada and the US, this documentary is the first of its kind. It is both a defense of a long-misunderstood art form and a window for the outsider into the spectacle that is heavy metal.

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Amazon.com

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

Special Features

Additional Scenes: Over 87 minutes of special features including 17 extended interviews Audio Commentary: Director's commentary Documentary: 20-minute mini-documentary on Norwegian Black Metal Other: Footage with Lemmy from Motorhead at the RainbowAdditional Scenes: Over 87 minutes of special features including 17 extended interviews Audio Commentary: Director's commentary Documentary: 20-minute mini-documentary on Norwegian Black Metal Other: Footage with Lemmy from Motorhead at the RainbowAdditional Scenes: Over 87 minutes of special features including 17 extended interviews Audio Commentary: Director's commentary Documentary: 20-minute mini-documentary on Norwegian Black Metal Other: Footage with Lemmy from Motorhead at the RainbowAdditional Scenes: Over 87 minutes of special features including 17 extended interviews Audio Commentary: Director's commentary Documentary: 20-minute mini-documentary on Norwegian Black Metal Other: Footage with Lemmy from Motorhead at the RainbowAdditional Scenes: Over 87 minutes of special features including 17 extended interviews Audio Commentary: Director's commentary Documentary: 20-minute mini-documentary on Norwegian Black Metal Other: Footage with Lemmy from Motorhead at the RainbowAdditional Scenes: Over 87 minutes of special features including 17 extended interviews Audio Commentary: Director's commentary Documentary: 20-minute mini-documentary on Norwegian Black Metal Other: Footage with Lemmy from Motorhead at the Rainbow

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.)
  • 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: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (104 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000EGEJIY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,828 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Metal - A Headbanger's Journey" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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.
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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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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The metal head in me is very disappointed that this documentary never even came across him until very recently. Metal - A Headbanger's Journey, is a 96 minute documentary directed by hardcore metal fan Sam Dunn. The movie is very well made and executed as Sam goes on a personal journey that takes him to London, Germany, Norway, and back to the US where he's originally from, as he delves very deep into the roots of metal and even addresses much of the backlash the music form has received over the years. Very well rounded metal fans more than likely won't learn anything new at all. However, the intermediate and beginners will learn plenty. There were things I didn't know which added to my overall enjoyment though. The film was originally released in 2005, it was later re-released in 2006 as a two disk edition.

Sam Dunn had his act together for this one as he made this movie so fun to watch along with being educational in regards to heavy metal. There's some good footage of early and at the time current bands, along with some music of well known songs such as Motorhead's Ace of Spades and We're Not Gonna Take It! by Twisted Sister , but it's the interviews that shine as they feature faces like Tony Iommi, Dio, Dee Snider, Lemmy, Rob Zombie, Girl School, John Kay and just so many others.

The interviews are the cream filling of this treat; I enjoyed all of the commentary and background, but Sam Dunn didn't only bother with the actual music artist. He reached out to the fans for their take on what metal means to them, and this part of the film resonated with me the most because many of them echoed my love for the music. There was a 34 year old fan whom proudly expressed his love for metal, and pretty much gave the finger to friends and detractors alike who criticizes him for it.
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