EDITOR’S NOTE: Utopia, Abramorama and Portobello Electric have partnered to release the remastered documentary, Anvil! The Story of Anvil for a special one-night engagement in 200 theaters nationally on September 27th with select extended theatrical runs through October at National Circuits including AMC and Regal Cinemas. The rerelease is timed to the film’s 13th year anniversary and features remastered picture and sound, as well as a new exclusive epilogue interview, only available in theaters, with director Sacha Gervasi and Anvil’s Steve “Lips” Kudlow and Robb Reiner moderated by former MTV host Matt Pinfield. The documentary will be available for digital pre-order on iTunes and Vudu starting September 27.
This first ran on September 22, 2020.
Super Rock ’84 in Japan was a touring rock festival that had Bon Jovi, Whitesnake, Scorpions, Michael Schenker Group and Anvil playing. Of these bands, Anvil had the least success, but it wasn’t for lack of effort. At the time of this movie, Steve “Lips” Kudlow is working for a catering company and Robb Reiner is in construction. Their real lives are in constant juxtaposition with what being a rock star promised them, which is the story of this film.
Sacha Gervasi wrote the Tom Hanks movie The Terminal, but two decades before, he had been a roadie for Anvil. Who knew that someday he’d make the movie about them that would let the world know they existed, as well win an Independent Spirit Award and an Emmy?
It seems like every time the band gets close to their dreams, things go wrong. It always makes me think, when I wonder what it would have been like to be a rock star instead of having a day job, exactly how it would all turn out. This movie is a sobering reminder that not everyone makes it. Until, well, they do.
I kind of love the moment where Kudlow and Reiner nearly kill a promoter for not paying them. I had a similar moment happen when I first started in pro wrestling. A promoter wanted to pay us in checks and I didn’t know any better. That’s when I learned to always get paid in cash. A vet taught me that, as he grabbed that promoter, shoved a revolver in his face and demanded that the two of us get our money right now. I was kind of shocked by it all, but it was nice to drive home with actual cash, even if a man’s life had to be put in jeopardy. I remembered all of that when I watched this.