METALLICA – Metallimania

METALLICA - Metallimania


Killing Time Productions
Release date: September 13, 2005

User Review
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Metallimania is an unusual look at the life that surrounds one of the biggest Metal bands of all time. Instead of showing the inner workings and defining moments that essentially make up the band Metallica, this “documentary” focuses on the fans, whose support has enabled Metallica to reach an Iconic level. Hosted by the fledgling filmmaker Eric Braverman (a.k.a. The Wind Walker), viewers are introduced up-close and personal to the men and women, girls and boys, who frequent their local venues to catch live Metallica performances.

If you have seen the trailer for Metallimania, you may be expecting a Michael Moore Roger and Me type of film; in essence, that is half right. There is that “man on the street” interview style akin to Mr. Moore. However, instead of a man digging for the truth, there is actually a slanted Fahrenheit 9/11 performance: the “Average” Joes that Eric Braverman usually interviews are most often the overly-loud-and-highly-intoxicated-METALLICAAAAA-yelling Neanderthals. Not to say there aren’t plenty of these types of guys and gals present at Metallica shows, or any concert no matter the genre, but these are the only people who get any share of the camera time. In fairness, watching a bunch of “normal people” tell you why they love Metallica probably wouldn’t hold even the most steadfast Metalli-fan’s attention for long, but it would be nice to see that capable, well-spoken citizens also enjoy their Metal.

Besides hanging out with the fans pre-concert and outside the venues, Eric goes looking for Metallica on the streets of San Francisco, asking everyone and anyone if they have seen James and Lars. There are a lot of blank stares and the occasional “Oh yeah I just passed them down the block” replies. At one point, he tries to ask a woman who is working the door of a local establishment if either James or Lars is inside. Not wanting any part of what Matt is selling, she immediately turns to insults and tells our fearless docu-leader that he “looks like (he) should be in the Planet of the Apes.” This would normally be a pretty half-assed insult except that Eric does somewhat resemble said Apes by sporting long, Civil War-style mutton chops.

The band themselves makes some casual appearances, as do a few celebrities: Rob Halford, Scott Ian, Tom Araya, Jim Martin, and the Queen of Pop herself, Madonna. The odd part about the recognizable parties is that everything they say is always either tongue-in-check or said in jest. After a while, the whole things starts to feel very pseudo-Spinal Tap-ish. Rob Halford talks about how he sees himself eventually working at Taco Bell, Scott Ian makes a reference to killing Joey Belladonna and disposing of his body (bet that wouldn’t go over so well on the current reunion tour), and the strangest thing is Tom Araya acting like a retarded Muppet of sorts.

The weirdest part about watching this film, though, is knowing how things have turned out with the band after the fact. The filming for Metallimania was done during the tour for the Black Album, so Jason was still in the band. He is the only one to ever give a serious interview where he isn’t just joking around and being coy. He talks about having some sort of anxiety attack where he really thought the end was near; and the most telltale moment is when Jason is asked, “Is James Hetfield fun to work with?” At the time, you probably would have laughed at his response, but it actually becomes an ominous bit of foreshadowing.

When the credits finally roll, you may question where you’ve been, or at least why you went there. It is very likely you will feel as though there was a missed opportunity here as well. After all, “The Wind Walker” obviously had some amazing access to the biggest band in the world, and he had some of today’s leading Metal superstars cracking up for him, so the guy had an “in.” Instead of creating a documentary, or even a Spinal Tap-esque mock-u-mentary, he actually ends up with a few half-hearted grins and giggles. The highlight of this flick really is the credits, with a Monty Python’s Holy Grail fictitious editing, which runs as Metallica performs Judas Priest’s “Rapid Fire,” featuring Halford on vocals … the sound is very raw, but it’s awesome footage just the same. To get a better sense of Metallica fans, check out the opening sequence to Metallica’s A Year and a Half in the Life of I & II. If you really want to watch some celluloid about fanatics check out Trekkies; now that is an amazing group of die hard fans.


  • Jeremy Juliano

    Jeremy was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. He's been involved with and has been following the Metal scene since the early 1980’s. He started out his Metal journey with heavy doses of Maiden, Accept, and Saxon. And in recent years, he has enjoyed the new age of Metal with bands like Hammerfall, Edguy, and Nightwish, to name a few.

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