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Metallimania | review | dvd | Lollipop
by Brian Varney
Though I'd never heard of it, apparently Metallimania has been hot on the underground video swapping network since its production in 1996. Ostensibly a documentary of Metallica's rabid legion of fans, Metallimania was made without the band's direct involvement, and although the cover does claim this is "unauthorized," the band members are interviewed a couple of times in the film and I can't see such a litigation-happy band allowing this footage to remain in the film unless they were cool with it.
In any case, Metallimania's concept does lead to some high hopes, especially since writer/director Marc Paschke is funny almost every time he's on camera. We begin with a half-hour or so of Paschke interviewing fans in various states of inebriation in the parking lot of a Metallica show, even going so far as to revive a woman who's completely passed out to ask her what she thinks of the show. There are some funny moments here, to be sure, but the scenario is probably sounding a little too familiar to anyone who's seen Heavy Metal Parking Lot and, more importantly, the segment lasts about 10 minutes longer than it needs to.
It's this last point that's the film's biggest flaw. There are funny ideas throughout the film, no question, but the filmmakers try to get too much mileage out of these ideas, ultimately stretching the humor past the breaking point and sending you in search of the remote to skip to the next chapter. For every moment of comic gold (the interviews with Rob Halford and Tom Araya are particularly funny), there are 5-10 minutes of trying to wring every possible laugh out of an idea that stopped being funny awhile ago.
Metallimania is probably worth viewing once, especially if you liked Heavy Metal Parking Lot, but definitely make sure you have the remote handy. It also might be a good idea to have someone who's already seen it with you so they can direct you to the good parts.