Paschke, Marc (Director)
Released: 1997, Killing Time Productions
This is so bad, it’s good. METALLIMANIA is part comedy, part documentary and all nuts. Starting at the beginning, always a good place to start, don’t skip the opening sequence, it will give you a clue as to the serious (not!) nature of this piece of…film. Hosted by Eric Braverman, (founder of Heavy Metal Television) this documentary is about Metallica but mostly via the conduit of the fans.
In terms of a documentary, the sound is bad, the production is bad, the editing is bad, the filming is bad, the effects are non-existent. The packaging is bad, there is no booklet, no technical information, this is about as low budget as you can get. However, none of that really matters. This is not supposed to be a serious, artistic or cerebral film, it’s raw and unedited like the true street-level fans of Metallica. The whole films uses interviews with ‘the man on the street’ interview style with the occasional humorous subtitles or captions. There isn’t any real film conventions or clichés such as ‘plot’ or ‘storyline’, they just decided to wing it. All the footage is just kinda mushed into a film. I suppose if you have a low tolerance of an endless parade of interviews with drunk or high (or both) fans with limited communication skills, you may find it of limited interest. Some of the interviews are cut (the ones with the little kids) some are scary, the one with the drunk redneck waving around a (presumably loaded) .44 Magnum.
It’s not just an endless parade of drunks, there are a few gems; interviews with Rob Halford, Scott Ian, Mark Osegueda, Tom Araya, Kelly David-Smith, Brian Slagel and even Madonna. There were also several very good, low-key, unguarded interviews with all members of the band circa 1997, in various states of inebriation. I call these clips ‘good’ not for quality but because the various members let their guard down and we don’t get the pre-programmed, Metallica-machine, approved answers to questions they have been asked one million times before
Imagine a modern heavier, funnier version of Heavy Metal Parking Lot. If you can picture that go get this. METALLIMANIA bills itself as ‘The most unreasonable rock and roll documentary ever produced’. That is pretty accurate for this fun documentary that doesn’t take itself seriously. If you want a serious documentary about Metallica, there are a few on the market, go watch those instead.