Inside Metal: Pioneers Of L.A. Hard Rock And Metal
(Metal Rock Films)

There are 2 very opposing ways to look at this DVD that examines the hard rock/metal era of Los Angeles in the late ’70s/early ’80s.

The 5 star approach would be this: At over 2 hours of interviews with influential musicians, including members of Metallica, Dokken and Ratt, this fan backed film does a thorough and captivating job of documenting not only the household names that came out of L.A. during this time, but also the lesser known bands who never made it big, but nonetheless played an integral role in the scene. Additionally, journalists and industry people add interesting stories and there’s plenty of rare photos and flyers sprinkled in between the large amount of interviews.

Now, the 3 star version would be more along these lines: At well over 2 hours, this documentary that touts itself as featuring interviews with members of Quiet Riot, Metallica, Dokken and many other metal giants, centers itself mostly around talking with guys in bands you’ve never heard of who played alongside bands you have heard of. Some of these interviews are interesting, even comical. Some are hard to watch, as the interviewee stammers over details and drags on about trivial points. Others don’t add anything substantial to the film, while Don Dokken isn’t used enough and Lars Ulrich is used too much.

With that said, I’m going to split the difference here. This isn’t a bad documentary at all- far from it, actually. For fans of this era, or those with an encyclopedic knowledge of metal history, it’s a must. But investing 2+ hours in it if you’re only vaguely familiar with a fraction of the interviewees is hard to justify. (Tom Haugen)

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