Screened as part of NZIFF 2006
“Regardless of whether you’ve ever rocked out to Ronnie James Dio’s screeching falsetto, banged your head to Black Sabbath’s sinister riffs, or made devil horns out of your pinky and forefinger, A Headbanger’s Journey may catch you up in its bighearted tour of Metal, heavy and otherwise, through the ages. With co-directors Scot McFadyen and Jessica Joy Wise, [narrator Sam] Dunn traveled the world, from Birmingham, UK (birthplace of Black Sabbath), to the wilds of Oslo (epicenter of the extreme subgenre known as Black Metal, aptly summarized by Gunn as ‘punk rock meets Wagner dressed as Alice Cooper’), interviewing fans, legendary performers, and even a raft of critics, musicologists and sociologists who – doubtless to the horror of all who were parents of teenagers during the 1980s – attest to Metal’s legitimacy and importance as both a cultural and musical phenomenon. At once playful and thorough, the documentary is also stacked teased-hair high with wicked performance footage.” — Scott Foundas, LA Weekly.
“The soundtrack, as might be expected, kicks ass.” — Ken Eisner, Variety