Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey is a 2005 documentary directed by Sam Dunn with Scot McFadyen and Jessica Wise. The film follows 31-year-old Sam Dunn, a Canadian anthropologist, who has been a heavy metal fan since the age of 12.
He sets out across the world to uncover the various opinions on heavy metal music, including its origins, culture, controversy, and reasons it is loved by so many people. The film made its debut at the 2005 Toronto International Film Festival, and was released as a two-disc special edition DVD in the US on September 19, 2006.
The film discusses the traits and originators of some of metal’s many subgenres, including the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, power metal, Nu metal, glam metal, thrash metal, black metal, and death metal. Dunn uses a family-tree-type flowchart to document some of the most popular metal subgenres.
The film also explores various aspects of heavy metal culture. Notable segments include Dunn taking a trip to the Wacken Open Air festival, an interview with Dee Snider providing an analysis of the PMRC attack on heavy metal music, and an interview with several Norwegian black metal bands, many of whom are Satanists.