The Pedal Movie

The Pedal Movie

By Michael Lux & Dan Orkin

  • Genre: Documentary
  • Release Date: 2021-04-30
  • Advisory Rating: NR
  • Runtime: 2h 22min
  • Director: Michael Lux & Dan Orkin
  • Production Company: Reverb
  • Production Country: United States of America
  • iTunes Price: USD 9.99
  • iTunes Rent Price: USD 4.99
From 1 Ratings


From the fuzzed out '60s to the experiemental sounds of today, guitar effects pedals have forever changed the course of popular music. In The Pedal Movie, pedal builders, engineers, players, and fans tell the story of how these strange little boxes of noise have evolved through the decades and how a totally unique industry of small scale artisans has grown up around them.




  • Ok movie. NOT a documentary.

    By MikeKiese
    It’s named “the pedal movie”, but it comes off as a documentary. In general, I thought it was a decent and interesting movie from the point of view of the pedal makers. However I was left wondering how much of the movie was colored by the slant of the directors. As long as the viewer realizes that this is a movie, and not a authoritative documentary, it’s all good. I did not appreciate the SJW woke messaging about women and blacks at the end of the movie (which definitely takes it out of any consideration of being a documentary). It actually conflicts with the messaging earlier in the movie when it is mentioned over and over that “anyone with a garage and a soldiering iron can start their own pedal business”, or “the barrier to entry was radio shack and a couple of resistors, op amps, and transistors”. It was stated over and over that many pedal makers taught themselves, and learned from books and online forums. In other words, there was and is no barrier that prevented women and POC from becoming pedal makers. The only barrier to being successful women or black pedal makers is the same barrier any other maker faces: make a great product that people like and want. The fact that BOSS pedals ruled in the 80’s proves that Asian companies dominated the market and continue to do very well. Asians are considered POC. Roland is killing it. Apparently they make great products people like and desire. The movie talked a lot about BOSS and other Japanese manufacturers, yet there was no representation or interviews of people from those japanese companies. They had white people speak anecdotally on the Japanese companies behalf. So that was a glaring omission. The directors included progressive SJW messaging while not having any Asian representation from Japanese pedal manufacturers. I also thought it was funny that after their SJW portion talking about the inclusion of women, they had a montage of pedals that included one named “camel toe”. In the end, the movie just comes off as a documentary with a slanted perspective. Some worthwhile insight, but should not be viewed as an authoritative source. Rather, it’s a bunch of anecdotal stories told by pedal makers on a timeline with some facts thrown in.

    By Jay Klegg
    It started out to be awesome. Sorta like “Fuzz” Part 2. Instead it’s an attempt to rewrite history from a modern perspective. The equivalent of writing a history report by watching YouTube videos. It’s produced by Reverb so off course their demo guys are now experts. I jumped when I saw Kevin Shields but then he’s interrupted by Andy Martin who’s the real expert on shoegaze! Yuk. So many people in this that shouldn’t be. The Bella Donna synthesizer lady? Also film is WAY to long. It seems they didn’t know how to end it. Just a cringe fest. I wish I hadn’t of bought this, there’s no reason to watch it again.
  • White men are evil.

    By sleazefan100
    Enjoyed the doc... but why did you have to shoe horn in the woke white men are evil thing? Disappointing.
  • 2-hour long Reverb advertisement

    By annyboney
    If they released this on their website for free, I'd give it 3.5 stars. Many of the pedal makers in this documentary have their own YouTube channels. Their videos are amazing and I'd rather watch those. Especially if you want to know the history of pedals, JHS Pedals has great content. I also wonder why there are no interviews from Japanese inventors since they talk so much about BOSS and Ibanez.
  • Good time

    By sbford313
    A pretty fun flick about the booming pedal industry. I do recommend this to anyone that loves guitars, or gear in general. (Probably not so much vocalists and drummers, sorry guys!) I do wish there was less of the sort've "cool kids" feel of who was selected to feature on the film. If you have a strong social media prescense, your odds of getting interviewed went up about 1 billion percent. Meanwhile, there's a lack of interviews from Boss (literally owned 2 decades of this industry), Ibanez, Dunlop, Fulltone, Line6 (owns the last 2 decades), and other major innovators. It feels like the criteria for interview selection was: must have a lot of YouTube subscriptions, and be approved by the woke folks. It was especially weird to hear the anti white male bitterness from one guest near the end... which is too bad because to just casually throw in a resentful judgement about society without deeper investigation, against the vast majority of the aficionado and customer base was a bit of an eye roll. Sort've leaves the viewer feeling like... we've now left the guitar pedal realm to discuss a political viewpoint (really a judgement) of our customers and the fact that it was near the end of the film leaves the worst part of the movie as the final taste in the viewer's mouth. Blaming what makes up 95% of your customer base, for what you perceive to be an anti woman/minority society while living in said society, which also happens to provide the largest opportunity for both women and minorities on the entire planet, all while living in the most luxorious and safest time in human history (all while complaining how unfair it all is) felt a bit cringe worthy. It was too bad they took a nearly perfect documentary and couldn't help but expose their political leanings at the end. All that is to say... if you can ignore the "cool kids club" feeling, and the anti white male stuff near the end... the rest of the film is a wonderful look at guitar pedals through the last 60 years!
  • Sonic geek ecstasy

    By carneal
    Amazingly detailed history of rock through the lens of stomp box development. Best music doc for a sonic nerd like me. And a total bargain - would have easily paid $50 for it. Love it!
  • A comprehensive peek into the world of pedals

    By Crimesofparis
    This was a great, extremely interesting look into an offshoot of the music industry. You can tell the directors put a lot of thought and effort into this film, and it pays off 💜