A small crowd of senior metalheads and local rock musicians showed up at the Carmike Cinema on James Island last night (Tues. April 21) for the screening of the new Iron Maiden documentary Flight 666.

The Cinema staff didn’t seem to even know what it was, although, there was one poster hanging in the lobby by Auditorium 1.

In the seats, I spotted guys from such local bands as Dante’s Camaro, HotShotGun, Super Deluxe, the Diesel Brothers, Children’s Choir, Torture Town — and even a bandmate of mine from the Stiff Joints and the Pits (that’s bassist John Crain in the photo!). No one left disappointed. Flight 666 was like a modern-day This is Spinal Tap, except everything went right.

Filmmakers Scotty McFadyen and Sam Dunn did an excellent job of capturing bassist Steve Harris, singer Bruce Dickinson, drummer Nicko McBrain, and guitarists Dave Murray, Adrian Smith, and Janick Gers on their massive world tour last year — 2008 Somewhere Back in Time tour in support of a new “best of” compilation.

Watching the band work hard, actually get along, and enjoy playing as they traveled to 13 countries in 45 days in a custom-fitted Boeing 757 (it even read “Iron Maiden” across the side) was entertaining and encouraging, but the big highlights were the carefully-shot and edited concert clips. Great sound quality helped, but the band’s mature chops were more impressive than ever. The shots of the exuberant audiences in Central and South America were especially impressive.

I’ll be spending my weekend relearning “Run to the Hills” and “Six Minutes to Midnight“ on the bass (if possible).