Dio: Dreamers Never Die (Devil Horns Documentary Lol Not Actually)


“Hold on, good things never last…” I hate being the ultimate stick in the mud, but I must admit to not being the biggest fan of Ronnie James Dio’s music. I know he was a legendary singer, had a great voice, recorded with bands such as Rainbow and Black Sabbath…it’s just that his brand of “Heavy Metal Thunder” was not mine. Even as a youngster, I eschewed the whole Asimov/D&D aesthetic that Dio pushed. What do you expect? I grew up in the spectre of death my entire life and was a bit more drawn to darker pastures. Needless to say, I’m reviewing Dio: Dreamers Never Die because though this film may not have made me love his music, it sure made me love the man himself. This is a loving and thorough tribute to a guy who treated everyone with kindness, never had a cross word to say to anyone, genuinely loved people and used music to uplift and give hope to others the world over. This is an absolutely beautiful movie about an equally beautiful man. From the beginning, Ronald James Padavona loved two things: music and fantasy. Growing up in Cortland, NY was far from idyllic, but young Ronald knew what he wanted and he was determined to get it. Borrowing the last name of reputed Mafioso man Johnny Dio for the second single released by his first band (Ronnie and The Red Caps) was the first step in creating the legend. It’s a testament to the greatness and exhausting wealth of knowledge in this film that even a neophyte like me comes out of this film knowing nearly everything about Dio and his career. No, that last sentence was not an exaggeration.


In the nearly 2.5-hour run time, the viewer is practically taken on a crash course on all things Dio. From his beginnings in the Red Caps and Elf to his work with Rainbow and Black Sabbath to his success as a solo artist, every triumph and setback of the life and career of Ronnie James Dio is laid out and examined in painstaking detail. We meet his wife Wendy, who was an Executive Producer on this film and thankfully granted full permission to documentarians Demian Fenton and Don Argott. We meet his peers such as Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler, who describe Ronnie as a fair and decent human being even when involved in disagreements that would’ve driven lesser mortals to blood feuds. Most importantly, we meet his fans and friends such as Jack Black, Rob Halford, Lita Ford, Don Coscarelli and the truly awesome Dan Lilker, all of whom share the same message of Dio as an inspirational figure who inspired them to follow their dreams and do their own thing. While most of the film is a love feast, be forewarned that the later years of Dio’s life are going to jerk tears out of you like a pickpocket. Only a complete sociopath wouldn’t cry at the sight of a loud and proud RJD simply refusing to say die and keel over as he sees the shadow of the reaper glowing over him. This stuff is brutally effective but might be considered a bit too much. However, it’s important to see that Dio was a fighter right until the very end and loved his life and the people around him until that life was gone. This is more than just a great music doc. This is frankly one of the best documentaries I have ever seen and a deeply powerful testament to the power of living by and for your dreams. See it now.


Dio: Dreamers Never Die Official Facebook

Written by David, Comptroller of Your Last Scrap of Existence

Dio: Dreamers Never Die (2022)
Don Argott, Demian Fenton
5 / 5