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This is Spinal Tap


Roger Davidson

This is Spinal Tap
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As far as I know, no other film in the history of cinema mocked "rockumentaries" and Heavy Metal music so cleverly as Spinal Tap. Director-actor Rob Reiner made his film debut with this side-splitting look at a fictitious British rock band. The irony here is that, unlike the real documentaries, which crown the "shining" moments in a band's life, this one covers the ultimate collapse of a once-powerful, now truly awful band. As the collapse grows worse and worse, concert dates are canceled, record sales are poor and worst of all, they end up playing at air fields, where they're lucky enough to have 20 people come to listen to them. The funniest (and scariest) thing about this film is that it's so close to the truth, it's almost not satire!

It's all there to be mocked. The rambling pseudo-intellectual monologues of the band members (the principal three played by Michael McKean, Christopher Guest and Harry Shearer), which make no sense to anyone, including the band members, the silly backstage squabbles over petty things like the wrong combination of certain types of meat and bread, and the grossly overblown stage props. The band, despite their talk about their music being "artistic", is mostly a group of shallow individuals, hiding behind phony, commercialized, heavy metal outfits. Everything in here is delightfully silly. The amplifier that goes to "11", the Stonehenge prop, which ends up turning a potentially successful concert into a flop, McKean's descriptions of the unfortunate mishaps the band's previous drummers have had (one supposedly choked on his own vomit, though it might have been somebody else's vomit) and so on. Sidesplitting, from beginning to end!!

My Rating = Four Stars

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