This Is Spinal Tap (1984)
Average Rating: 8.6/10
Reviews Counted: 60
Fresh: 57 | Rotten: 3
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 7.7/10
Critic Reviews: 8
Fresh: 7 | Rotten: 1
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 116,255
Largely improvised by director Rob Reiner and his cast, This Is Spinal Tap looks and sounds like a "real" documentary, with Michael McKean, Harry Shearer, and Christopher Guest as David St. Hubbins, Derek Smalls, and Nigel Tufnel, the key members of a going-nowhere British heavy metal band called Spinal Tap. The "group" started as an informal skiffle band, eventually maturing into an R&B act called the Thamesmen (their hit was "Gimme Some Money"). After going through a psychedelic period with
Mar 2, 1984 Wide
Jul 14, 1998
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David St. Hubbins
Ian Faith, Viv Savage
Tucker "Smithy" Brown
Sir Denis Eton-Hogg
Morty the Mime
Ed Begley Jr
John "Stumpy" Pepys
Joe "Mama" Besser
Gloria E. Gifford
Airport Security Offici...
Archie Hahn III
Room Service Guy
Eric "Stumpy Joe" Child...
Andrew J. Lederer
Disc & Dat Manager
New York M.C.
Southern Rock Promoter
Rolling Stone Reporter
For music biz insiders, This Is Spinal Tap is a vastly amusing satire of heavy metal bands.
For all its japes and jokes, the movie is really about exhaustion of the spirit: sitting in a bleak hotel suite at 4 a.m. with the bad taste of last night in the mouth and the feeling that tomorrow will not be a better day.
Reiner's brilliantly inventive script and smart visuals avoid all the obvious pitfalls, making this one of the funniest ever films about the music business.
It stays so wickedly close to the subject that it is very nearly indistinguishable from the real thing.
The film is a composite of classic moments, all of which we sense could have happened to any of the classic heavy metal bands -- or at least to those whose members combined delusions of greatness with low I.Q.s.
Consistently funny, with sheer brilliant turns from every performer on the cast...
Returning to Spinal Tap always brings with it a pronounced sense of discovery, a freshness that is uncommon with movies generally and unspeakably rare in a comedy.
[VIDEO] Although examples of the mockumentary genre existed before "Spinal Tap" this heavy metal comedy is considered an epitome of cinematic satire.
If you didn't know this was a fake film, you could easily believe it's real.
The original suffers upon review simply because its novelty has worn off. But being the first mainstream feature of its kind, it deserves due reverence.
The story of an embarrasingly inept heavy-metal band called Spinal Tap, Rob Reiner's film set the mockumentary standard that has come to define much of modern screen comedy. [Blu-ray]
Scores an 11 (out of 10) for sheer inspired lunacy but it's the writers' unexpected fondness for their subject matter that puts the film in a class all its own.
Mildly funny, not a whole lot better than the best Christopher Guest mockumentary I'd seen before this, 'Best in Show.'
There had been countless documentary spoofs before This Is Spinal Tap, but this inspired put-on was the first to actually capture the texture and style of real documentary.
Hilarious pseudo-documentary spoof of a British rock group that was so on-target in its satire, many viewers took it for the real thing.
This superb satire became the standard against which all mockumentaries are evaluated. The film was so successful that the fictitious group reunited for a series of live concerts and a TV special, further blurring the line between real and reel.
Audience Reviews for This Is Spinal Tap
- Marty DiBergi: Do you feel that playing rock and roll music keeps you a child... that is, keeps you in a state of arrested development?
- Derek Smalls: No, no, no. I feel it's like, it's more like going, going to a national park or something, and there's... you know, they preserve the moose. And that's my childhood up there on stage is that moose, you know.
- Marty DiBergi: So when you're playing, you feel like a preserved moose onstage?
- Derek Smalls: Yeah.
- David St. Hubbins: I think that the problem may have been that there was a Stonehenge monument on the stage that was in danger of being crushed by a dwarf. That tended to understate the hugeness of the object.
- Morty the Mime: Mime is money.
- Nigel Tufnel: These go to eleven.
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