This Is Spinal Tap

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Since the antics of so many heavy metal bands already teeter on the edge of self-parody, it would have been no surprise if this spoof 'rockumentary' about a comeback tour by a has-been English rock group had turned out to be a one-joke movie. In the event, 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. Filmed in cinéma vérité style, it follows the group from venue to venue, observing the trials and tribulations of life on the road, personal tensions within the group, and problems with expanding egos. Interviews with the group fill in the details of their chequered musical career: they have trouble keeping their drummers, one of whom choked on vomit (somebody else's), while another spontaneously combusted on stage. Most importantly of all, the musical numbers acutely mimic the crashing drums, thudding bass lines, whining lead guitar solos, and juvenile, sexist lyrics of heavy rock.

Release details

Duration: 82 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Rob Reiner
Screenwriter: Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, Harry Shearer, Rob Reiner
Cast: Christopher Guest
Michael McKean
Harry Shearer
RJ Parnell
David Kaff
Rob Reiner
June Chadwick
Ed Begley Jr
Anjelica Huston

Average User Rating

3.8 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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  • 4 star:1
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  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|4
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Max

I have to say that I am verging upon disbelief after reading the review below left by "anonymous". Whilst I will concede that it may not be the greatest comedy of all time, it is truly a genius portrayal of the music industry. As a working musician, there are so many moments in this film that are uncomfortably familiar whilst still being utterly hilarious. To me the previous review reads rather like someone who felt they wanted to project their bile on this movie in an attempt to show how clever they are, despite having nothing interesting to say whatsoever. Please never become a critic professionally, it isn't your calling...

Max

I have to say that I am verging upon disbelief after reading the review below left by "anonymous". Whilst I will concede that it may not be the greatest comedy of all time, it is truly a genius portrayal of the music industry. As a working musician, there are so many moments in this film that are uncomfortably familiar whilst still being utterly hilarious. To me the previous review reads rather like someone who felt they wanted to project their bile on this movie in an attempt to show how clever they are, despite having nothing interesting to say whatsoever. Please never become a critic professionally, it isn't your calling...

Nyanaponika

By no means number one, but skilfully and closely observed parody, deserving much better than the previous reviewers' estimation!

miki

Just saw the film after seeing it was voted no. 1 comedy of all time. While watching it I kept thinking is it possible that I'm a sad fart who don't know what a comedy is? Reading the previos comment I was so glad to see I'm not the only one who thinks this film is so not funny. Just regret wasting 85 minutes of my life. Don't waste yours. Avoid the film and probably the 'comedians' who voted for the film.