Movie Review–This is Spinal Tap (1984)

Written by Christopher Guest, Rob Reiner, Harry Shearer, Michael McKean
Directed by Rob Reiner
Starring Christopher Guest, Harry Shearer, Michael McKean, Tony Hendra
Rated R for Language

Available on HuluPlus

This Is Spinal Tap 1

Before Borat, before Best in Show, and way before I’m Still Here, there was a mockumentary that has yet to be beaten in quality and hilarity. This is Spinal Tap follows a band through high and low, joy and sorrow, insanity and, well, more insanity.

Its one of those films you quote on a day to day basis without realizing it. The antics are non-stop and the band is brilliantly dysfunctional. You feel like you’re at a meeting with a cast of drunk, crazy, British uncles. The strength of the film lies in exaggeration. In one iconic scene, guitarist Nigel explains that the band’s sound equipment all goes to level eleven. Ten just isn’t loud enough, isn’t extreme enough. Reiner does the same thing with the script. He takes the ridiculous level all the way to ten, the gives it that extra little push to eleven.

This is Spinal Tap does exactly what it sets out to do. First, it provides a smart satire of the world of rock music and all the nut jobs that world creates. Second, it makes you laugh–a lot. And with songs like “Sex Farm”, “Lick my Love Pump”, and “Tonight I’m Gonna Rock You Tonight” you just can’t go wrong.

Screen shot 2013-07-17 at 11.01.58 PM copy

3 1/2 out of 4 stars


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