THIS IS SPINAL TAP

Director Rob Reiner
Year 1984
Starring Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, Harry Shearer
Rating R
Run Time 82min
Age Policy

18 and up; Children 6 and up will be allowed only with a parent guardian. No children under the age of 6 will be allowed.

More Info IMDb

Part of The Alamo Goes to '11'; our month-long celebration of music in movies!

 

Even if it was not technically the first one, THIS IS SPINAL TAP is still pretty much the granddaddy of all mockumentaries. This legendary satire focusing on the latest American comeback tour of the legendary, but now aging, rock group (dubbed “one of England’s loudest bands”) still manages to be hilarious and feel fresh even 30 years later.

The comedic and musical trio of Harry Shearer, Michael McKean, and Christopher Guest (who all star and wrote the script) have amazing chemistry together. This helps sell the film’s faux documentary style as real, which then makes all the absurdity that much more entertaining.

Focusing on the easy targets of musician’s ego, stupidity and sensitivity these three use the gamut of their comedy skill to craft what feel like unbelievably real characters. You laugh at them, but in a strange way you kind of care about them, too.

And that tone, which director Rob Reiner and his three music-teers employ here, makes SPINAL TAP so special. Sure the mini Stonehenge and dying drummer gags are great (“he died in a bizarre gardening accident”) and nothing really beats Guest’s delivery in almost every scene, but it’s the unexpected heart that sets the film apart.

Original, brutally funny and masterfully made, SPINAL TAP will forever remain the most quintessential Rock N’ Roll comedy ever made. (R.J. LaForce)

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