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This is Spinal Tap (1984 - R)
"This is Spinal Tap" is a witty satire that pays homage, and simultaneously spoofs the big hair, tight trousers, lengthy electric guitar solos, and over-amped mega wattage rock music of the notorious rock bands of the 1980's.
The cast includes: Rob Reiner, Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, Harry Shearer, and Bruno Kirby.
Written by: Christopher Guest and Michael McKean.
Directed By: Rob Reiner.
Genre: Comedy, Music.
Tagline: It's the ultimate rockumentary!
Marty DiBergi (Reiner) is a successful filmmaker, having won several awards for his film and commercial work over the years. Also a die hard rock fan, his favorite band is Spinal Tap. After witnessing their enthralling performance live several years back DiBergi decided to travel with the band and film a documentary, rather, a rockumentary, paying homage to the trials and tribulations of his favorite big-haired spandex-clad 1980's rock band.
This is Spinal Tap. Meet David St. Hubbins (McKean), Spinal Tap's lead vocalist; Nigel Tufnel (Guest), Spinal Tap's lead guitarist and long-time friend of David; Derek Smalls (Shearer), Spinal Tap's 'other' guitarist; and lastly Tommy Pischedda (Kirby), Spinal Tap's currently living and breathing drummer. Producing 15 albums in the past 17 years, Spinal Tap has incurred as much success as they have slide backs. With their latest album, the 'White Album', having not done so well with the fan base, Spinal Tap is determined to take their newest record, 'Smell the Glove' to the road full force. But as the band is about to discover, you can never stay on top very long.
With their misogynistic album cover, and over produced tracks, 'Smell that Glove' smacks of failure as a multitude of stores refuse to put the album up for sale. To add to the plight, while on tour Spinal Tap finds that many of their gigs have been cancelled. A band that once played to sold out arenas of 10,000+ is fighting to fill a 1,200 person stadium with loyal listeners.
While DiBergi inquires as to their current status, are they on the upside, the downside, is their fan base waning, etc., Spinal Tap manager Ian Faith (Tony Hendra) does his best to keep feign confidence in his lycra rock crooners. Meanwhile PR agent Bobbi (Fran Dresher) constantly has to remind the neophytes that sexist marketing isn't jiving with contemporary political attitudes, etc.
A quick introduction to the 'special amplifier' 'goes to 11 instead of 10', explains why Spinal Tap has the reputation for being the loudest band in the history of rock'n'roll. You know, whenever the boys need a little edge they crank it up from 10 to 11 and poof, the loudest band ever! Oh and then there's the guitar that sustains for infinite periods of time so that the lingering wa-wa of electric guitar solos can sound distinct when performed by the Spinal Tap guitarists and their beloved instruments…etc.
Spinal Tap is a hilarious rockumentary that follows the bands success, failures, and almost comeback as the band makes their way towards a climactic finale that includes a massive concert and an even more immense Stonehenge stage prop. Just as the band has fought with the ups and downs of success in the flighty world of 1980's rock'n'roll music where Kiss, Aerosmith, Journey, Whitesnake, etc., are always the next biggest thing, so too will the grandiose prop have to fight gravity and fate as Spinal Tap's foreseen doom lay on the near horizon.
Witty one-liners, puns, and other contemporary pop-culture farces are jam packed in this hilarious and brilliantly witty spoof on 1980's bands and the documentary/docu-drama medium of film. Rob Reiner direction and Christopher Guest's script produces a film that is easily one of the most memorable and quotable of all time. To add to the comedic laughter and strength of the film, memorable cameos from Billy Crystal, Angelica Huston, and more, all merge into this plucky little film that feigns a double-edged sword at bands like Def Leopard and the likes.
"Spinal Tap" is a gut-busting, innovative, witty little film that will entertain audiences of all ages and all demographics. So long as one is slightly familiar with the many stereotypes of 1980's rock, one will be able to appreciate the witty verbal jargon, the visual spectacle, and the over the top everything about this satirical film. This is a must see for everyone, especially those who lived in the era of teased hair and shiny lycra trousers, coupled with whiny vocals, crude lyrics, and of course, bubblegum heavy metal rock.
Rob Reiner plays Marty DiBergi, Spinal Tap fan and producer of the Spinal Tap rockumentary.
Tony Hendra plays Ian Faith, Spinal Tap's manager.
Christopher Guest plays Nigel Tufnel, Spinal Tap guitarist.
Michael McKean plays David St, Hubbins, Spinal Tap's lead singer.
Harry Shearer plays Derek Smalls, Spinal Tap's 'other' guitarist.
Bruno Kirby plays Tommy Pischedda, Spinal Tap's surviving drummer.