NNWIJ: This Is Spinal Tap (1984)

Director: Rob Reiner

Notable Cast: Rob Reiner, Michael McKean, Christopher Guest, Harry Shearer, Bruno Kirby

Rating: R

Review:  The greatest rockumentary mockumentary.  Rob Reiner was one of the first directors to successfully parody the music industry, and the rock genre as a whole.  What’s more impressive is that Reiner pulled together a trio of actors who were actually talented musicians, collaborating with them on all the songs.  The musical instruments in this movie were actually being played by the characters, making sure the film had a totally authentic feel.  In the film, you’ll hear such timeless classics as “Tonight I’m Gonna Rock You Tonight,” “Big Bottom,” “Lick My Love Pump,” and “Sex Farm.”  Yes, the sexual under/overtones in rock music are just one of the many themes lampooned in this classic.  The stage antics of Spinal Tap are also extremely rewarding, enacting the saying “whatever can go wrong will go wrong.”  But the utter cluelessness of the band is the comedic glue of the movie.  Everyone knows the classic “This one goes to 11” line, embodying the simplistic thinking our characters express.  This of course is in reference to the “modified” amps the band uses, having knobs that turn to 11 instead of 10 to give the band the “extra boost.”  Rob Reiner- “Why don’t you just make 10 louder?” Christopher Guest- “…Because this one goes to 11.”  Next scene.   It’s silly rock and roll fun, but timeless fun.  There’s a reason some 20 years later This Is Spinal Tap is still revered as a quintessential comedy for any music fan.  To this day, so many sources reference this film, proving that these British rockers just refuse to go away.

Netflix Rating: 5/5


About Matt Donato

I love all things film. I'll watch any genre, any actor, at any time. This whole film critic thing is a passionate hobby for now which I'm balancing with working in the business world, but hey, someday, who knows?
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2 Responses to NNWIJ: This Is Spinal Tap (1984)

  1. Joe says:

    While I have not seen Spinal Tap, I’m going to have to say that Almost Famous was the greatest rockumentary mockumentary.

    • Haha I wouldn’t call Almost Famous a mockumentary though. That was shot as a traditional drama. If you watch This Is Spinal Tap, you’ll understand what I mean by mockumentary. Like Borat was shot? Does that make more sense?

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