Happily for us, director Reiner, who developed the underlying story line with Guest and former Credibility Gap pranksters McKean and Shearer, stays squarely on the right side of the line, even as his writer-actors remain hilariously trapped on the other side. In lieu of a formal shooting script, the quartet created an extensive and detailed band history ripe with the sort of dead-pan detail that hard-core rock historians and screwball aficionados will savor on countless replays; with the three Tap members also musicians themselves, the "band" developed its stage act under the unsuspecting noses of L.A. club denizens, who accepted them as just as loud, flashy, sexist, and obvious as any other mullet-tressed, leather-garbed brigade of guitar slingers, circa 1984. The resulting footage thus manages to lob its punch lines and build its characters (including some thinly veiled character assassinations of various industry folks) with a loose, tossed-away verve rooted in the improvisational approach. This Is Spinal Tap remains the funniest, and most truthful, look at rock culture ever filmed and a personal best for all involved. --Sam Sutherland
Instead, I will offer you some quotes. Those alone should give you plenty of insight as to why this is one of the greatest movies of all time. To wit:
"Oh, there actually is, uh... there was a Saint Hubbins?"
"That's right, yes."
"What was he the saint of?"
"He was the patron saint of quality footwear."
"You know, just simple lines intertwining, you know, very much like - I'm really influenced by Mozart and Bach, and it's sort of in between those, really. It's like a Mach piece, really. It's sort of..."
"What do you call this?"
"Well, this piece is called "Lick My Love Pump".
"As long as there's, you know, sex and drugs, I can do without the rock and roll."
"Here lies David St. Hubbins... and why not?"
"Dozens of people spontaneously combust each year. It's just not really widely reported."
"It's like, how much more black could this be? and the answer is none. None more black."
"We are Spinal Tap from the UK - you must be the USA!"
"You can't really dust for vomit."
"This pretentious ponderous collection of religious rock psalms is enough to prompt the question, 'What day did the Lord create Spinal Tap, and couldn't he have rested on that day too?'"
And of course: "Why don't you just make ten louder and make ten be the top number and make that a little louder?
"These go to eleven."
Not laughing? Well, the visuals are even funnier--malfunctioning stage props, a guitar solo that probably singlehandedly gave birth to the "neo-classical" shred style, unique ways to use a violin, and of course lots and lots of retarded sexuality and bad poetry. Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, and Derek Shearer absolutely NAIL it. Everybody should have this film. Especially metalheads who aren't afraid to have a good, long laugh at themselves.
Classic movie and the humor is timeless.
Its funny that there are so many people today that don't realize that "Spinal Tap" began as a total... Read more