This Is Spinal Tap (1984)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BBBB

USA, 1984Spinal Tap Prod..  Screenplay by , , , Rob Reiner.  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, Rob Reiner, Harry Shearer.  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by , .  Podcast:  My Criterions.

The hilarious ‘mockumentary’ that started it all, and one of the most popular cult films of all time. This incredibly funny exercise in madness, directed by Rob Reiner, concerns itself with the crazy adventures of Spinal Tap, a heavy metal band who were once on top of the world and are now finding their popularity waning. As their concerts start grinding down to smaller and smaller venues, the three members of the band (, , ) do their best to keep the feeling alive with their impressive ideas about music and their insatiable appetite for the good life. Their inspiration leads them to such classic choices as an 18-inch replica of Stonehenge (which is one of the funniest scenes in the movie) as a backdrop, as well as their special amplifier that goes up to 11. Featuring early career appearances by , , , , and Anjelica Huston, this delightful rib-tickler is good for repeat viewings. Guest took over as director for later films of the same ilk, including Waiting For Guffman and Best In Show.

The Criterion Collection:  #12

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