August Blind Spot Review: This Is Spinal Tap (1984)

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“We’re very lucky in the band in that we have two visionaries, David and Nigel, they’re like poets, like Shelley and Byron. They’re two distinct types of visionaries, it’s like fire and ice, basically. I feel my role in the band is to be somewhere in the middle of that, kind of like lukewarm water.”
– Derek Smalls

SYNOPSIS: Spinal Tap, one of England’s loudest bands, is chronicled by film director Marty DiBergi on what proves to be a fateful tour. – via IMDB

Yes, I know I am so far behind on this Blind Spot challenge and that is just awful. I know, but time has run off away from me lately and I owe all my fair bloggers an apology for a) not being consistent and b) not dropping by. I blame a large part of that on this godforsaken laptop. It gives me the heebie jeebies just to take it out and beg it to work. Ugh. I am going to do my best to rectify that sticky situation of being so inconsistent. Now that we have that out of the way, let’s get back to the review, even though it is extremely late to the party.

We all know that I adored What We Do In The Shadows, so I was interested to hear that this was a mockumentary. This Is Spinal Tap is iconic and has been quoted everywhere, but I had no real concept of what it was, and when I started watching it, I knew that it was going to be entertaining. I love old school metal/rock. I mean we have The Rolling Stones, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Motörhead, AC/DC (and this is just if you are naming the really popular ones) that dominated the era, and this mockumentary rolls with it, and does so well. Form the outfits to the performances, This Is Spinal Tap taps into it all (har har har).

The music is truly fantastic and truly captures the times, though the lyrical content surely leaves a lot to be desired. The movie is fun and hilarious, because so many of the stupid things that happen to the band are not that completely out there. At all. Then then there are the characters peppered throughout the film. Some you will like (such as Derek Smalls), and some will just irritate you for numerous reasons (I’m looking at you, Jeanine, even though I know you were deliberately written like that). There is also a ton of quotable content here, which has been demonstrated throughout the decades.

This Is Spinal Tap is filled with plenty awkward moments and some ridiculous but entertaining dialogue, and it is plain down fun. It is very aware of what it is, and plays up to all the crazy that it can. The movie has a ton of fans and I get it. I had a few good laughs, and think it came together really well. And as a mockumentary, Reiner did fantastic work. If you aren’t totally aware that it is a piece of fiction, you can understand why a lot of people were taken in thinking they were watching a real documentary. Well worth a watch.