Friday, March 15, 2013
This is Spinal Tap
Spinal Tap is the name of the fictitious heavy metal band that is chronicled in This is Spinal Tap. Director Rob Reiner plays Marty DiBergi, a filmmaker fascinated by one of the loudest bands to come of England, Spinal Tap. He follows the band on its U.S. tour to promote its latest album, "Smell the Glove" and interviews the various members: David St. Hubbins (Michael McKean), Nigel Tuffnel (Christopher Guest), and Derek Smalls (Harry Shearer). Along the way, concerts are cancelled, equipment malfunctions, an intruding girlfriend forces her way in, the manager quits, and the members fight with each other.
The feature film debut of director Rob Reiner, who would go on to make the likes of Stand by Me and The Princess Bride, This is Spinal Tap is regarded as one of the most successful of mockumentaries. A mockumentary is fictional movie that takes the form of a documentary; characters address the camera, the cameramen are acknowledged, interviews are given, the film presents itself as factual, etc. So convincing was This Spinal Tap in this regard that apparently many people believed it was genuine and the band was real, according to the trivia section of the Internet Movie Database; even Ozzy Osbourne apparently didn't laugh when he saw it because he was convinced of its authenticity.
Even though the members of Spinal Tap are played by a trio of well-known actors, they look and sound like a real rock group, and it's uncanny: the makeup, the eyeliner, the hair, the spandex (Derek Smalls wears bondage gear that resembles a similar outfit worn by Anvil's Steve "Lips" Kudlow), the spoiled behavior, and the idiotic delusions of greatness. These are guys who have had so much success that now as it's fading, they can't imagine being without it, so they continue on, even as they become laughingstocks reduced to playing as opening acts for puppet shows.