a/perture cinema, the Official Movie Sponsor of The Less Desirables, presents The Less Desirables Movie of the Week, This is Spinal Tap (1984), starring Michael McKean, Christopher Guest, Harry Shearer and Rob Reiner.
Per IMDb: “Spinal Tap, one of England’s loudest bands, is chronicled by film director Marty DeBergi on what proves to be a fateful tour.”
The loud, aging, denying and washed up quintet, Spinal Tap, is releasing a new album called Smell the Glove and are wanting to put together a tour to support it. The band has been around since the 60s and their age is really starting to show; such is the evidence of how painfully out-of-touch they are.
The three main members, David St. Hubbins, Nigel Tufnel and Derek Smalls are good song writers that show flash and glory, but their dwindling fan base, in conjunction with a terminal case of bad luck, bodes an impending demise for the classic rockers. Rockumentary director, Marty DeBergi captures the life and times, the good, the bad and the horrible on film, which follows the band from album pre-release to the ensuing tour.
Marty DeBergi is, of course, Rob Reiner, the director of the movie and the movie within the movie. Michael McKean (of Lavern & Shirley fame), Christopher Guest (the husband of Jamie Lee Curtis and the six-fingered Count Rugen from The Princess Bride), and Harry Shearer (about half the voices for The Simpsons) all wrote the songs, performed the songs and made the songs what they are: rocking, comedic genius.
I have known of bands that have gone through some craziness and even the ones I don’t know, I hear stories and we call them all Spinal Tap moments. The things that happen with this band are unreal and ridiculous. Getting lost in the bowels of an arena trying to get to the stage, stage props going awry being completely wrong, being second billing to a puppet show, or drummers spontaneously combusting. It’s too much. But… it’s all too fun, too.
There are great one-liners, iconic quotes and a plethora of pop culture right there in that 82 minutes. Most of the script was improved and the entire cast, including the cameos, did a great job delivering them. The cameos, themselves, are remarkable. Bruno Kirby, Howard Hesseman, Dana Carvey, Billy Crystal, Patrick Macnee, Fran Drescher and Paul Shaffer, just to name a few, is an amazing cast. Very good stuff. This is comedic, somewhat silly, but very clever film making. Hats off to the cast. It is awesome.
I knew nothing of the film when it came out and just saw something on HBO about it around 1985 or so. I didn’t know it was a parody and I didn’t know there were real actors playing characters here. When I got into playing music, someone said I had to watch it, so I did and I fell in love. I also have the soundtrack (“Smell the Glove”) on CD.
Rotten Tomatoes has it at 95% Fresh with an Audience score of 92%. Dang! IMDb has it at a solid 8 out of 10 stars. It is on Netflix, although we watched it on Blu-Ray with 3B, who I believe a lot of the humor went over his head. I love this film and give it 4.75 out of 5. Have you seen it? What did you think? What would you like to hear/read me review?
Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
“It’s like, how much more black could this be? and the answer is none. None more black.“ – Nigel Tufnel