This Is Spinal Tap VHS
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You're about to get personal with one of music history's greatest and loudest heavy metal bands, Spinal Tap! Whether or not you're a die-hard fan of the group, you'll love this detailed "rockumentary" of Engand's legendary Spinal Tap. Acclaimed commercial director Marty DiBergi takes you behind the scenes for an intimate look at a band whose time has come and gone and come again and.... Through interviews, rare footage and lots of musicincluding classic Tap tunes like "Big Bottom" and "Hell Hole"you'll get acquainted with David St. Hubbins (lead guitar), Nigel Tufnel (lead guitar), Derek Smalls (lead bass) and every drummer who ever livedand diedfor this renowned rock band. Be a part of the sights, sounds and smells of this celebrated heavy metal phenomenon. It's an experience you'll never forget.
Featuring a new digital transfer and a remixed stereo soundtrack, the "Special Edition" also includes nearly five minutes of outtakes and "Bitch School," the rarely seen music video banned by MTV.
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Everything about it is fantastic, from the improv-type scenes to the cameos to the music (written by the cast). Spinal Tap casts a massive shadow among musicians and metal fans everywhere. It's pretty much required viewing or you lose your membership card to the cool kid club.
It's also one of the most quotable films of all time, with several lines becoming part of rock culture legend.
Most people have seen this, some many times. But if you haven't, get it together and watch it. Now.
The film's writers really understand the rock'n'roll world and parody it with much affection:
* The chronic problem with changing drummers, especially in hard rock bands
* Losing a key member, causing the band to change its musical direction
* Managers and record company people having their own agendas
* Non-musical girlfriends interfering behind the scenes
* The dubious pleasures of life on the road
* Hyped comebacks that may or may not be successful
* Being reduced to playing in smaller and smaller venues
The bonus materials are terrific - music videos, lots of great outtakes. Putting the commentary track on is like watching the film Mystery Science Theater-style.
The film is hosted by director Marti DeBergi, played to perfection by Rob Reiner, and follows the career of the legendary rock group "Spinal Tap" as they come apart at the seams during their "Smell the Glove" tour. The core of the band are David St. Hubbins ("he was the Patron Saint of Quality Footwear" and is played by Michael McKean,) Nigel Tufnel (who plays his lead guitar with a violin and is played by Christopher Guest,) and Derek Smalls (who is taunted by a cucumber and an onstage pod, and is played by Harry Shearer.) These three along with Reiner wrote the songs for the film, and, yes, Tap does play their own instruments.
The film skewers every part of the pop music business through wonderful period flashbacks and hysterical situations that unfold during the course of the tour. The tour is a disaster, ranging from a Stonehenge triptych that is "in danger of being crushed by a dwarf," the perpetual loss of drummers ("he died in a bizarre gardening accident," "he choked on vomit...someone else's vomit actually...there's no real way to dust for vomit...,") to the resignation of the band's longtime manager Ian Faith (wonderfully played by Tony Hendra) with managerial duties being picked up by David's loathsome girlfriend Jeanine Pettibone, who "dresses like an Australian's nightmare." The film also features great cameos from luminaries such as Billy Crystal ("mime is money,") Bruno Kirby ("Spinal Pap,") and Howard Hesseman as rock star Duke Fame ("I'd love to stay and talk, but I have to go sit in the lobby and wait for the limo.")
The plot thickens when things unravel at a gig on an Air Force base, and "Spinal Tap, Mark II" briefly appears in a free-form jazz odyssey at an amusement park ("Derek Smalls on bass...he wrote this..."): the marquee reads "Puppet Show and Spinal Tap"...but at least their dressing rooms are bigger than the puppet's. An eventual tour of Japan resolves a number of plot loose ends, although they do lose another drummer in a mysterious green explosion.
In sum: this is the perfect movie. It became my favorite the first time I saw it on the big screen, and through many, many subsequent viewings it has managed to retain that status. If you enjoy sly and satirical humor, this movie is not to be missed, but be forewarned: you will not absorb all the jokes the first time, so mentally prepare yourself for the repeat viewings that will surely follow.
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