Reviews of This Is Spinal Tap (1984) and related work
- Sequel: “The Return of Spinal Tap” (1992)
This Is Spinal Tap (1984)
Perfectly executed, but classically structured: The stupidity of the characters is supposed to be a major source of comedy, which isn’t the best foundation.
References here: A Mighty Wind (2003).
‣ “The Return of Spinal Tap” (1992)
Seen in 2017.
A real concert by the fake band, intertwined with short skits.
The leads play their parts on stage with precisely the right amount of deadpan foolishness and professionalism. Michael McKean is particularly impressive, maintaining plausibility while doing the lead vocals. As a concert film it’s pretty good, and the various back references meet expectations, but it isn’t coherent. Spinal Tap performs folk songs from its hippie past and extra jokes that undermine the premise are shown on the projection screen above the stage. There are no noteworthy new jokes, the cross-promotion of The Folksmen is a little heavy, and the music is of course deliberately bad.