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This Is Spinal Tap Blu-ray
Michael McKean, Christopher Guest, Harry Shearer, Assorted Drummer
Directed by Rob Reiner
Originally released 1984
MGM Home Entertainment 2009
83 minutes

Spinal Tap is the most famous comedy documentary aka mockumentary ever made and has been a yardstick for both comic and real rock documentaries since. This Is Spinal Tap Blu-ray comes with extras both on the Blu-ray disc and on a separate DVD. It is now 25 years old and is still as funny and dead on as ever.

Spinal Tap is a British rock group with the usual accoutrements rock bands had in the eighties. Filmmaker Marty Dibergi (Rob Reiner) follows Tap on its latest tour of the U.S. to promote its latest album, Smell The Glove. The problem is there is no album to promote as it is being held back by Polymer Records because of its offensive cover. The band is also saddled with a very bad manager who has no clue what he is doing: “The Boston gig got cancelled…. No big deal, it’s not a big college town.” Things go downhill from there.

This is a very, very funny and smart comedy. The many mishaps on Spinal Tap’s latest tour pale in comparison to the many throw-away hilarious lines like “Sexy covers do not sell albums”. It is hard to believe what you are seeing is part improv and part scripted as everything is so tight. The heavy metal the band plays is actually quite good.

Quite good also are the various clips from the early days of the band that really reflect the period they are supposed to represent both musically and visually.

Fans of this mockumentary all have a few favorite moments, the most famous being the Stonehenge scene and the metal detector and pod bits.

Look for Billy Crystal, Fran Dresher, Ed Begley Jr. (Drummer #1), Fran Drescher, Dana Carvey, Howard Hesseman of WKRP fame, Letterman’s Paul Schaffer, and Fred Willard in minor roles or cameos.

Special features on the Blu-ray include a commentary track by the members of the band; Catching Up with Marty DiBergi; Rare Outtakes’ Vintage Tap Material;  4 Music Videos; Promotional Materials; and Commercials.

The Bonus Features Spinal Tap DVD includes the band performing Stonehenge at the 2007 Live Earth Concert and National Geographic Stonehenge Interview with Nigel Tufnel.


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