"There's such a fine line between stupid and..."--David St. Hubbins (Michael McKean) "...And clever."
- Derek Smalls (Harry Shearer)
"The numbers all go to eleven. Look...right across the board."--Nigel Tufnel (Christopher Guest), explaining the volume controls on his amplifiers "Ahh...oh, I see..."--Marty DiBergi (Rob Reiner) "Eleven...eleven...eleven..."--Nigel "And most of these amps go up to ten."--Marty "Exactly."--Nigel "Does that mean it's...louder' Is it any louder'"--Marty "Well, it's one louder, isn't it'"--Nigel "Why don't you just make ten louder and make ten be the top number and make that a little louder'"--Marty "[Pause]... These go to eleven."
"'How much more black could this be'' And the answer is: 'None...none more black.'"
"'On what day did God create Spinal Tap, and couldn't he have rested on that day also''"
- Marty, reading a review of Spinal Tap's latest album
"'They are treading water in a sea of retarded sexuality and bad poetry."'--Marty, reading more from the review "That's...that's nit-picking, isn't it'"
"The official cause of death is he died of choking on vomit. It wasn't his own vomit. He choked on somebody else's vomit."--Nigel
"I'm really influenced by Mozart and Bach, and it's sort of in between those, really, it's like a Mach piece, really."--Nigel "What do you call this'"--Marty "Well, this piece is called 'Lick My Love Pump.'"
"I think that the problem may have been that there was a Stonehenge monument on the stage that was in danger of being crushed by a dwarf."
USA Today - 06/02/2000
"...[The movie is] required viewing in every musician's tour bus..."
New York Times - 03/02/1984
"...A witty, mischievous satire, and it's obviously a labor of love....Delightful..."
New York Times - 12/30/1984
Included in The New York Times "10 BEST FILMS OF 1984"
Los Angeles Times - 09/08/2000
"...Funny, devastatingly clever and original....As funny a film about the intersection of music and popular culture as has ever been made..."
Chicago Sun-Times - 01/21/2001
"...One of the funniest movies ever made....Reiner fills the frame with background information and subtle touches..."
Chicago Sun-Times - 09/15/2000
"...The movie is brilliant at telling its story....There are a lot of great visual jokes..."
Entertainment Weekly - 05/23/2003
"...Stars Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, and Harry Shearer play fools as only wise men can..."
Rolling Stone - 11/27/2003
"...The greatest rock movie ever....It's not just a comedy -- it's a love story. And it goes to eleven..."
Premiere - 12/01/2003
"Anytime a movie takes the piss out of a phenomenon, you've got England's loudest band to thank, dead drummers and all."
Total Film - 10/01/2009 5 stars out of 5 -- "TAP's legend still runs....Endlessly quotable gags fly fast and a whiff of plausibility pervades..."
A brilliant and hilarious documentary-style satire of a has-been British heavy metal band who never really was on an absurd American comeback tour that never quite gets off the ground, THIS IS SPINAL TAP practically birthed the mockumentary style. Michael McKean, Christopher Guest, and Harry Shearer are David St. Hubbins, Nigel Tufnel, and Derek Smalls, respectively--three clueless, self-absorbed men who form the nucleus of Spinal Tap, aging purveyors of overwrought songs with titles such as "Big Bottom," "Smell the Glove," and "Sex Farm." Shot in faux cinema verité-style with director Rob Reiner as fictional filmmaker Marty DiBergi, the film lampoons just about every rock & roll cliché (not to mention every rockumentary cliché) in the book as it follows these fallen rock idols from one disastrous gig to the next. Scenes of the tour's descent from desperation into total collapse are interspersed with interviews in which the band members delightfully prattle on inanely about the none-too-illustrious history and dubious vision of Spinal Tap. THIS IS SPINAL TAP is a striking and acutely hysterical directorial debut for Reiner and a deserved cult classic. Watch for an endless array of cameos by wonderful comic character actors along the way.
THIS IS SPINAL TAP is director Rob Reiner's hilariously deadpan mockumentary about a fictional heavy metal band hitting the skids during their U.S. tour. The film has inspired legions of dedicated, obsessive fans who know all of the lines by heart.
Essential Cinema |
Rock And Roll |
Theatrical release: April 1984.
Theatrical rerelease: September 8, 2000 (Limited).
The three primary actors (Michael McKean, Christopher Guest, and Harry Shearer) all play their own instruments.
The hat of Marty DiBergi (director Rob Reiner) reappears in THE PRINCESS BRIDE on the young boy's bedpost.
Guest also reappears in THE PRINCESS BRIDE as Count Ruben.