8.0/11
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335 user 126 critic

This Is Spinal Tap (1984)

R | | Comedy, Music | 2 March 1984 (USA)
Spinal Tap, one of England's loudest bands, is chronicled by film director Marty DiBergi on what proves to be a fateful tour.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Kimberly Stringer ...
Heavy Metal Fan
Chazz Dominguez ...
Heavy Metal Fan
Shari Hall ...
Heavy Metal Fan
R.J. Parnell ...
David Kaff ...
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...
...
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Jean Cromie ...
Ethereal Fan
Patrick Maher ...
New York M.C.
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...
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Storyline

In 1982 legendary British heavy metal band Spinal Tap attempt an American comeback tour accompanied by a fan who is also a film-maker. The resulting documentary, interspersed with powerful performances of Tap's pivotal music and profound lyrics, candidly follows a rock group heading towards crisis, culminating in the infamous affair of the eighteen-inch-high Stonehenge stage prop. Written by Jeremy Perkins <jwp@aber.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Does for rock and roll what "The Sound of Music" did for hills

Genres:

Comedy | Music

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

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Language:

Release Date:

2 March 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Rock 'n' Roll Nightmare  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$55,854 (USA) (8 September 2000)

Gross:

$4,671,831 (USA) (6 October 2000)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.70 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Marillion's 1987 UK top ten single "Incommunicado" includes the line "currently residing in the where are they now file", which was taken from the film. The song was written from the point of view of a rock star struggling with the lifestyle and the pressures of success. See more »

Goofs

When the band goes to the recording industry convention, the subtitles say they're in Atlanta. However, the building in the background is the famous Bonaventure Hotel in Los Angeles, and an old RTD (now MTA) bus drives by. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Marty DiBergi: Hello; my name is Marty DiBergi. I'm a filmmaker. I make a lot of commercials. That little dog that chases the covered wagon underneath the sink? That was mine. In 1966, I went down to Greenwich Village, New York City to a rock club called Electric Banana. Don't look for it; it's not there anymore. But that night, I heard a band that for me redefined the word "rock and roll". I remember being knocked out by their... their exuberance, their raw power - and their punctuality. That ...
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Crazy Credits

Anjelica Huston's name is incorrectly listed as 'Angelica Huston' at the beginning of the end titles, but correctly spelled 'Anjelica Huston' in the full cast that appears further down the list. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Nostalgia Critic: Top 11 Drug PSAs (2008) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Smell the Glove!
5 November 2002 | by (North Hollywood, CA) – See all my reviews

The humor of "This is Spinal Tap" has a special time-release formula. I didn't find myself rolling on the floor laughing the first time I saw this but as the day went on my friends and I couldn't stop recalling the dialogue. This movie is a legend.

"See Spinal Tap" should be written in the dictionary next to satire. Lately satire has come to mean a simple mockery of pop-culture instead of "human vice or folly attacked through irony, derision or wit". Movies like "Scary Movie" claim to be parodies or satire without even trying to be witty. They just imitate something as opposed to commenting on it. True satire takes a bit more work by the writers and will make you laugh much harder.

Spinal Tap gives you the absurdity of the rock and roll world, yet still respects the music. I understood this when I saw a clip of the movie for the first time at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It was the scene with amps that go to "11". I couldn't stop thinking about that scene until I finally saw the movie. Every aspect of the music world is lampooned; arrogance, absurdity, backstage crybabies, has-beenism, volume, even the Beatles. This movie is quoted like the Simpsons, which isn't always good but certainly proof of legendary movie. It's dry, deadpan humor and it may take a day to sink in but this movie is hilarious.


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