Words: Andy Procter
NO SLEEP TILL STONEHENGE
The Rob Reiner classic, This is Spinal Tap, has become the definition of mockumentary since its original 1984 release. The story of an ageing British heavy metal band’s comeback tour across the USA with their 12th album Smell the Glove, is still an essential slice of raucous rock satire for both metal heads and film lovers.
You may think a film from the early eighties about the absurdity of rock & roll excess would have become stale over the years, however, Spinal Tap is as fresh as ever. Band members David St. Hubbins (Michael McKean), Nigel Tufnel (Christopher Guest) and Derek Smalls (Harry Shearer) remain hilarious and clueless caricatures. While the parodies of eras ranging from the 50s to the 80s never fail to hit the rocker stereotypes right on the head. Such attention to detail has even led to rock legend Ozzy Osbourne believing that the band of reprobates were real-life musicians because so many of the events had actually occurred on his debauched tours. The film and its musical satire are still so popular after all these years with all ages for good reason, and this enhanced visual and audio experience meets the needs of contemporary music fans who expect high quality sights and sounds.
Well, this piece is called “Lick My Love Pump”. Nigel Tufnell
The interactive menu on the Blu-ray is brilliant in itself, featuring the band bickering in their usual way about the merits of the features included. The Blu-ray rerelease includes a huge amount of extras, totalling over three hours in length. The first is selection of interviews from famous fans – including Ricky Gervais, Rob Brydon and Kings of Leon – exploring in detail the parts of the film that they love, and why after all these years the picture is still so relevant. The knowledge of interviewees such as Gervais covers how the film holds up in comedic departments, while the Kings of Leon cover its relevancy to modern music tours around the worlds.
The extras include some of the usual special edition bonuses such as trailers, interviews and outtakes. However, the outtakes themselves are often inspired and nearly add up to a whole other movie in length. One of the best features is an entire live show entitled ‘The Return of Spinal Tap’, filmed at The Royal Albert Hall, which features small skits between each song, highlighting what the members have been up to since the band had previously split up.
Overall this special edition Blu-ray is a perfect tribute to the legacy of Spinal Tap. Great for new fans, but even better for those already established groupies who want to expand their knowledge of the legendary rockers.