Decades before Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant conceived the mega-hit “mockumentary” The Office, This is Spinal Tap was already considered a groundbreaking work in the genre. The fake rockumentary centred around the fictional British heavy-metal band ‘Spinal Tap’, was written by and starred Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, Harry Shearer and Rob Reiner.
The film consisted of Rob Reiner’s character, filmmaker Marty Di Bergi, following the band on tour, interviewing the members and filming clips of their live shows and backstage antics. Often cited as one of the greatest comedy films of all time, Spinal Tap was unique and in terms of comedy and years ahead of it’s time. Played completely straight-faced , the comedy is dry, tragic and absolutely hilarious.
Named by London’s Time Out magazine as the greatest comedy film of all time, the movie has gained a huge cult following since it’s release. With a remarkably well crafted soundtrack of mock-metal songs, the cast have since lead the band to infamy with 3 studio album releases, live tours and frequent media appearances (in character).
It’s a wonderfully made film, an absolute classic in the genre, and according to many real life rock stars a painfully accurate insight into the world of rock n’ roll.
The team have since gone on to do some very high-profile work. Harry Shearer having voiced Principal Skinner, Ned Flanders and Lenny etc for over 20 years in The Simpsons. Michael McKean has starred in hundreds of films and television series since Spinal Tap, most recently as Chuck McGill in Better Call Saul. Rob Reiner became and Oscar nominated director and Christopher Guest has become something of a comedy auteur, writing, directing and starring in his own critically acclaimed movies.
The team have been in further collaboration since Spinal Tap and have worked together on many movie and TV projects, most notably Best in Show, For Your Consideration, A Mighty Wind and The Big Picture.