Mockumentary’s Comedic Take on Bands

Screen Grab via IMDB
"This is Spinal Tap" is a 1984 comedy/documentary that was the first of its kind to capture all the clichés of the music scene.

Amanda Berry

Staff Writer

Continuing this month was ESU’s Film on The Arts in the Fine Arts center. The theater filled with students and community members alike, excited to watch this months pick.

This month’s movie was a mockumentary titled “This Is Spinal Tap,” directed by Rob Reiner. The movie follows the events of a fictional British rock band called Spinal Tap and their downward spiral from stardom.

Freshman Taylor Dahl said, “I am really into classic rock, but the movie was a little boring for my taste. I like the way it tried to bring some humor into it as well, but it just didn’t make the cut for classic rock’s epic feel.”

After debuting in 1984, the movie now has a 98% on Rotten Tomatoes. The movie  has aspects of comedy, drama, and tells the story that most people in the art world fear.

Much like every band, they fear the day where their popularity drains. This can be seen throughout history with popular bands such as the Beatles, AC/DC, and more modern bands like the Jonas Brothers.

These bands either eventually break up, fall apart, or lose popularity due to time and newer music.

Spinal Tap started out as a small band, growing from pop music to rock. We follow the story of the band as they now embark on a tour of The United States.

The shows become lighter and lighter as the band receives less publicity and less people begin to show up to their show.

Only, you won’t feel sympathy for Spinal Tap, their failure is tragic and completely of their own doing. This is what makes the movie so hilarious and a good watch.

The band keeps having to come up with ways to perform as things go wrong on stage. Members quit and equipment malfunctions but by the end they become so popular in Japan they decide to tour there.

The movie itself was a little boring and dragged on at parts. It repeats a lot with the same idea that they need to do something to gain popularity again, but fail almost each and every time.

While the movie had it ups, it had its down and made it hard to follow the story. While some students didn’t enjoy the movie that much, others found it more towards their taste.

Freshman Andrew McDermot said, “I think it did have some points in which it was a bit too satirical for my taste, but overall it was a very funny and clever film.”

Today, the movie is well received and seen as brilliantly filmed and a hilarious rock film.

“This is Spinal Tap” is an interesting film and for those looking for something funny to watch, this would be a good weekend view.

This was the second installment in ESU’s Film on The Arts and a third movie will be shown on April 17th in the Fine Arts Building here on campus.

More information can be found on ESU’s calendar for the month of April at

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