What Makes This is Spinal Tap So Re-Watchable? | Fanboys Anonymous

What Makes This is Spinal Tap So Re-Watchable?

Posted by Unknown Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Watching movies is a favorite past time of mine, go figure. I've seen tens of thousands, own around 1,500 DVDs, 250+ Blu-ray discs and also subscribe to Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime, and Netflix. So suffice it to say I have access to a ton of media. Out of all these, which film is my most watched and why? It's This is Spinal Tap, the most watchable film ever. I've seen it at least 75 times.

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Why does it have so much replayability? Part of it is the length; it clocks in around 82 minutes. Another part of it is the music. Think about how many times you've listened to your favorite song compared to how many times you have seen your favorite film. If you are like me, the gap is extreme. Songs are way shorter, get better when you don't listen to them for a while, and are hopefully invigorating while you listen.

Spinal Tap is no different. The humor the songs invoke also adds to the replay value, and, in fact, the whole damn movie is hilarious. I would say most of my most-watched films all have humorous elements involved. With This Is Spinal Tap, there are funny bits galore. This is similar to A Christmas Story, another film that never gets old. There are so many great little scenes (and with Christmas Story, subplots) that ring true on a comedic level, it's fun to relive them over and over; there are also great quotes:
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  • The Stonehenge scene. "These go to eleven." 
  • Nigel's freak out with the food backstage. "None more black." 
  • The band getting lost on the way to the stage (and this has happened to many real life bands). "... from Spinal Tap, currently residing in the 'Where are they now?' file... (and this happens on a local radio station where they are in town laying a gig that very night!). 
  • Their drummer always meeting a violent end. 
  • Derek Smalls getting trapped in the egg shell thing.
  • "This is called Lick my Love Pump." 
  • No one showing up for their album signing. 
  • The aluminum foil covered cucumber. 

It goes on and on, and like A Christmas Story, many of these scenes and their subtleties reward a viewer when watching multiple times.

Another thing that makes it so great is the fact so many real-life bands were stunned the first time they watched the film. George Lynch, a member of rock band Dokken, is said to have exclaimed, "That's us! How did they make a movie about us?" Steven Tyler of Aerosmith is said to have found nothing funny about it because it hit so close to home for the legendary rocker.

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For me, it's funny of course, but it also has a great, heartfelt story underneath it all, one about friendship and a love for music and the hardships of creativity. Nigel and David's relationship is so fantastic and really tugs at the heart strings. They started the band together, have been best mates for decades, and knew each other too well. When Nigel storms off the stage, smashing his guitar in frustration, you understand the reasons why, but it's painful to see them split up.

When they meet once again backstage before their final show of the tour, after the remaining band members have decided to call it quits, the look in David's eyes when he looks at Nigel is so powerful. Michael McKean does an amazing job of acting with this eyes, and what you see there—hurt from Nigel's betrayal, despair because of the state of the band, and perhaps guilt over his girlfriend's antics that caused the rift in the first place—is so powerful it cannot be ignored.

This is Spinal Tap is my 11th favorite film and it will always be my 11th favorite film. I also own all their real albums and listen to them. Am I obsessed? Are their other Tap heads out there? Sound off below.

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