This Is Spinal Tap (1984)

(On VHS, August 1999) One of my favorite film gems is a little-seen pseudo-documentary comedy about the rise, fall and reunion of a rap group, Fear Of A Black Hat. Many other reviewers dissented, calling it a pale imitation of This Is Spinal Tap, an early-eighties pseudo-documentary comedy about the rise, fall and reunion of a rock group. After seeing the earlier film, I must say that it must be a generational thing: No only is the style of music of Fear Of A Black Hat closer to my rap/dance favorites, but the latter film simply seemed funnier than This Is Spinal Tap, which hasn’t aged very well. In fact, a lot of the film just seems too close to reality to actually being funny. This isn’t to say that there aren’t any chuckles here and there, but the music industry has changed considerably in fifteen years, and This Is Spinal Tap suffers from it. Of course, who’s to say how Fear Of A Black Hat will sound in ten more years? Probably that by then, there will be another pseudo-documentary about the rise, fall and reunion of…

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