This Is Spinal Tap
The phenomenon of Spinal Tap, which began with the 1982 movie, has not been limited to the silver screen – though perhaps it should have been. Two albums and a half-hearted comeback tour later, “one of England’s loudest bands” has never quite recaptured the perfect pitch of satire achieved so effortlessly by the movie. The creators of the This Is Spinal Tap CD-ROM (The Voyager Co.), therefore, may have made a wise decision when they included the entire 82-minute film on the disc. Although we usually scoff at movies ported to CD-ROM (a videotape would almost always be preferable), Spinal Tap benefits from the complete inclusion of its source material. There are extras on the disc, including three soundtracks that you can play while you watch the film – one that goes with what you see, and two, from the band and the crew, that provide behind-the-scenes glimpses into the atmosphere on the set (the entire movie, in case you didn’t know, was improvised). There’s also a sophisticated search engine, and a bonus disc providing tasty extras like out-takes, music videos, and the 20-minute demo used to sell the original concept. To say that this is meant for Spinal Tap fanatics is to state the obvious; who else but a die-hard fan would watch the same movie three times while listening to three different soundtracks? Luckily for Voyager, there is no shortage of Spinal Tap fanatics out there. Even for the rest of us, the disc is well worth checking out (preferably at a friend’s house); there’s tons of hilarious stuff on top of the spontaneously combusting drummers and malfunctioning space pods. And, as the packaging points out, the volume control does indeed go all the way to eleven.
– December 1995