An inspired parody of the decadent world of '80s heavy metal, This Is Spinal Tap was said to have been so realistic that many of the artists it pilloried failed to see any humor in the amplifiers that turned up to eleven, the preposterous song titles ("Lick My Love Pump") and the labyrinth of backstage corridors. Indeed, displaying a staggering lack of self-awareness, several bands have since made the fictional rockers' absurd antics appear positively normal whilst filming their own real-life music documentaries. Here's a look at five which you'd struggle to believe if they were scripted.
Rattle & Hum
Sadly, the moment when U2 became stuck inside the giant lemon prop on the Popmart tour never made it to celluloid. But following in the footsteps of Spinal Tap, their visit to Graceland during their po-faced companion piece to their 1988 album did.
Robbie Williams' guitarist Fil Eisler even namechecks Spinal Tap during this fly-on-the-wall look at the former Take That star's 2001 European tour after a cock-up leaves the band trapped behind the curtains. Meanwhile, a crazed stage invader and a surreal conversation about the correct height of a table and chairs adds to the whole ridiculousness.
Some Kind Of Monster
Following on from the whole Napster debacle, thrash metal legends Metallica continued to tarnish their reputation with this unintentionally hilarious account of their behind-the-scenes troubles and their $40,000-a-month therapy sessions in particular.
Seething with jealousy over his underground 'soulmates' The Dandy Warhols' rise to major label success, The Brian Jonestown Massacre frontman Anton Newcombe completely self-destructed in this compelling love/hate tale, culminating in a comical industry showcase where he instructed bouncers to beat up the audience.
Anvil! The Story Of Anvil
Unlike the more famous examples on the list, forgotten Canadian metalheads Anvil came off as utterly charming as they desperately tried to keep the dream alive 30 years into their career. But it didn't make the scenes where they were paid in goulash or performed to 174 people in a 10,000 seater arena any less funny.
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Attempting to delve into one of Tinseltown’s most curious scandals--the mysterious suicide (or was it?) of the original TV Superman actor George Reeves--the story begins after Reeves (Ben Affleck) is found dead of a seemingly self-inflicted gunshot wound during a late night party in his Benedict Canyon home. The case then unfolds through the eyes of Louis Simo (Adrien Brody) a street-smart publicity hungry private dick hired by Reeves’ grieving mother. As Simo slowly peels back the layers of Reeves’ seemingly glamorous life he discovers an actor of charm talent and sophistication whose every opportunity for a big break fizzled forcing him to lead a frustrated existence slumming in the superhero show he deemed beneath him. Gradually identifying with Reeves’ failed expectations for himself Simo discovers a host of candidates who may have actually pulled the trigger on the actor including his young party girl paramour (Robin Tunney) his longtime lover and patron (Diane Lane) and his lover’s husband a powerfully connected studio “fixer” (Bob Hoskins). It is Brody not Affleck who carries the bulk of the film on his shoulders and the Oscar winner delivers a finely etched turn as Simo who’s fractured potential mirrors Reeves’ but quite simply Simo’s story isn’t nearly as dark or engaging as Reeves’ life or the mystery surrounding his death. Affleck an actor who has had his share of ups downs duds and disappointments in Hollywood delivers one of his most charming and fully realized performances to date even if his spot-on recreation of Reeves’ speech pattern is a bit distracting. The luminous Lane’s acting talents remain in full blossom in a character she’s well-suited to play—the aging beauty fearing the road ahead—and she commands every scene she’s in. Unfortunately there should have been many many more of them. She’s almost criminally underused. Hoskins more menacing then ever and the reliable stable of supporting players like Joe Spano are all top-notch as well; only Tunney apparently trying to channel both Betty Boop and Bette Davis simultaneously seems a bit off her game as the wannabe femme fatale. Best known for his strong turns helming many of the best episodes of television series such as The Sopranos Sex and the City and Six Feet Under first time feature director Allen Coulter’s cool assured hand and meticulous recreation of Cold War Los Angeles are major bonuses here. Even when Simo’s story sags in comparison to Reeves’ Coulter keeps us interested particularly when staging the Rashomon-like sequences depicting the various theories behind Reeves’ demise. But by skimping on Reeves’ story in favor of a less compelling fictional framework built around a private detective investigating the case we never see one key suspect’s possible murder scenario enacted visually and it comes off as a glaring omission.