The Return of Spinal Tap
is based around Tap's performance at the Royal Albert Hall in 1992. In between the footage of Messrs St Hubbins, Tufnell and Smalls performing in front of a huge crowd enthusiastically determined to go along with the joke, there are clips purporting to investigate the band's humble origins in the East London suburb of Squatney, and updates from "rockumentary" director Marty Di Bergi and hapless record plugger Artie Fufkin (from the original film). It is the latter component which is the real strength of Return
. Though the concert footage faithfully rehashes many of the film's most treasured jokes (the malfunctioning props, the dancing midgets), the real satirical strength of This is Spinal Tap
was never its treatment of heavy metal music (which, after all, is hardly a difficult target). What the first movie did best was illuminate the egomania, paranoia, delusion and stupidity that are the cornerstones of rock 'n' roll as it is lived. The Return of Spinal Tap
is a worthy companion piece. --Andrew Mueller
They're back, and they're one louder. Spinal Tap return with this feature-length 'rockumentary', in which the band members - Nigel Tufnel, David St Hubbins and Derek Smalls - reveal where they are now, and take us back to where it all began; Squatney, London. Also on hand are familiar faces from the band's past, Marty Di Bergi, Artie Fufkin and Jeanine, founder and owner of itchy Irish clothing shop Potato Republic.