"It's Not 'Spinal Tap', and it's not trying to be"
Why is it that every time someone tries to make a fictional documetary-style film about a rock band (a mockrockumentary, if you will), everyone compares it to "Spinal Tap"? Look, I love Spinal Tap, but not every movie about a rock band is comparable to that film. It's the same annoying trend of calling every new brit comedy "This years's `The Full Monty'".Well, unlike lesser-caliber films like "Still Crazy", "Hard Core Logo" isn't trying to be Spinal Tap and has been unfairly compared to such (although they do make reference to Rob Reiner's opus in one scene). This is not to say it isn't a funny film, because it often is. But this should not be percieved as a comedy, but rather a dark look at the turbulent reunion of the titular failed punk band.
The main characters are mohawked lead singer "Joe Dick" (Hugh Dillon, who steals the show in all respects), and pretty-boy guitar player Billy Talent (Callum Keith Rennie). Dick, the leader of the defunct punk band Hard Core Logo, has reunited all the original members for a brief 6-show tour across Canada. There are plenty of revelations by and about the band members, and a bizarre string of setbacks and misadventures along the way. The film will have you laughing several times, often in that "should I really be laughing at this?" kind of way.
Canadian Director Bruce McDonald keeps the pace brisk and the visuals sharp and intriguing. The flow feels natural, and the camera crew, rather than a detached third party, become increasingly intrusive and even set the band at odds in order to create more drama on film. Their involvement peaks when they drop acid along with the band, resulting in an impromptu orgy of chainsaws, goat heads, and blood drinking.Like the best "mockumentaries", this often feels like the real thing, unlike the obvious parody that was "Spinal Tap". This would make it more comparable to "Blair Witch", if anything, including the appropriately grim ending.