Mockumentaries that go to 11

As 11/11/11 nears -- Nigel Tufnel Day for Spinal Tap obsessives -- we look at 11 classic faux-documentaries

Published November 4, 2011 11:30PM (EDT)

"I believe virtually everything I read, and I think that is what makes me more of a selective human than someone who doesn't believe anything." Thus spake David St. Hubbins (Michael McKean), lead singer and rhythm guitarist of Spinal Tap. I hope you share his attitude toward the printed word, because you are about to read my list of essential mockumentaries.

The mockumentary is fiction in a nonfiction wrapper. It's exemplified by the movie that birthed the above-quoted nitwit rocker, 1984's "This Is Spinal Tap." Rob Reiner's semi-improvised comedy probably would have earned a spot on my list anyhow, but the approach of Nigel Tufnel Day -- 11/11/11 -- made it mandatory. My other 10 picks are meant to convey the diversity of this hybrid format, which encompasses everything from goofy slapstick and musical comedy to deadpan Americana and white-knuckle horror. Please add your own favorites in the Letters section. And if you're going to offer a list, make sure it goes to 11.

By Matt Zoller Seitz

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