Last week, RFT Music editor Kiernan Maletsky pointed out many great film and music cohabitations at this year's St. Louis Internationally Film Festival. But not every insertion of music into movies is as seamless as A Late Quartet. Here are the six worst uses of songs in movies. Let us know your picks in the comments below.
6. "The Mirror Song" by Robin Williams and Thomas Dolby, from Toys Toys was a commercial and critical flop, and I've probably watched it over twenty times. Quick plot summary: Robin Williams works at a toy factory whose new owner plans to use the facility to make war toys that will influence kids to join the military. Williams develops a complicated scheme to shut that whole thing down, but he has to get past security watching the factory from surveillance cameras. To bypass them, he and his crew trick the security guards into thinking they suddenly got MTV by staging a music video in a hallway, thereby creating a diversion. Maybe it's telling that the only surviving video of this scene online is from a handheld camera operated by a child. (See above)
5. "Same Song" by Digital Underground, from Nothing But Trouble Why Digital Underground was written into Nothing But Trouble - that movie where Chevy Chase and Demi Moore are arrested for running a stop sign in a small town and are put to an unfair trial by a grotesquely decrepit Dan Aykroyd - is unclear. Why it seemed necessary to have a rendition of "Same Song" in the film with an organ solo courtesy of Aykroyd while Chase squirms like he's watching Fletch 2 is even more hazy. Also, there's quite a bit of Tupac on background vocals.
4. "Twist and Shout" by The Beatles, from Ferris Bueller's Day Off I am no parade expert, but I am pretty sure they don't let any high schooler with a leopard print vest bombard a float and lip synch "Twist & Shout." In the event that this does occur, I am fairly certain that the entire city doesn't turn into a spontaneous choreographed party. Also, parades usually don't happen in the afternoon on school days. 3. "Babysitting Blues" from Adventures In Babysitting When the babysitting adventure in Adventures In Babysitting goes awry, the kids and the titular babysitter accidentally walk on stage at a blues club where Albert Collins is playing. They apologize but Collins says "Nobody gets out of here without singing the blues." Seems like a strict rule, and the perfect situation for some leniency on that policy, but Collins insists. What follows is difficult to watch, especially at the 2 minute mark when she starts to get really into it, and suddenly these kids devoid of street smarts are capable of improvising rhymes. Oh, and I don't exactly know why, but I'm pretty sure this is racist.
2. "Beverly Hillbillies" by "Weird Al" Yankovich from UHF In UHF, Yankovich takes over a low budget TV station. This plot is essentially a vehicle for Al's weirdness, wherein he can frame his jokes as scenes from TV shows. The only song parody in UHF is "Beverly Hillbillies" to the tune of "Money For Nothing" by Dire Straits. But, functionally, there is no way that a financially strapped station could afford the then revolutionary CGI of this video. So it is delivered in the weakest of all the plot points - the dream sequence. I'll give him credit that replacing "faggot" in the original with "Clampet" is pretty ingenious, but he should have just let Victoria Jackson dump him for sleeping in past their dinner with her parents instead of crawling back to her afterwards. She crazy. 1. "Ninja Rap" by Vanilla Ice, from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Secret Of The Ooze When you're discussing a film like Ninja Turtles 2, there are some aspects you have to look past. I can overlook the existence of enormous sarcastic crime fighting turtles and their battle with freakish monsters engineered for the sole purpose of knocking them out. But I refuse to believe that Vanilla Ice can freestyle. So with that in mind, "Ninja Rap" is beyond impractical. How could the background singers be prepared to double him up on the line "Get down?" And how did he and his dancers already have moves synchronized? The only answer that makes any sense is that Vanilla Ice and his posse are prepared for every scenario, and Ice said "Alright everybody, this is the perfect time for that song we were rehearsing just in case Ninja Turtles end up fighting in the crowd during one of our shows." Stranger things have happened.