Monday, February 14, 2011

Top This: Ten Worst Musical Numbers in Cinema

Do you read The Vine? Because you should. Today they are (or, more specifically, @Luke Ryan is) counting down the ten worst musical numbers in films ever.

"Don't Walk Away"

When asked for suggestions, I chimed in with "the animated fish scene in XANADU" and thankfully it made it onto the list at no. 10. The rest of the list, however, is equally awful. In fact, due to not having seen all the films these numbers are from, I have discovered some that are indeed far worse than "Don't Walk Away" in which Olivia Newton John and Michael Beck kiss and inexplicably turn into animated fish. Truly. I mean, I can't believe I ever lived in a world in which I didn't know "Top That" from Teen Witch existed. Can you?

"Top That"

It's just so funky!

Some doozies that didn't make the list? Well, I could list the entire soundtrack to the infamous 1984 Dolly Parton/Sylvester Stallone misfire Rhinestone, but special citation must be given to "Drinkenstein" I think, which is made worse by Dolly's "oh isn't that cute" laugh at the end. I don't believe The Dolly Parton would ever find that amusing in the slightest. What about "Sobbin' Women" from Seven Brides for Seven Brothers? A terrible movie for sure, but much like "Thank Heaven for Little Girls from My Fair Lady Gigi, this travesty of a musical number is so far rendered culturally insensitive by it's woeful lyrics that I kinda can't even fathom it existing in 1954! It's an ode to smackin' yo woman so she don't go astray, after all.


"Sobbin' Women"

And what about EVERYTHING from Were the World Mine, which is a very good example of how bad Glee truly could be and yet thankfully isn't. And while it feels beneath me to rag on product from the Disney field of dreams, "Bet On It" from High School Musical 2 had me in wild guffaws when I watched it. What's with that ridiculous pool reflection and Zac Efron's silly choreography? Yikes!

"Were the World Mine"

"Bet On It"

In the end, however, I think they got it right by naming "The Penis Song" from The Sweetest Thing as the number one worst. It's a travesty, isn't it? Watching Cameron Diaz, Christina Applegate and Selma Blair sing their way through this ode to giving men false impressions of the size of their manhood - "your penis is too big to fit in here!" - is akin to having your eyes and ears stabbed repeatedly with a rusty switchblade. It's diabolical, really. Not to mention the old lady who would've easily been played by Betty White if made five years later. Thank heavens for small mercies. It's just a shame the Razzie committee didn't bestow any of their illustrious honours onto it. I mean, if "Drinkenstein" can win Worst Original Song then why can't "The Penis Song"?

"The Penis Song"

I implore you to read the rest at The Vine and see how low/high Vanilla Ice's contribution to the world of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles ("Go ninja / Go ninja, go!") is!

And after all of that, if you just want one more video with a 1980s edge then watch this one. It's the music video for some band called Atomic Tom (they are not a spin-off of Atomic Kitten, featuring that mess of a dishrag Kerry Katona) covering Human League's "Don't You Want Me". The original is an amazing classic, this new version is awful. The video, however, is a hoot as it features an adorkably hot Topher Grace (Definition - clothes on: "aww, ain't he cute!" clothes off: "whoa!") and a hilarious as always Anna Faris (along with some of their co-stars from Take Me Home Tonight) recreating famous moments from 1980s flicks. I don't think I can see Michelle Trachtenberg, but I can see Lucy Punch and Michael Beihn!

Bonus points for Topher Grace taking his shirt off as well as his Risky Business moment. Even more bonus points for Anna Faris looking like Sandra Bernhard as she impersonates Glenn Close's bunny boiler moment from Fatal Attraction. Points off for including Norma Rae, which was from 1979. How'd that slip by? Thanks to the brilliant Jason at My New Plaid Pants for pointing me in the direction of this clip.

"Don't You Want Me"

I want that Human League/Dare tee that Topher Grace is wearing, by the way. Anybody know where I could get my hands on one? Preferably with Topher still inside.


Richard said...

"Thank Heaven for Little Girls" is from Gigi, not My Fair Lady. Otherwise, nicely done.

The Slightly Illuminated Knight said...

Every title here brings shivers to my spine... *brrr*

A wonderfully dastardly list.

(Although I have to correct you on one small thing: the Applegate/Blair/Diaz travesty is actually called THE SWEETEST THING. "THE NEXT BEST THING" is the Madonna/Rupert Everett mashup that ruined Rupe's career...

Well, that and the plastic surgery.

MrW said...

Might I suggest what I consider to be the most astounding trainwreck of a musical number in motion picture history? Timothy Dalton and Mae West munching their way through 'Love Will Keep Us Together' in 'Sextette':

This is wrong on just about every conceivable level. And then some.

Walter L. Hollmann said...

Awww, I love everything about Xanadu. No matter how ridiculous that animated moment is, I will always adore it. And I can't take down Gigi or Seven Brides... because (a) never saw them, and (b) product of their times. The Penis Song is unfair to put in: it's a deleted scene. I also stand by Be Italian as one of the best numbers in Nine.

But meanwhile...yeah, the Ninja Rap is ridiculous. And Top That? FROM TEEN WITCH? Glenn, I can't believe you haven't seen it. It is MY LIFE. Thrill at the late-80s hair! Gawk at the odd sexual innuendos! Fantasize about strangling the little brother to death! It's a tour de force of what the fuck!

But no worst musical number list is complete without a mention of something from Sextette, Mae West's last film. One of my all-time favorites, but unlike Xanadu, it's pure irony.

Try Mae West with Walter Pidgeon and co.:

Or Mae West with Timothy Dalton(!):

Or Mae West with Alice Cooper (!!):

Or Mae West with the Olympic Team (!!!):

Watch and weep for humanity. Weep I say!

Glenn Dunks said...

Richard and Knight, yes, slip of the typing fingers I'm afraid.

I am aware of Sextette, but have unfortunately never seen it. And the few scenes from I have seen are all hilarious. That animated fish bit from Xanadu is the one odd flourish from the film that I just don't care for.

Glenn Dunks said...

Oh, and, of course, there's also Lost Horizon that I've never had the chance to see, but from all reports has woeful musical numbers. And The Apple. Oh boy, The Apple!