Sunday, November 6, 2011

10 Best Appearances by Real Bands in a Movie

As part of the 2011 Halloween fare Cinemax served up in the month of October, the 1999 horror comedy, Idle Hands, came into rotation. In case you haven't seen it, you need only know three things about it - the first, it was the death knell of Devon Sawa's film career which didn't make it past Y2K (Final Destination being the nail on that coffin); the second, it features a young Jessica Alba showcasing her entire acting range - a sexy sultry wooden log - which she continues to pass of as talent till this day; and the third, Seth Green, being a stoner, which everybody knows is the best kind of Seth Green available on film. Here's the Wiki, if it piqued your interest.

The film's climax, which in horror movie speak, is when shit has just been launched, is now hacking away at everything in sight and is T-minus 5 seconds away from the fan, revolves around a prom scene with the obligatory band. Cool because prom scene climaxes are such a relic of the '90s teen movie genre and also because the band doing a cover of the The Ramones, 'I Wanna Be Sedated' was none other than The Offspring. Cue metal gears creakily spinning in head and consequently, this list. In the interest of keeping this list to just band cameos in a movie, all things The Beatles-related, Detroit Rock City and Tenacious D and the The Pick of Destiny were not included. Behold, the 10 best appearances by real bands in a movie that wasn't build around them!

1. The Offspring - Idle Hands (1999)

As mentioned above, The Offspring appear in the movie. What I failed to mention was what happens to Dexter Holland when the 'idle hand' gets busy. SPOILER ALERT: You might lose your head after viewing the clip.

2. Save Ferris and Letters to Cleo - 10 Things I Hate About You (1999)

Yes, Letters to Cleo was instrumental in the soundtrack for 10 Things I Hate About You. But let's not forget that Save Ferris was also in the movie. The above YouTube video was the only one I could find of them, but every 90's teen movie prom needs a live band, and Save Ferris was this film's.

3. Gwar - Empire Records (1995)

What do you do when you have a hallucinogenic day dream of being the main course on your favourite thrash metal band's plate? As Mark/c demonstrated in Empire Records, just keep on keeping on and bite off another piece of that special cake.

4. Mighty Mighty Bosstones - Clueless (1995)

As you might have noticed, the 1990s were a banner decade for band's appearing in films, ska punk bands, in particular. Probably because that was the genre's heyday. (Don't act so outraged fanboys, even No Doubt knows the truth and have moved on). While The Mighty Mighty Bosstones wasn't part of a prom scene in Clueless, it still led to the delivery of a brilliant payload - Paul Rudd dancing.

5. Reel Big Fish - BASEketball (1998)

See above statement and apply tenfold before the year 2000 swings about. Reel Big Fish in particular is a perfect fit for this movie which stars Matt Stone and Trey Parker, the masterminds behind South Park (fun fact). It's ridiculous levels of fun that gets you insane in the membrane.

And on that Cypress Hill note, we leave the '90s and move ahead to the 'Naughties and beyond.

6. Smash Mouth - Rat Race (2001)

Just before Shrek cannibalized Smash Mouth's 'All Star' down to its bare marrow and the world collectively sipped on the haterade, the song made a lovely soundtrack to Mystery Men and Rat Race. The former, an underrated comedy which the original music video featured snippets out of; and in the latter, a finale with much endearing goofiness, as was the running theme throughout the film. Fun fact: Seth Green plays a greedy asshole, which as you know is the best kind of Seth Green available on film.

7. Coldplay - Shaun of the Dead (2004)

While Coldplay did not actually perform in Shaun of the Dead, their little bit in the end news footage round-up was another gold star in a movie that is a nerd's wet dream. The movie came out at a time when Live Aid was the band's pet project, so to have them satirize that with Zomb Aid, is charmingly self-effacing. For full effect and to see Chris Martin hide behind his knees in a gigglefest, watch the full skit here.

8. Fall Out Boy - Sex Drive (2008)

Back in 1999, American Pie featured a blink-or-you'll-miss-them moment with Blink 182. It was a microsecond where Mark, Tom and Travis were one of the crowd viewing the Internet clip of Jason Biggs doing the strip dance. Many years later, in the same vein of teen R-rated comedies, Sex Drive featured an appearance by Fall Out Boy. The 2008 offering wasn't as good as the 1999 one, both in plot and musical guest stars, to use the term loosely. But Sex Drive had Seth Green, playing a sarcastic Amish, which as you might have guessed, is the best kind of Seth Green available on screen.

9. Rush - I Love You, Man (2009)

Perhaps it's the holdover from Jason Segel's role in the phenomenal TV series Freaks and Geeks but watching Rush-obsessed Nick Andopolis geek out to the band tugs at the heartstrings. Also, more Paul Rudd dance moves and much slapping of da [sic] bass.

10. Daft Punk - Tron: Legacy (2010)

While it might not be fair to include Daft Punk in this list given that they were responsible for the entire Tron: Legacy soundtrack, there's no better example of the perfect meeting between movie and music when news came out of the band's involvement. That scene where Michael Sheen's Castor gives a head nod to the helmet-wearing robot-suited French duo - nothing but spine-tingling chills and mind-plosion fanboy squeals. It may have dampered as the movie plodded on, but hey, that's why we have the soundtrack to relive the magical moment.