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9 Movie Soundtracks Better Than The Films

Aaron Phillips

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Jaws shark image
Universal

We all know the power that music can have. The way that it can evoke emotions and memories in a way that no other art form can quite manage. Music also has the power to bring films to life. The music from a film has the ability to instantly transport you back to a moment. But sometimes, the movie soundtracks are so much better than the films they are complimenting. Let’s count down nine movies who had better soundtracks than the films themselves.

9. Tron (Legacy)

There is no denying that Joseph Konsinski’s 2010 remake was visually stunning. But a confusing plot and a meandering pace quickly takes the shine off the visuals. It’s a shame, as the film promised so much, but delivered very little. On the plus side, the music was superb. Handled by legendary French electronic duo Daft Punk, it’s peppered with funky beats that sound like they have come straight from the future. Check out Derezzed, as it sums it up perfectly. If there was an artist or group that should write a soundtrack for a futuristic movie, then Daft Punk are it.

8. Natural Born Killers

Released in 1994 and directed by Oliver Stone, Natural Born Killers has become one of the most controversial films of all time. Mostly because of its excessive violence and plot. It’s not an overly bad film per se, but its appeal is fairly limited. Not everyone has the stomach for an ultra-violent murder-fest. What did have appeal though, was the fantastic soundtrack. This was handled by Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails. According to Reznor, he watched the film 50 times to get in the mood for writing the music. I don’t know how he mentally managed to do that and not go insane, but his brand of experimental industrial rock fitted snugly with the dark tones of the film. In fact, I would say tracks like Burn are more visceral than the violence on offer from the film.

7. Maximum Overdrive

This camp 80’s horror flick was actually directed by Stephen King in his one and only directorial appearance. The film was based on one of King’s short horror stories, Trucks, where machines turn on their makers. In essence, it’s a pretty terrible film. But what he did manage to do was to get one of his favourite bands to release their album as the soundtrack to the movie. AC/DC’s Who Made Who was the album in question, and my word, what an album. Hells Bells and You Shook me all Night Long are just some of the timeless anthems that feature in the movie. The album certainly makes the film bearable and even adds a little more cheekiness to it, but it by no means polishes a turkey. I’m a massive Stephen King fan, but he should definitely stick to writing books and stay away from the director’s chair. Take my advice and just buy the album.

6. Last Action Hero

Keeping the rock theme going, we now turn our attention to 1993’s Last Action Hero. Now, I was kind of torn with this one. I look back on the film with some affection for its cheesiness; ham acting and Schwarzenegger send-off’s. But in reality, it was a pretty terrible movie. It was a parody within a parody. In fact, it was so bad it was good. Which is why it’s giving me such an internal debate about slating it on this list. What wasn’t terrible, though, was the movie soundtrack.

It featured some of the world’s biggest rocks bands. There were tracks from Def Leppard; Aerosmith; Alice in Chains and AC/DC to name but a few, which more than makes up for the limp movie. The fist-pumping rock actually lends itself well to the cheesiness of the movie, so sit back, switch your brain off, and enjoy.

5. Saturday Night Fever

I would say that I have met people throughout my life who like an eclectic mix of music. What I haven’t met, is a large number of people that love disco. Either I just haven’t met them, or they avoid me, but there’s no denying that John Travolta’s sharp-dressed and dapper-dancing had mass appeal in 1978. It was a movie of its time and let’s be honest, looks incredibly dated when looking back now. It was definitely a film that was of its time and let’s be honest, it should probably stay there.

There is no denying the fantastic soundtrack though. Legendary disco-jivers the Bee Gees provided a large swathe of the music, but it also had ‘Disco Inferno’ from The Trammps. Now that is an iconic song. It’s a staple song of every wedding and birthday DJ across the globe. Everyone has heard of disco, but like green curtains and flares, it should be consigned to the history books for all eternity. If you must watch the film, you will probably look back on the movie and cringe, but the music will definitely give you a smile.

4. Drive

I remember watching this Ryan Gosling violent crime-noir and being a bit confused. There is no doubt that it was visually stunning and brutally visceral, but the plot was silly and some of the dialogue was, well, pretty diabolical. What wasn’t diabolical was the soundtrack. It was composed by Cliff Martinez. Nope, I’d not heard of him either. But here’s a fun fact for you. He was once the session drummer for the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Cool, eh? Anyway, the soundtrack of drive is less funk, more 80s dark electro-pop that fits perfectly with the theme of film. You will get what I mean if you watch it. Apart from the violence, the fantastic music is all that you will remember from it. Which is reason alone to watch it.

3. Jaws

Ok, I know that this one will polarise opinion, but Jaws isn’t really a great movie. I know that back in 1975 it was hugely successful. And that it made an awful lot of people scared to go into the sea for a while. But was it a good movie? I’m not so sure. Looking back now at the rubber shark is laughable, but I appreciate that at the time, it was probably pretty scary. As with any movie whose musical score is better than its film counterpart, it’s the music that you think of first. And is there any movie more iconic than that two-note music pattern that signals the arrival of Jaws? I thought not.

The music was written by legendary composer John Williams, who also wrote the music for Star Wars and Indian Jones amongst many others. There’s no denying he has incredible talent when it comes to writing music. Which is why when you think of Jaws, you think of his music.

2. The Bodyguard

No list of superior music soundtracks would be complete without Whitney Houston’s The Bodyguard. Houston starred in the film and performed the soundtrack, but its only really the soundtrack we remember. Well, one song in particular, but what a song. I Will Always Love You was an international smash hit. It’s interesting to note that the song itself was originally written and released by country star Dolly Parton. But it was Houston’s version that took it through the stratosphere.

The soundtrack to the movie was half-filled with Whitney songs, but the other half was also crammed with great songs from other artists. The album won a Grammy award and has sold over 45 million copies around the globe. That’s a pretty incredible feat. But can you remember anything about the actual movie? Nope, me neither.

1. Batman Forever

After the first two fantastic Batman movies came Batman Forever in 1995. Now, I would argue this isn’t the worst Batman film in the franchise – that glory goes to 1997’s Batman and Robin – but it is pretty poor. The first two films were beautifully dark and melancholic; just how you expect a Batman movie to be. But Batman Forever took it down a more upbeat and sillier route. I guess the studio wanted to appeal to a wider audience, but it ended up a bit of dull mess. I would give credit to Jim Carrey though, who played the Riddler with a perfect insanity that you would expect him to do.

The soundtrack to the movie was not a dull mess. In fact, it had some absolute belters on. None more so that U2’s Hold Me, Kiss Me, Thrill Me, Kill Me, which was a hit single. The album also featured Kiss from A Rose by Seal, which was another huge hit. Add in songs from Nick Cave, PJ Harvey and Massive Attack, you have a pretty outstanding album. It was also a huge commercial success. The movie was also a huge commercial success being the highest grossing movie of 1995. But we know that commercial success doesn’t always equate to a good movie.

Avoid the film but buy the album.


And that’s our list of 9 films with a better soundtrack than the movie they appeared in. Are we wrong? Are there any we missed out that you would like to have seen on the list? If so, leave us a comment below.


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Movie News

The Seven Most Metal Movie Soundtracks

Aaron Phillips

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The Crow soundtrack image
Miramax

A great movie is a great movie. But metal soundtracks with a great movie takes it to another level. There have been a few movies with metal soundtracks over the years, but some are edgier than others.

I’m not talking about the ones that titter around the edges with dad rock like the Stereophonics, but full-on-horns-in-the-air metal.

Here are seven of the most metal movie soundtracks.

7. The Matrix (1999)

Science fiction and horror films do lend themselves to metal soundtracks, and the Matrix was no different. The Wachowski’s reality bender was ground-breaking in its content, but the music that accompanied it was just as memorable. It had a cracking soundtrack. It included tracks from Rammstein; Marilyn Manson; Deftones and those mad industrialists Ministry. And who can forget Rage Against the Machine kicking into Wake Up as the end credits roll? The follow-up film The Matrix Reloaded also had a great rock/electronica soundtrack, but the original had the darkest metal anthems.

6. The Crow (1994)

Released in 1994, The Crow was another cult movie. It’s remembered, rather tragically, for the accidental death onset of the lead actor Brandon Lee. The film itself is a dark masterpiece. The music from the film also lends itself to the darker recesses of music. The soundtrack is one of the heaviest ever released. Pantera; Nine Inch Nails; Rage Against the Machine and Helmet all lend enormous monoliths of metal to the album. It’s no coincidence that the soundtrack is so good, especially as the film revolves around a singer brought back from the dead. The brooding atmosphere through this film seeps onto the soundtrack but with added metal that’s heavier than an anvil. Definitely, one to listen to with the lights out.

5. Resident Evil (2002)

If there was one film that was made purely for a metal soundtrack, then it has to be Resident Evil. Nothing screams metal than blowing up zombies and monsters. Although there are many video games and movies to choose from, the first film from 2002 had a stunningly macabre soundtrack. Songs like My Plague by Slipknot fit like a glove. There is an industrial theme to the soundtrack. Bands like Coal Chamber, Static-X and Fear Factory offer up slabs of face-slamming metal. Marilyn Manson features heavily on the album (as he seems to on a lot of these), but there are a few lesser knows acts as well. Songs from Adema and Five Pointe O bring some extra brutality to proceedings but do not seem out of place. If you feel the need to go and shoot up some zombies, this is the soundtrack that you need.

4. Halloween (2007)

Let’s face it, a film written and directed by Rob Zombie is going to have a killer soundtrack. This remake of John Carpenter’s classic is a pretty decent effort, which can’t be said of all remakes. Zombie is also clever about who he puts in charge of the soundtrack. Tyler Bates is the man tasked with the job. As well as being the lead guitarist in Marylin Manson’s band, he’s also written scores for a plethora of films. One of the cool things he does is rewrite the original Halloween music slightly off-key. It works, and it does a great job of upping the creepy factor.

There is a host of excellent bands that offer monster tracks. Plus. there are songs from The Misfits, Alice Cooper, KISS and Nazareth. There is even a live version of Iggy Pop performing the Stooges ‘1969’. Halloween is a slasher masterpiece, and the soundtrack is all that you would expect, and more.

3. Queen of the Damned (2002)

Released in 2002, this vampire queen movie is tinged with tragedy. This is because Aaliyah who played the lead role was killed in a plane crash not long after the film was finished. She did a fantastic job of playing the vampire queen, with the film itself a classic in the genre. A lot of horror movies that were made around the early 2000s had similar music. This one features music from bands such as The Deftones, Disturbed, Marylin Manson and Papa Roach. Jonathan Davis from Korn was also in charge of producing all the music for the album, and it shows. It’s hard-hitting stuff that’s reflective of the nu-metal/industrial sound that was prevalent early in the decade. The perfect aperitif to the main course of bloodsucking.

2. Deathgasm (2015)

You would be forgiven for having no idea what this movie is, and that’s ok. It was made for a pretty niche audience. And by niche, I mean metal comedy horror. Made by New Zealand director Jason Lei Howden, this splatter-fest is full of metal anthems. In fact, the premise is around a guy who inadvertently summons evil by his guitar riffs. That may sound silly, and it is. But the whole thing is done very well, which allows for some pretty fantastic metal to feature throughout the film. Bands like Axeslasher, Skull Fist and Emperor all make an appearance. Raise those horns and grab a beer, as in you’re in for one hell of a ride.

1. Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)

This remake of a cult classic is as good if not better than the original film. This has to do with the better effects and atmosphere, but it also has something to do with the killer soundtrack that is on offer. Pantera, Meshuggah and Hatebreed all bring their A-game, as do the brilliant Lamb of God. Having some dreamy pop play whilst Leatherface wields his chainsaw around doesn’t have the same effect as some pounding metal.

Composer Steve Jablonsky also does a sterling job of creating some of the creepiest music ever to feature in film. His theme to the movie actually makes your skin crawl. It’s interesting to note that the original film featured local Texan bands. Although they are missing from this soundtrack, there is no denying the metal power that is on show.


And that’s our list of the seven most Metal movie soundtracks. Did we miss any? Let us know in the comments below.


Read about movie soundtracks better than the films HERE.

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