The 11 Most Awful Songs from Geek Movie Soundtracks

By Rob Bricken in Daily Lists, Movies
Tuesday, April 22, 2008 at 5:06 am

6) Puff Daddy and Jimmy Page's "Come with Me" from Godzilla

Fortuitous hook-up with Biggie Smalls aside, Sean P. Puff Puffy Daddy Diddy Combs's career has primarily been dedicated to invalidating sampling as an artistic technique. This wholesale repackaging of Led Zeppelin's prog-metal classic "Kashmir" represents the nadir of a string of Puffy-produced tracks that ruined any number of perfectly good classic-rock and Top-40 staples. Combs's superfluous, incessant "uh-huh, yeah"s and functionally retarded rhyme flow are the weakest attempt by an MC to graft himself onto someone else's hit record since Vanilla Ice insisted on that extra "DUN" when he swiped Queen and Bowie's "Under Pressure" bassline for "Ice Ice Baby." And as if sullying Zep's music weren't enough, Combs somehow persuaded guitar god Jimmy Page himself to participate in the desecration of his own math-rock masterpiece. Thank god Godzilla creator Ishiro Honda was already dead, or Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich might have tried to pull the same shit with their awful movie, too. (PS: One time I was playing Physical Graffiti and my little cousin overheard and said "Is that Puff Daddy"? So I killed myself.)

5) Will Smith's "Men in Black" from Men in Black

Gettin' jiggy with shit! Like a spacetime-continuum-defying Puffy/Bobby collaboration, this heroically annoying ditty features both a hook swiped from a preexisting hit (Patrice Rushen's already irritating disco track "Forget Me Nots") and painfully straightforward lyrics about the movie it's an ad for. But if you're the kind of person who enjoys a film that glorifies a quasi-governmental intelligence agency's ability to hide the truth from the hoi polloi (doesn't seem quite as cool now that we're seven years deep into the George W. Bush administration, does it, suckers?), you're probably okay with all of that. So go ahead, bounce with the Fresh Prince, you pathetic sheeple. I hope you sprain your ankles.

4) Madonna's "Hanky Panky" from Dick Tracy

Picture it: Long Island, 1990. A pubescent nerd finds his heart drawn to the four-color heroism and freak-show villainy of the Dick Tracy movie, and his loins drawn to its sex-fiend leading lady. Furtive, paper-towel-expending glimpses of her heaving, oddly nipple-less bosom in the video for "Vogue"—as well as the sense that it's actually a pretty cool, slick little song—lead him ignore the dreaded phrase "Music From and Inspired By" on the cover and buy I'm Breathless, the quasi-soundtrack album from whence "Vogue" came. A quick glance at the lyrics for the song "Hanky Panky" fills him with delight—it's a song about this slatternly songbird's hind end, and her desire for gentlemen of her acquaintance to spank it! Something's gonna get spanked, that's for sure! But the poor boy's delight turns to horror when he discovers that what could have been an unbearably steamy song is in fact a flaccid flop, all obnoxious synth-bass, herky-jerky faux-big-band rhythms, inane lyrics that rhyme "hanky panky" with "good spanky" like an erotic tribute to Our Gang, and the unsexiest vocals in the singer's career. Folks, that singer was Madonna. And that pubescent Long Island nerd was Guy Ritchie.

3) Chad Kroeger and Josey Scott's "Hero" from Spider-Man

Man, Tina Turner was totally right—we don't need another hero! The lead grunters of Nickelback and Saliva join forces for a double-barreled blast of buttrock so violently vanilla it makes Air Supply sound like Einsturzende Neubaten. And sadly, it's kinda the perfect theme song for its movie. I know I'm in the minority as far as Sam Raimi's first Spider-flick is concerned, but as far as I'm concerned, this leadenly humorless and overblown song tells you everything you need to know about the movie itself. Somehow, Stan and Steve's wisecracking teenage dirtbag got transformed into the kind of walking-away-from-a-grave-in-slow-motion putz who evokes images of holding on to the wings of the eagles and whatever other post-9/11 sub-Lee Greenwood lyrics Kroeger and Scott barfed up. Personally I think there's an unexplored slashfic market for these two bearded bards kissing each other in the rain while one hangs upside down and the other's wet t-shirt struggles to contain his huddled nipples yearning to break free.

2) John Williams's "Victory Celebration" from Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi Special Edition

Say what you will about the changes and additions Lucas made to his original trilogy for their Special Editions--even if you didn't agree with them, you could usually at least understand why they were made. And on the other hand, you have the new fucking Ewok song. For some reason, Lucas and composer John Williams excised the single most joyous piece of music in the whole trilogy, the song to which a generation of nerds had celebrated the fall of the Empire, the Yub-Yub Song for God's sake, and replaced it with what sounds like a B-side by Zamfir, Master of the Pan Flute. They didn't even bother making this New Agey nonsense compatible with the dance moves and drum beats we can see the characters grooving to on the goddamn screen! I don't know about you, but without an audible riff from a xylophone made from the helmets of slain Imperial troops like some musical Ewok tribute to Colonel Kurtz's compound in Apocalypse Now, the whole saga of the Skywalker clan feels like a waste of time to me. Forget Greedo shooting first--this is the Special Editions' one unforgivable sin.

1) Vanilla Ice's "Ninja Rap" from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: The Secret of the Ooze

You know, for a while I considered leaving this song off the list entirely. Putting Vanilla Ice on a 10 Worst Songs countdown isn't just like shooting fish in a barrel, it's like shooting a giant fish, maybe one of those eight-foot sturgeons they think Scottish villagers mistake for the Loch Ness Monster, and it's stuck in a barrel with no water, and the fish's fins are stapled to the sides of the barrel, and you're only standing about five inches away, and you're using a shotgun, and a wizard has enchanted the shotgun so it can never miss, and the fish wants to die anyway because after what it did to its family it just can't look itself in the mirror anymore, and you've taken just enough trazodone to take the edge off and your hands are steadier than they've been in years, and...I'm sorry, what was I saying? Oh yeah, then I realized that this is in fact a song in which Vanilla Ice chants the phrase "Go ninja go ninja GO!" and realized that some suicidal sturgeons need you to grab your enchanted shotgun and shoot the shit out of them after all.

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