?Like toys, games, t-shirts and fast food memorabilia, music videos are often used to market major studio releases. Typically drawing from the flick’s soundtrack in one way or another, moguls hope that they extend a movie’s reach and box office draw with their strange brew of Hollywood d?cor and pop tunes. To do this, the music videos become extensions of the movies themselves, either starring the characters from their movies — often hanging out with the singer(s) and/or dancing — or occasionally becoming part of the actual movies themselves, often as a concert scene.
The movies of nerd-dom get their fair share of these; sometimes the music and subject matter make nothing more than terrible bedfellows. But in other instances they become perfect companions to the films, and are so inextricably tied together that they’re practically deleted scenes (usually goofy ones, but still). For better or for worse, here are 10 such staples from nerdy movie music video land.
10) Guns N’ Roses, “You Could Be Mine” from Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Long ago, in a past survived by few, it was uncommon for rockers to own shirts and get their hair cut past their shoulders. Terminator 2′s official video takes us back to that era, when Guns N’ Roses shredded to sold out shows while an evil T-800 stalked them through the crowd and Robert Patrick tried to crush Eddie Furlong with a semi. It’s so much a product of its time that we’d be remiss not to include it for its historical significance alone. We’d say the ending’s ridiculous, but so’s the rest of thing — it’s still a music video with original footage of Arnold Schwarzenegger wearing sunglasses and carrying a shotgun, though, making it impossible for us to ignore.
9) Shampoo, “Trouble” from Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie
Girl pop duo Shampoo endowed the ‘tude to this vid which cut between the blondes and snippets of Rangers and their foes in big-budget costuming often bordered by groovy ’90s tie-die schemes and, uh, bubbles. Lots and lots of bubbles. The lyrics align with the catchy chorus to wax about trying to get home after a crazy night out, and besides the parts about scoring a cab and catching a ride from the cops, it fits pretty well with the MMPR flick since it’s partially about teens getting in over their heads anyway, just with evil space monsters and giant robots. Don’t get mixed up with evil space monsters, kids. Actually, never mind that – totally get mixed up with evil space monsters, kids. You’ll get your own Zords and stuff.
8) Vanilla Ice, “Ninja Rap” from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze
We know many of you are already familiar with this particular track from the TMNT II: The Secret of the Ooze soundtrack, but we’re including it because we feel obligated to do everything in our power to educate and spread awareness on the topic. We won’t spend any time here analyzing it or asking questions – the video says more than we ever could. It’s just important for you to know that it’s out there, so that you’re prepared if you ever encounter it. One last thing to keep in mind before you go: “Villains, you better run and hide/Because one day, you might not slide.” That is all.
7) Metric, “Black Sheep” from Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World
Brie Larson’s ruthless Envy supplies the stage presence and pipes in this pre-order bonus video for Metric’s entry in the Scott Pilgrim vs. the World soundtrack. It’s basically an extension of the scene preceding Scott’s fight with (“cocky cock”) Evil Ex Todd as portrayed by Brandon Routh, but while the vid contains plenty of clips already in the movie, it stays true to the film’s spirit by using some fierce editing to sear SP’s fight scenes into Metric’s melody for a memorable rendering of that minty fresh 8-bit Scott Pilgrim aura.
6) Seal, “Kiss from a Rose” from Batman Forever
Okay, we’ll say it — the “Kiss from a Rose” music video makes Batman Forever look really, really cool. Revisiting it today, Seal’s velvety vocals melt away visions of a past riddled by bat nipples and broken hearts, replacing them with the movie’s most epic scenes and fading out the camp in the bat signal’s pale glow. It makes watching Two-Face pump his fists like a gleeful child seem almost poetic.
5) Daft Punk, “Derezzed” from Tron: Legacy
Considering the role Daft Punk played in forging Tron: Legacy‘s vibe, transporting “Derezzed” into its own related music video starring the helmeted electronica luminaries makes perfect sense, as the score had as big a part as any character in the flick. After coins are dropped into an arcade machine at Flynn’s, the video focuses on an epic computerized joust set in a world seemingly pattered after the first movie, providing plenty of neon blue goodness to satisfy diehards while the hypnotic beat makes it all too easy to keep it looping on your computer screen.
4) Snow Patrol, “Signal Fire” from Spider-Man 3
By choosing to frame its story around an elementary school play (read: possibly the greatest elementary school play ever produced), Snow Patrol’s “Signal Fire” video for Spider-Man 3 does a brilliant job of capturing the innocence and light-heartedness sewn into the spirit of the webhead’s adventures. It’s also a nice hat tip to the conclusion of Sam Raimi’s spider-trilogy, featuring appearances by the villains and plot points synched with the general progression of the films, while telling a nice little story about the kid actors to boot. If your heart strings aren’t pulled, we suspect you’re probably an ardent Sinister Six devotee.
3) Huey Lewis and the News, “The Power of Love” from Back to the Future
These days, thanks to sites like YouTube and plentiful access to desktop editing software, it can be tough to discern a fan-made tribute from an official release. This is not the case with Huey Lewis’s “Power of Love” music video, though. Not only does it have the DeLorean, it’s got Doc Brown hanging out at a club – attracting groupies with his ride, mind you – all easily recognizable as original material to anyone who’s seen the trilogy. Yeah, there’s no logical reason for Doc to be at the Huey Lewis and the News show, assuming that’s not just Christopher Lloyd out looking to party, but we learned to stop trying to make complete sense out of the ’80s a long time ago.
2) Prince, “Partyman” from Batman
Of course Prince also made a video for “Batdance,” but we’ll give the edge to “Partyman” here because the song was used in one of the 1989 Batman movie’s most famous scenes. The Artist’s vid organically integrates elements from the film (the classic flash photo newsmen, Joker suits and face paint, a fancy shindig, throwing wads of cash, stacks of casualties), capturing the ethos of Michael Keaton’s first cowl crusade without the need for cutaways to actual scenes from the flick. And while there was undoubtedly a wider significance behind the choice at the time, we dig what the Two-Face-y-ness of the guests’ makeup and masks add to the vid’s reconstruction of the Batman universe.
1) Ray Parker Jr., “Ghostbusters” from Ghostbusters
It’s hard to imagine that Ray Parker Jr.’s iconic theme may once have just been viewed as part of a soundtrack for a comedy starring SNL alumni, but that’s exactly how this gold standard for nerd pop came to be. The video rivals the song in awesomeness, directed by Ivan Reitman himself and featuring cameos including John Candy and current Community star Chevy Chase, among others. Once it gets going, it showcases a chase in a cool haunted house reminiscent of the flick’s aesthetics before concluding with Parker Jr. striding down Times Square with the movie’s original cast in an unfortunately rare amalgamation of everything right in this world.