SURVEY: Worst Rock Movie Musical of All Time?

April 28th, 2014, 2:00 pm by Greg

Last year, we conducted a survey about the Best Rock Movie of all time. So we thought we might want to go the other way.

We found ourselves wondering, “What would the astute readers of Nippertown list as the worst rock film ever?” We’re talking narrative films here, rather than documentaries or concert films. And we really would love to know what you think… Please submit your selection of the worst rock film (or films) as a comment below…

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And to get you started, we spent a recent rainy day watching the worst, almost unwatchable rock films we could find on Netflix Instant Watch, and here’s what we came up with:

“Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” (1978): A total embarrassment for all involved – from director Michael Schultz to writer Henry Edwards to the musicians-turned-would-be-actors Peter Frampton and the Bee Gees. And music director-producer George Martin? Really?!? What were you thinking? Only Aerosmith’s “Come Together” and Earth, Wind & Fire’s “Got to Get You Into My Life” are even listenable.

“The Apple” (1979): Written and directed by Menahem Golan, “The Apple” is a futuristic romp (set in 1994) about Alphie & Bibi (Catherine Mary Stewart of “One Life to Live”), an innocent, sincere and talented folk-pop duo from Moosejaw who are seduced and sucked into the big, bad, woefully corrupt music industry after they lose the rigged Worldvision Song Festival. Low budget? You bet, but we do so love the fashions of the future…

“Can’t Stop the Music” (1980): Yes, this stars the Village People, so this is disco, not rock, but it’s so bad that we just couldn’t possibly leave it off the list. In Nancy Walker’s lone film directing turn, Steve Guttenberg stars as an aspiring songwriter, alongside Valerie Perrine and, yes, Bruce Jenner in his auspicious introduction to show business. Oh, and of course, there’s the Village People’s Glenn “Leatherman” Hughes singing a straight-up rendition of “Danny Boy”…

10 thoughts on “SURVEY: Worst Rock Movie Musical of All Time?”

  1. Normando says:

    Cheating by broadening the category a bit, but the punk rock episodes of CHiPs and Quincy are pretty remarkable. As in, you can’t help but make remarks.

  2. JPR says:

    I have a perfect nominee for you: “Xanadu.” Gene Kelly and Olivia Newton-John in a roller disco nightmare featuring the music of Electric Light Orchestra!

  3. ksverner says:

    I thought the movie for Rock of Ages was pretty horrible. Could barely get through it. And I’ve seen Grease 2 fifteen times.

  4. Roberto says:

    I nominate “Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park”

    (A Hanna-Barbera production by the way)

  5. Greg says:

    Roberto: Yeah, Proctors just screened that one earlier this month, but I missed it…

  6. Shawn Stone says:

    Is SGT. PEPPER really the worst? Haven’t seen it since I was 13–and my friends spent most of the time throwing popcorn at each other and the girls we liked–but there are some pretty awful Elvis movies. Other highlights of the Sgt. Pepper Soundtrack: Steve Martin “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer,” Alice Cooper “Because,” George Burns “Fixing a Hole,” Billy Preston “Get Back.”

    (To be fair, the worst Elvis movie, CHANGE OF HABIT, isn’t a musical.)

    XANADU is ridiculous, but I’ll take Olivia Newton-John’s version of the title song over ELO’s.

    There’s a special category for rock musicals with fine soundtracks but lousy plots, like the Herman’s Hermits movies. Or great rock performances in non-rock movies, like L7 in SERIAL MOM or the Yardbirds in BLOW UP (though the staging of the latter is unintentionally ridiculous).

  7. Normando says:

    Tougher than Leather was “good” — it was closer to “bad” in the bad way — but I enjoyed it.

  8. Steve King says:

    Sgt. Pepper, for sure. A career killer for all involved. An embarressment for Beatles fans everywhere. Ill-conceived, over-blown schlock.

  9. michael eck says:

    Proctors has shown the good, the bad and ugly of rock films as part of the It Came From Schenectady series. This event, on May 10, is a pretty happening thang, too.

  10. Gene says:

    When did Jack Klugman wear a safety pin in his nose?

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