Do you have a secret yearning to burst out in song or dance? You're sitting in your office cubicle and you're humming to yourself a melody of one of your favorite movie musicals? Or maybe, you're sitting at the airport right now, bored out of your skull, and are looking for a list of movies that you've never heard of before. We here at TVSO love movie musicals as much as we love superhero movies, action flicks, and classic television shows. Most people are fairly familiar with movie musicals, not just those that have come out in the last ten years, but certainly, those made in the golden age of movies during the 50's and the 60's. It doesn't matter if we've seen any of those made all that time ago, but we certainly know the names of them because they've become so ingrained in our culture that it's hard not to know, at least, their names. Movies like Singin' In the Rain or Paint Your Wagon come to mind, for example....
And throughout the 1970s we were treated to musicals like Tomorrow, Xanadu, Liztomania, Tommy, The Monkee's Head, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
And as there are cult movies with big followings we thought that we might offer up a fun list list of some of our favorite lesser-known movie musicals. These are musicals that have a cult following and aren't necessarily afforded big notices in the mainstream culture. Even though, with the invent of DVD and now Blu-ray, perhaps that might all be coming around...
Here are our Top 5 WTF Crazy Movie Musicals that you probably haven't seen, but really should....
In no particular order:
Forbidden Zone (1980)
From the disturbing mind of Richard Elfman, brother of famed movie composer Danny Elfman, comes Forbidden Zone. A technicolor-ed-musical about a family that slips through a portal in their basement into alternate dimension. With characters named "Squeezit Henderson" and "Fausto," Forbidden Zone is a bat shit crazy music that has its share of boobies, midgets, school violence, and lots of sex. It's one of the craziest WTF movies of all time.
The American Astronaut (2001)
When musical/film-maker Cory McAbee thought up the idea for The American Astronaut it's doubtful that his interest in the project was a cowboy western musical set in outer-space, but that's exactly what The American Astronaut is, actually. A space pirate is approached with an offer to transport a woman to another planet for mating purposes. What comes in between this journey are several surreal and bizarre musical moments that feature a character called, "The Boy Who Actually Saw a Women's Breast," yes,it's really crazy and weird. You need to see this.
Phantom of the Paradise (1974)
Director Brian De Palma, perhaps best-known for Scarface (1983), created this crazy part-horror movie, part movie-musical--all inspired by the The Phantom of the Opera. The movie has been a cult classic for years, perhaps earning its massive following in Canada of all places. The story is about a struggling songwriter who makes a deal with the devil (in the guise of a record producer) for success. Changing his mind, the devil disfigures the songwriter, scaring his face, and banishing him to an upstairs recording studio in a theater. The songwriter becomes the a phantom in an all-black leather outfit with a silver helmet/mask that resembles a bird's head. Yeah, it's a crazy-ass movie, and the music is amazing.
Cannibal! The Musical (1999)
From the creators and stars of South Park comes Cannibal! The Musical. Also known as Alfred Packer: The Musical, Trey Parker and Matt Stone produced this goofy and low-budget movie musical about a real-life Colorado cannibal who ate a bunch of folks on a trip from Utah to Colorado. Both Parker and Stone star in the film and sing the songs, which no doubt, provided great practice for the music they would do for South Park, but also their film Orgasmo via their rock band DVDA.
Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem (2003)
From Daft Punk comes Interstella 5555, a musical sci-fi animated feature film centered around tracks from Daft Punk's landmark album Discovery. Each song from the animated is used via animation to tell a story about a band that has been kidnapped. It's completely inventive, amazing, and definitely one of those musicals that you need to see right away.