Are these the worst music movies ever made?

18 October 2023, 18:07

Bad music movies: The Bee Gees in Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band; Kiss Meet The Phantom Of The Park; and Val Kilmer as Jim Morrison in The Doors
Bad music movies: The Bee Gees in Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band; Kiss Meet The Phantom Of The Park; and Val Kilmer as Jim Morrison in The Doors. Picture: Michael Putland/Getty Images/Everett Collection Inc/Maximum Film/Alamy Stock Photo
Radio X

By Radio X

Looking for something to watch? Then you're best off avoiding these biopics and fictional epics.

Films about our favourite bands can be amazing, life-changing spectacles. But sometimes they can also be something of a letdown. Radio X looks at the times that the music movie has been less than thrilling.

  1. CBGB (2013)

    Taylor Hawkins as Iggy Pop

    The legend of CBGBs has only grown since the iconic New York venue closed in 2006. The Ramones, Blondie and Talking Heads all played seminal shows there early in their careers and this film tries (and spectacularly fails) to capture the energy and magic of the NY scene in the late 1970s. There's no real depth to the characters here, it's mostly just a chance for actors to do impressions of Debbie Harry and Joey Ramone - and in a cameo, the late great Taylor Hawkins of Foo Fighters turns up as Iggy Pop.

  2. Across The Universe (2007)

    Across The Universe Trailer HD

    As a film-maker, getting the go-ahead to make a musical featuring Beatles songs is surely a licence to print money. That is unless you then write a script that features a load of characters named in said Beatles songs. That's right: this film includes a Lucy, a Jude, a Sadie, a Prudence and even a Jo Jo.

  3. Last Days (2005)

    Last Days Trailer (US)

    This is a fictionalised version of the final few days of Kurt Cobain's life, but it's hard to fathom why the world a brilliant musician and cultural icon is turned into such a dull film.

  4. Greetings From Tim Buckley (2013)

    Greetings From Tim Buckley Movie CLIP - Once I Was (2013) - Penn Badgley Movie HD

    Jeff Buckley had one of the most haunting voices of the 1990s and his tragic death just added to the sense of mystery and awe surrounding him. The makers of this film chose not to pursue that angle though, instead casting one of the good-looking lads from Gossip Girl as Jeff and having him lip-sync to someone else's voice, while coming to terms with his father Tim's musical legacy. Also, Kate Nash turns up.

  5. KISS Meets The Phantom Of The Park (1978)

    Supercut: KISS Dialogue from KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park (1978)

    Glam metal rockers KISS never really took off in the UK in the 1970s as much as they did in the US, where they seemed to mainly appeal to 7 year olds. This must have been the thinking behind this Halloween 1978 TV special, which sees the rockers star in a mystery produced by cartoon studio Hanna-Barbera in the style of their hit show, Scooby Doo.

    The musicians take on a criminal mastermind who's trying to ruin a theme park using an army of robots - or something - and you can enjoy the sight of Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss kung-fu kicking their opponents while Gene Simmons talks like a robot and occasionally roars. Even small children will be embarrassed.

  6. The Doors (1991)

    "the doors" movie trailer

    Does the myth of Jim Morrison, troubled genius always on the brink of madness, bug you? Then blame Oliver Stone, who turned The Doors frontman into an erratic personality who was followed by Indian shaman, watching Jimbo from the side of stage with the groupies. Hey, it could have been worse - instead of Val Kilmer, movie bosses wanted Tom Cruise to play Morrison. Most baffling bit: an entirely pointless cameo from Billy Idol as one of Jim's drinking buddies.

  7. Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1978)

    Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Movie Trailer

    After the success of Saturday Night Fever, The Bee Gees could do no wrong... or could they? For the follow-up, they decided to make this plotless parade of star cameos masquerading as yet another "tribute" to The Beatles. What had the Fabs done to deserve all this? The Brothers Gibb team up with heart-throb-of-the-moment Peter Frampton, comedian Frankie Howerd sings Mean Mr Mustard, comedian Steve Martin sings Maxwell's Silver Hammer, Alice Cooper appears for no reason, a wacked-out Aerosmith are the villains and there's a character called "Strawberry Fields".

  8. The Linda McCartney Story (2000)

    LMS 7

    The Beatles really have inspired more than their fair share of disappointing movies. This one, charting the life of Paul's wife Linda, is one of those that's so bad it's hilarious. Just check out the moment when these two star-crossed lovers meet - and talk about salt and pepper.

  9. Rock Star (2001)

    Rock Star Audition Scene - We All Die Young

    Mark Wahlberg goes from being a fan to becoming the lead singer of a fictional band of good actors with bad wigs in this flop. The band are called Steel Dragon, their songs sound dreadful and if you don't find the scene below hilarious, you must be Mark Wahlberg's mum.

  10. Rock Of Ages (2012)

    Rock of Ages - Official Trailer 1 (HD)

    Why didn't a movie about hair metal that featured Bryan Cranston and a high-fiving baboon work? We're still not sure...but it didn't.


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