Launch SkullF***er while watching Netflix Metal Lords can’t help but conjure up the power ballads of other fictional rock and metal bands, each as distinct and memorable as the movies they came from. It’s a bittersweet experience because the riffs are real but the bands aren’t, and outside of their movies, fans can’t crowd into arenas, nightclubs or festivals to listen to their songs in person.
Whether in movies like Metal lords who uses music to tell a coming-of-age story, rock star which explores life on the road for traveling musicians, or horror movies like charity please which combines a shredding superstar with the supernatural, they all have fans of fictional bands who wish they could really throw horns.
SkullF***er (Metal Lords)
In 2022, it’s not as common for metal bands to win Battle of the Bands, but Hunter and Kevin are determined to see the rock gods smile upon them. With the help of accomplished cellist Emily from music class, they have a shot at fame.
With a group name like SkullF***er, it might be easy to dismiss the teenage stars of Metal Lords, but thanks to actor Adrian Greensmith’s genuine accomplishments as a jazz guitarist, they don’t sound bad (especially considering Rage against the machines Tom Morello involved and writing down their large number). The bonds of friendship are strengthened by brutal riffs and wild solos, and an accurate rendition of “War Pigs”.
Hangman’s Joke (The Raven)
Prior to the grisly murder of Eric Draven and his fiancee Shelly, Eric was part of a group called Hangman’s Joke. Even after being resurrected to take revenge on their killers, he did not give up his music because even in death the show must go on. Eric was brought back because of the deep pain his soul went through losing the love of his life, and the music was like opening a vein to let out all his beautiful anguish.
Yes The crow was made today, would it even have Eric standing on a rooftop, giving Detroit an impromptu midnight rock ballad? “Buildings burn, people die, but true love lasts forever,” he says at one point. Yes, Eric, love of haunting 90s rock music.
The Hex Girls (Scooby-Doo! and the Witch’s Ghost)
When the Scooby Gang investigates reports of a witch in Oakhaven, Massachusetts, in Scooby-Doo! and the ghost of the witch, they never expect to team up with The Hex Girls – a rock band that combines eco-friendly messages, gothic aesthetics and a girly attitude – to find the real author.
The Hex Girls have appeared in myriad episodes of Scooby-Doo! Embedded Mystery, What’s up, Scooby-Doo? as well as other straight-to-video movies, tricking fans into thinking that these mediums scooby-doo the characters must have their own spin-off. With their conscious LGBTQ stance, tolerance of various spiritual beliefs (Thorn is Wiccan), and catchy tunes, everyone wants to blast “I’m a Hex Girl.”
Sammi Curr Band (Trick Or Treat)
Eddie Weinbauer is a metalhead whose obsession with late rock star Sammi Curr and his band did him a disservice at school, but he has the last laugh when he plays a mysterious demo record in reverse and releases unknowingly Curr’s zombie on an unsuspecting student body. The devil really has all the best tunes.
What’s more ’80s than a high school nerd getting a rock ‘n’ roll golem, decked out in leather, spikes and Aquanet, to teach his bullies a lesson? The Sammi Curr Band rocks hard, and nothing beats appearances from rock gods Ozzy Osbourne as a metal hazard ranting televangelist and Gene Simmons as a shock jock.
While working on their setlist, metalheads Zakk and Brodie decide to raise the bar for their music by exploring dark magic, hoping it will give their songs the edge they need. After performing a ritual together, they summon The Blind One, an ancient evil who intends to enslave the world through the circulation of metal music.
Just like its predecessor charity please, Mortgasm is considered one of the best horror films about rock bands, serving up screams with its throaty growls. It also features real headbangers from its titular group, who just happen to be a few softies under their body paint. In fact, it’s the chemistry and friendship between the members that makes the band so strong.
The Stingers (Jem and the holograms)
Just when fans thought the Misfits on motorcycles that looked like electric guitars were the coolest thing about Jem and the holograms, The Stingers arrived and blew everyone else away. The Misfits were the show’s main antagonists, but The Stingers became the hard-to-follow act in Season 3.
With their knowledge of occult and funky fashion, they brought West German glam rock to Saturday morning cartoons, even giving Jem and Starlight Music a hard time. With Riot as lead singer, Minx on synths and Rapture on guitar, they had something special to offer the New Wave scene. Despite being ambitious and selfish, they knew music came first and were always willing to put aside their differences for the sake of having a blast.
Steel Dragon (Rock Star)
It’s hard when the Steel Dragon tribute band he founded gives him the boot, but that kick in the amp is just what Chris needs to be open to new opportunities. When the real Steel Dragon asks him to lead their group, he jumps at the chance to join the pantheon of metalbenders, learning the price of fame and fortune along the way.
Based on the rise of rock royalty Judas Priest, Steel Dragon are a fully realized epic metal band, and authenticity is key to making the musical journey into rock star believable. The film takes the music seriously (Chris’ voice is done by Steelheart lead singer) but never itself, and it’s a shame Steel Dragon doesn’t pack arenas in real life.
Spinal Tap (it’s Spinal Tap)
It’s Spinal Tap is one of the most revered musical films of all time, particularly due to the quality of the titular fictional band’s journey. This mockumentary explores the band’s turbulent quest to claim its status on the metal charts, littered with member infighting, groupies and gloomy managers.
Listening to Spinal Tap, fans can distinctly hear where its early psychedelic pop sound merged with progressive rock, with a final metamorphosis into heavy metal. The backstage commotion, band interviews and concerts sometimes feel so real that fans would swear Spinal Tap existed.
The Horsemen of Hong Kong (The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Through the 8th Dimension)
What could be cooler than Buckaroo Banzai, famous neurosurgeon, physicist and test pilot? His rock band, The Hong Kong Cavaliers! When Dr. Banzai isn’t busy staring at gray matter or breaking sound barriers, he’s performing in crowded nightclubs and protecting the world from red electroids. Each band member has special skills like picking or wrecking as well as their unique musical abilities, making them the Justice League of rock ‘n’ roll.
Buckaroo Banzai’s Adventures Through the 8th Dimension has a little something for everyone, but the fact that its heroes are rockstars means it also has a quirky soundtrack to match its wild visuals. It was supposed to become a cult classic establishing its own cinematic universe, but the planned sequel was never made.
In the Adult Swim animated series Metalocalypse, fictional death metal band Dethklok is the most famous band on the planet. When they’re not playing in arenas that gather millions of fans, they spend time in their floating gothic fortress.
With members who look like musicians from real metal bands like Burzum, Cannibal Corpse and Children of Bodom, it has a rare level of legitimacy for a cartoon. Dethklok also feels lovingly constructed from true archetypes, with its members representing Norway, Sweden, the Midwest and Florida, all places with high concentrations of metal fans.
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