I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in saying that I love a good ‘movie musical’.
It’s probably not surprising since I trained in Musical Theatre and work as a Musical Theatre actress, but I do have to be in the right mood to watch a movie that is a musical. Like an accountant doesn’t want to take their work home with them, neither do I most of the time.
And with the season of music and joy about to be sprung upon us, and with new film ‘La La Land‘ about to hit our cinema screens, there’s no better time to be cracking out the musicals at home.
But if you’re tired of watching the same ones time and again, then here are a few of my favourite obscure movie musicals that you should add to your list. There’s only so many times you can watch Grease and Les Miserables without wanting to shave Fantine’s head yourself…
I only had this film introduced to me last night, believe it or not, but it was good enough to inspire me to write this blog post!
‘Reefer Madness‘ is a musical satire based on an actual film that was used in 1930’s America to warn parents of the dangers of their children smoking marijuana. The video was so melodramatic that it inspired a musical, that was made into a film in 2005, that starred actors such as Alan Cummings, Kristen Bell, Amy Spanger, and randomly Neve Campbell.
It is about a clean-cut ‘all American’ teenage couple, Jimmy and Mary, who end up having their lives ruined in the most dramatic of ways, just from smoking marijuana. A local druglord lures Jimmy into his house and, along with his girlfriend and fellow addicts, peer pressures Jimmy into smoking ‘the stuff’. As a result, he loses his mind and his morals, and falls down a deep hole of despair as he ruins his life, and Mary’s.
It is a hilarious film with ridiculous, loveable characters, and a pop/rock music style with catchy tunes. A stand out scene has to be ‘Jesus’ telling Jimmy to “say no to the marijuana!”. That’s the kind of a film we’re looking at here, folks. It’s well worth the watch!
Walking on Sunshine
The easiest way to describe this film? It’s the British version of ‘Mamma Mia‘, but set to 80’s pop music rather than ABBA songs.
I accidentally came across this film on a trip to the cinema with my sister. We intended to see ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ but completely mixed up the viewing times so we missed it. In so doing, we decided to see a different film instead; whatever was on next. This happened to be ‘Walking on Sunshine‘…
Whilst we questioned what we had got ourselves into, after the opening number, ‘Holiday’ by Madonna, I’m glad we persevered, because the film turned out to be rollicking good fun! There are plenty of songs everyone knows, it’s an easy rom-com plotline, and it has the hottest man to ever grace the planet in it. Take a bow, Giulio Berruti.
The general gist of the plotline: A guy and girl fall in love on holiday in Italy, she goes back to the UK for university and they part ways. Years later, she joins her sister in Italy (where she urged her to go, following her break up with her boyfriend), only to find out that her sister is suddenly engaged… to the guy she fell in love with all those years ago. And then mayhem ensues, accompanied by 80’s power ballads and a cameo from Leona Lewis.
I have watched this films several times since seeing it at the cinema, and it never gets old. Such a good movie for a girls night, accompanied by a LOT of wine!
Repo! The Genetic Opera
Not for the faint hearted, or the easily distracted…
Repo! is one of my favourite films for its artistry and dark humour, and also because I get to listen to Anthony Stewart Head belt a lot, but it’s not everyone’s cup of tea.
Set in a Dystopian future where there has been a global epidemic of organ failure, and now surgery is a costly fashion statement, Repo! is a rock opera about the most powerful family in the world and a father and his terminally ill daughter, and how all of their lives devastatingly link.
There is lots of gore (hence, why it’s not for the faint hearted) and every scene is linked by comic strip images that act as narration, so you have to pay attention to understand everything that’s happening. But if you have a strong stomach, and appreciate edgy movies, this cult classic has to be added to your viewing list!
The cast consists of actors such as Paul Sorvino, Alexa Vega, Bill Moseley, Sarah Brightman and (wait for it…) Paris Hilton!
Standout song has to be ‘Zydrate Anatomy’, which you will be humming for the rest of the evening after watching it – it’s basically a kind-of lullaby for back alley drug takers.
Maybe don’t watch this one with your parents, but definitely watch it!
So that’s a few of my favourite obscure movie musicals for you to add to your viewing list, if you so please.
If you happen to watch any of them, do let me know if you like them!