Dane Train's Top 11: The Top 11 Best Musicals for Metalheads

Written by: Dane Train
Published: 03.03.2013
Sappy romantic plots, cheesy love songs, flamboyant dancing, and cats are the first thoughts most of us get when we think of musicals, right? Musicals are created for women and gay men, or at least that is what society tells us. While Singing in The Rain and My Fair Lady are amazing pieces of work, let's face it, they're not really for the general Metal audience. So, are there any musicals out there for the average headbanger to check out and enjoy?

There sure are!



That about sums it up


Here is a listing of what I consider the best musicals for the long haired and leather clad. We have stories with loads of murder, blood and guts. Evil demons, alien monsters, and serial killers will dance about. Nazi's, super villains and demonic powers will sing their hearts out! For this list I kept it just to actual musicals and not "music movies" so there will be no Spinal Tap, Rock Star, Almost Famous, Eddie and the Cruisers or the like. Also, I left off Metalocalypse and the musical episodes of Todd & The Book of Pure Evil because they are television. Some of these you may have seen, some you may already love and some you may be totally unaware of. I hope that this list sparks some interest in a genre that is not typically inline with Metal music. Here is The Best Musicals for Metalheads.

And remember...this list goes to eleven!

11. Evil Dead: The Musical

Metal music and horror films seem to go hand in hand. Probably the greatest cult horror film, Evil Dead, has inspired leagues of film makers as well as launched the careers of Sam Rami and Bruce Campbell. But could one of the most terrifying films of all time be turned into a stage musical? It sure can! Especially when it has more in common with the second film in the franchise, Evil Dead II: Dead By Dawn, which has a more comedic element to it. This off-Broadway production features the same general plot of the cabin in the woods from the films but with a singing/dancing Ash and demons! If you love the movies you'll surly adore this hilarious romp filled with blood. Speaking of blood, that reminds me, the live show takes a cue from Gwar and splatters it's audience if gallons of gore!



10. Spamalot
When one of the most quotable movies of all time was adapted to the stage it was kind of a no-brainer. Monty Python and the Holy Grail is hands down one of the funniest movies ever made (unless you're some dumb jock who's idea of comedy is the Frat Pack) and Eric Idle's musical adaption is hysterical. While it will never live up to the original Python's landmark film, this musical romp with King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table holds onto many jokes from the archetype while it also brings in a fresh load of original ideas.



9. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
WARNING! DO NOT WATCH THE TIM BURTON VERSION! Disregarding my general dislike of Tim Burton's movies, he slaughtered this musical, and not in an ironic hipster way either. Just because Burton likes to make love to Helena Bonham Carter and Johnny Depp doesn't mean he should give them singing roles. AH! Sorry about that. Anyway, check out the original, Tony award winning musical about a serial killer and the best damn pies in town! Lots of bloody fun and great musical numbers. FUCK TIM BURTON!!!



8. Jekyll and Hyde
Here is one musical both a Metal dude and his girl can watch together! The guys will love it because it is based on one of the greatest horror stories ever written, the novella Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson. The women will love it because of the the beautiful and tragic story it tells. Both will love it for it's bombastic music, powerful narrative and juxtaposing imagery. While the show did not do well on Broadway and critical reviews were mixed this musical has found a home among fans of the macabre. Oh yeah, Sebastian Bach was in it.




7.Repo! The Genetic Opera
A blood-soaked, organ-ripping, drug-filled, dystopian-futuristic horror opera! While I have mixed feelings on this film personally, it is without a doubt the most Metal musical I have come across. Anthony Stewart Head (everyone's favorite Watcher!) is the Repoman, who hunts down and repossesses transplanted organs from people who can't pay for them. Ogre from Skinny Puppy is an entitled brat who wears the skinned faces of women as a mask. Also, Paris Hilton is in it, and she is actually enjoyable. So get ready for some gory fun and chase the morning!




6. Rocky Horror Picture Show
I will publicly go on record as saying that I really don't care too much for this one. Regardless of my own taste, this is the greatest cult film ever. And I totally get why! It is a lot of fun. For all three of you out there who don't know about this film, it is based on the the stage play The Rocky Horror Show, the tale of two newly weds and their encounter with a "Sweet Transvestite from Transsexual, Transylvania" and a motley cast of characters. An ode to old Sci-Fi and horror flics, this musical is a midnight screening delight. Oh yeah, Meatloaf is in it too! So let's do the Time Warp Dance!




5. Little Shop of Horrors
For this one I am going with the 1986 film based on the 1982 Off-Broadway adaptation of a 1960's Roger Corman film. Got that? Not too confusing I hope. A killer cast of 80's comedians tell the tale of a down and out flower shop worker who accidentally ends of raising a giant man-eating, sass-talking plant, while he is trying to win the girl of his dreams and rescue her from her abusive and sadistic dentist boyfriend. This was a film that I grew up on and to this day I will put in my DVD and sing along to every single song. The perfect mix of campy horror and killer musical numbers this Frank Oz directed film is a much watch!



4. Tommy
The first true "Rock Opera" turned film. It's The Who. With Elton John, Tina Turner, Eric Clapton, Jack Nicholson, and Ann-Margret. In all honesty, if you don't know this one, shame on you. 'Nuff Said.



3. Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog
One of the most brilliant projects I have seen in the last ten years. Joss Whedon, the high overlord of the geeks, blew fans and critics away with "Once More With Feeling" a musical episode of he titian show, Buffy The Vampire Slayer (which would have made my list if it wasn't a TV show episode that you needed 6 ½ seasons to see before hand). Years later, during the writers-strike in Hollywood, Joss did what he does best, ignored the production companies and made his own film. Released online, and completely funded by Whedon himself, this 45-minute long musical tells the saga of an inspiring super villain played by Neil Patrich Harris, his ach enemy (Nathon Fillion) and the girl they both want. This hilarious, low-budget, Internet-released film carries more heart and soul than most television shows put together. The DVD release is just as brilliant as it contains the best fan made auditions for The Evil League of Evil and Commentary! The Musical. It has become so popular that college's and armature theater troupes have been doing their own live adaptations of it.



2. Jesus Christ Superstar
Wow! Where to start with this one? A Rock Opera based on the last week of the life of Jesus of Nazareth written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice featuring Ian Gillan (as in Deep Purple and Black Sabbath) in the title role and Murray Head (yes the guy who did "One Night in Bangkok") as Judas Iscariot. This album was later turned into a stage production and a movie. The movie, made two years later, featuring a different cast is an amazing spectacle to see with it's mix of modern (well, 1973 modern) dress and imagery and that of first century Israel. The big highlight of the movie is Carol Anderson's performance of Judas and if that is all you watch it for then it is worth it. Besides the incredible music from start to finish (with the exception of "Herod's Song") the production makes the audience think about the story as characters like Pontius Pilate question how we are perceiving the events. This is a musical that I could spend hours talking about because it is just that good. This also may be the most influential musical on Metal music ever.



1. Blues Brothers
Yup! It is a musical! And who doesn't love this film? Honestly I am not even going to give a plot synopses of this movie. It is hard for me to believe there are many out there who have not seen this classic comedy and if you have not, I don't want to spoil any of the joy you get from seeing it for the first time. Using a collection of R&B, Rock and soul, with an all star cast of those genres, this mad cap chase has memorable scenes one right after another. For anyone who has ever been in a band that has played an unfriendly venue the first thing that typically goes through your mind is the country bar from this movie. Angry rednecks, pissed off Nazis (of the Illinois variety), irate cops and machine gun-toting Princess Leia all fit in with the great musical numbers by John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd as they are "on a Mission for God." So just remember that it's 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark... and we're wearing sunglasses. Hit it.



If there are others that you think I missed, please tell me in the comments. Found something here that sparked your interest? Leave a comment. Think the order should be different? Leave a comment. Think I am dumb and hate me? Meet me in the Thunderdome.


 



Written on 03.03.2013 by
Dane Train
Dane hails from Asheville, NC which is Beer City, USA. When he is not drinking various craft and micro brews, Dane fronts the Stoner Doom Metal band, The Quick. He also has a massive collection of Hellboy comic books.
More articles by Dane Train ››




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Fat & Sassy! - 03.03.2013 at 06:50  
I wouldn't be able to recommend "Repo! The Genetic Opera" to anyone, let alone fans of musicals. I found the characters pretty unlikable and the whole movie is as dull as the generic and uninspired songs that are featured in it. But that aside, great article/list! I bet you had a tough time deciding whether "The Blues Brothers" or "Jesus Christ Superstar" deserved the top spot, considering they're both flat-out fuckin' GROOVY.

ALSO, I'd like to recommend "Hair" to this list! :3

Xnoybis - 03.03.2013 at 09:00  
Not sure blues brothers is a proper musical, i wouldn't compare it to the stuff i see with Mrs. COld... but it is awesome.

saw it at 17, and this scene did it for me... made the hair stand up on the back of my neck, yada yada yada, the whole nine yards:



have loved John Lee Hooker and the Blues ever since.
Ozman - 03.03.2013 at 12:44  
Who is Ian Gillian of Deep Pruple?
Ozman - 03.03.2013 at 12:50  
I wouldn't call Blues Brother a musical either, yes it has music in it, but the story is told in dialogue and not in song unlike f.e. Rock Of Ages.
BloodTears - 03.03.2013 at 14:35  
I'm a sucker for Tim Burton, so I loved his Sweeney Todd movie. That's how I found out about the musical because I'm not big on musicals and it usually needs to have something extra to keep me interested.

This article points out great things to check out though, that's for sure.
R'Vannith - 03.03.2013 at 15:47  
Musicals aren't my thing but I've seen "The Phantom of the Opera." It would fit in well here I think.
Baz Anderson - 03.03.2013 at 18:41  
Rock Horror Picture Show is one of my all-time favourite films! Also, Little Shop Of Horrors is a favourite; the dentist is awesome, hahaha!

I saw Repo too, and was sort of entertained by it, but wouldn't run to watch it again. I rather enjoyed the new Sweeney Todd film too, after refusing to watch it for ages.
!J.O.O.E.! - 03.03.2013 at 18:52  
Have to agree with F & S, Repo! The Genetic Opera is definitely one of the worst things ever. It's kinda nice to look at but in every other way it's quite offensive to the senses.
Lit. - 03.03.2013 at 19:08  
Fiddler On The Roof strikes me as one. Defying religion (as Tevye's Jewish daughter tries to marry a Russian boy), cold and bleak winters and pillaging/destroying towns. Metal as fuck.
Also a song so bleak and depressing that it gives Kvarforth a run for his money:
Dane Train - 03.03.2013 at 19:43  
I do want to add that I personally think Repo! sucked for the most part. Anthony Stewart Head is great in it, but then again I am a huge fan of Buffy and his character in that. Head was also the only character who really sang, the rest just sort of rhythmically spoke their lines. It is on this list because if you have never seen a musical before I figured that it might be a good introduction.
!J.O.O.E.! - 03.03.2013 at 20:31  
Written by Dane Train on 03.03.2013 at 19:43

I do want to add that I personally think Repo! sucked for the most part. Anthony Stewart Head is great in it, but then again I am a huge fan of Buffy and his character in that. Head was also the only character who really sang, the rest just sort of rhythmically spoke their lines. It is on this list because if you have never seen a musical before I figured that it might be a good introduction.

It reminded me of the episode of Buffy that was essentially a musical.
ProgVet - 03.03.2013 at 23:50  
Glad to see Repo! made it on there. Good movie... very amusing and entertaining.
va1mar - 04.03.2013 at 08:55  
Great list! loved a lot of these movies but rhps.
it's awesome that you have evil dead the musical on here too.
but i think this list needs "The devils carnival"
takes place in hell where he fucks with people and steals their souls, based off Aesop's fables.
made by the people that made REPO! the genetic opera.
here's a taste http://youtu.be/PYIioYDI2Iw
M C Vice - 04.03.2013 at 11:11  
My brother rekons Tanz Der Vampire would fit. His words:
"Roman Polanski Hammer Horror parody movie with score by Jim Steinman with the designer from Rocky Horror. And a bad guy song called God Is Dead. Also, fuck Glee."
Valentin B - 04.03.2013 at 11:27  
I think one "cult" musical that would be great for metal audiences is one that Mr. Doctor showed me, called Meet the Feebles. It's basically a filthy, sex-filled adult version of the Muppets with some of the most dislikable characters ever made. It's so disgusting at points it's actually good and it's made by Peter Jackson!
K†ulu - 04.03.2013 at 15:28  
Dane! Thanks for point out "The Blues Brothers!' Watching it right now! Glued to the chair! I had no idea about that film, but I am excused: I am from Ukraine! Cheers!
Ozman - 04.03.2013 at 15:41  
Written by K†ulu on 04.03.2013 at 15:28

Dane! Thanks for point out "The Blues Brothers!' Watching it right now! Glued to the chair! I had no idea about that film, but I am excused: I am from Ukraine! Cheers!


Blues Brothers is a great film, which actually totally flopped in the cinemas when it was released at the time. But it became a HUGE hit on video for rental and sale. But like I said it isn't a musical. Because if you leave the music out you still end up with a proper film, unlike when you do that to musicals. In musicals the songs are used to tell te story and thta isn't the case here with the Blues Brothers. It is a music film.
Valentin B - 05.03.2013 at 13:11  
Another pick that should be on the list (seeing as there is actually someone here who didn't even hear of "The Blues Brothers"), or at least get an honorable mention and that is Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny

But I'm just nitpicking, great list Dane! I'll be watching (or re-watching?) The Blues Brothers one of these days.
Ozman - 05.03.2013 at 14:39  
Written by Valentin B on 05.03.2013 at 13:11

Another pick that should be on the list (seeing as there is actually someone here who didn't even hear of "The Blues Brothers"), or at least get an honorable mention and that is Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny

But I'm just nitpicking, great list Dane! I'll be watching (or re-watching?) The Blues Brothers one of these days.


The Pick Of Destiny, just like The Blues Brothers is NOT a musical, but a music film Else you could also include School Of Rock, which is vastly superior to Pcik Of Destiny
Valentin B - 05.03.2013 at 16:43  
Written by Ozman on 05.03.2013 at 14:39

Written by Valentin B on 05.03.2013 at 13:11

Another pick that should be on the list (seeing as there is actually someone here who didn't even hear of "The Blues Brothers"), or at least get an honorable mention and that is Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny

But I'm just nitpicking, great list Dane! I'll be watching (or re-watching?) The Blues Brothers one of these days.


The Pick Of Destiny, just like The Blues Brothers is NOT a musical, but a music film Else you could also include School Of Rock, which is vastly superior to Pcik Of Destiny

If a music movie is supposed to be just a normal movie without the music, then Pick is definitely not in this category. The song "Kickapoo" basically tells the whole background of Jack Black's character.
embracing - 07.03.2013 at 01:23  
Cool list!!

I also like Les Miserables, even though it's not really metallish... Am I the only one?
Doc Godin - 08.03.2013 at 07:01  
Written by Xnoybis on 03.03.2013 at 09:00

Not sure blues brothers is a proper musical, i wouldn't compare it to the stuff i see with Mrs. COld... but it is awesome.

saw it at 17, and this scene did it for me... made the hair stand up on the back of my neck, yada yada yada, the whole nine yards:



have loved John Lee Hooker and the Blues ever since.

That scene has to be my favourite as well. I met that drummer when I was pretty young. Willy "Big Eyes" Smith. I'm not sure who he was playing for at the time, but he was playing at a festival near my home town. Me and my Dad met him. My Dad was stoked, I couldn't give less of a shit at the time. I guess famous blues musicians don't impress 7-year-olds that easily.
seafood - 09.03.2013 at 13:37  
Not really a musical but I'm surprised nobody mentioned Pink Floyds The Wall here, which is my favourite "musical" movie, if not even my favourite movie.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_leY_LgOuQ
Nemo Atkins - 09.03.2013 at 15:59  
Written by embracing on 07.03.2013 at 01:23

Cool list!!

I also like Les Miserables, even though it's not really metallish... Am I the only one?

No, you're not. I've been in two shows of it (once as chorus, once as a student), with a third show due to start rehearsal in April, and seen the film. It's one of my favourite musicals, alongside The Mikado and The Pirates of Penzance (both by Gilbert & Sullivan).
BlckMtlMelodies - 11.03.2013 at 19:27  
This one has a few great musical moments. Zachariah (1971), the first "electric western"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3-1ZFPSaro
In5anity - 13.03.2013 at 18:42  
Wonderful list, especially the mention of Dr. Horrible. But one musical you definitely forgot is Cannibal the musical.

deadone - 18.02.2014 at 07:13  
I love Jesus Christ Superstar. Best rock opera every written. The new one with that silly Spice Girls bitch is fucked though. Love the old movie too with all that Israeli military hardware on show.


Out of those others I liked Repo! The Genetic Opera and Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Little Shop Of Horrors is alright.

Agree on Burton's Sweeny Todd being shit.

I also love Les Miserables and Phantom Of The Opera.

(Oh and I always liked the original Blues Brothers movie)

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