I am a geek. I like Geek culture. I like geek discussions. I like Geek activities. There are all kinds of sub groups of geeks. I belong to several but one geek group I am very proud to be a part of is Movie Geeks.
While some geeks might be uncomfortable saying they are a fan of certain genres of film, I have no troubles saying that I love musicals. I have been a fan of musicals as long as I can remember. I love music and film so naturally musicals are dear to me. I want to share some of my favorite “twisted” musicals with you today. These are by no means the ONLY musicals I like but these have really meant something to me through the years. Hope you enjoy.
The Phantom of the Paradise
What happens when you cross Faust, The Phantom of the Opera, and The Picture of Dorian Gray, and pepper in a smattering of Frankenstein and a discotheque? You get an early Brian DE Palma film that will blow your mind..
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
The first time I watched this film I had no clue what I was watching. A friend of mine and his sister introduced me to this movie and I have seen it once a year every year since my pre-teens. The Evil Dr. Frank N. Furter an alien from the planet Transylvania in the Galaxy of Transsexual has found the secret of life itself. Tim Curry and Susan Sarandon steal this twisted show.
I love The Wizard of Oz. I always have. When I saw this movie I felt like I was seeing it all over again. It’s terribly dated now and chock full of what to me seems like some nasty ethnic stereotyping, but if you can suspend belief in the real world you will be in for a treat. The talent assembled here is almost unmatched. The late Michael Jackson is just icing on the cake. There’s no place like home.
The First Nudie Musical
I first saw this movie on Showtime back in the late Seventies or early Eighties, and tried to find it on tape for years afterwards. Very funny, and I LOVED seeing Ron Howard (uncredited) and Cindy Williams in the same film pre-Happy Days/Laverne & Shirley. I have frequently tried to describe this film to my friends, and been frustrated. Even singing “Lesbian Butch Dyke, you can call it what you like” didn’t convey the hilarity.
John Waters is a genius. Johnny Depp does some early work here mixing songs with some seriously good 50’s retro props, costumes and scenery. Not the greatest acting, so be prepared to laugh a lot at this camp fest extraordinaire.
Earth Girls Are Easy
Those of us that grew up in the REAL MTV eighties will remember this film. Jeff Goldblum, Jim Carry, and Damon Wayans make this musical a MUST see. It’s really only somewhat a musical since the songs are sparse. When aliens fly off course and accidentally land in an valley girl’s pool all hell breaks loose getting them back home. While I have always thought of Gina Davis as some what a horse faced actress, in this film she is SMOKING HOT.
Little Shop of Horrors
I’ve loved this movie for years and never get tired of it. It’s entertaining and funny without needing to go for cheap or raunchy jokes (which I have nothing against). The songs are fun, and everyone in this movie can really sing. The jokes are clean and smart even if they are a little dark and twisted. This was done by the great Frank Oz. I’m a big Muppets fan, so it makes sense that I love this too.
If you can find enjoyment in critically panned movies such as The Wiz, you can find corny enjoyment in this relatively same plateau of a production with catchy songs, and memorable characters. Distance yourself from cartoon which it’s based, and think of it as a real life community of oddball people with their own rules for living. There was a lot of work drawn on this production and it’s not second rate including sets, music, costumes, and performance. It actually has tender moments from the transition of Popeye being the lone outcast to Olive Oyl discovering her love for this man soon after they find sweet pea lost in a basket. It is that chemistry which pulls the movies weight.
I have reviewed this movie before on the site but it makes my list here just because the thought of a musical based on the ghosts of Xmas story is amazing.
The Nightmare Before Christmas
Nightmare Before Christmas is wildly original, full of great songs, great lines (“nothing’s more suspicious than frog’s breath!), and great animation. Between Tim Burton’s freaky/funny vision & Danny Elfman’s songwriting (& splendidly haunted, poignant singing) what imaginative forces we have at work here.