4 Famous Movies With Insane Music Video Tie-Ins

In the land of milk and honey that was the pre-Internet entertainment industry, studios would frequently release tie-in music videos from the soundtracks of their big upcoming movies to get the hype train started early for solitary, sun-frightened middle school students such as myself. Tuning in to MTV to see glossy musical montages of the latest Godzilla and/or Will Smith movie was a more reliable fixture of my summers than the beach, family vacations, or friendship, and when I lie on my deathbed five hundred years from now, as was foretold, my only regret will be that I didn't spend more time watching MTV and getting unnaturally excited for Batman Forever while other children were playing outside. Virtually all of these music videos are utterly terrible, but here are four that managed to rise above that distinction to become totally insane.

#4. The Goonies

Warner Bros./Amblin Entertainment

The Goonies, everyone's favorite movie about neglected children putting themselves in extreme danger to correct the grievous financial mistakes of their parents, had not one but two separate tie-in music videos by 1980s pop superstar Cyndi Lauper. This is not to suggest that she recorded two different songs for The Goonies soundtrack -- she made two videos and just used the same song twice. Lauper's two-part multimedia assault, "The Goonies R Good Enough," has almost nothing in common with the actual film The Goonies, apart from the vague concept of unclaimed pirate treasure.

Portrait/Warner Bros./Amblin Entertainment
That entire chest will almost certainly be confiscated by the federal government.

For example, Lauper's music videos are cast almost exclusively with professional wrestlers, despite the fact that the film does not feature any professional wrestlers, nor is professional wrestling a major plot point (in fact, at no point in The Goonies is professional wrestling even mentioned). It's like she stared really hard at the poster for two hours instead of actually sitting through the movie, and wrote a completely different narrative in her mind, wherein she and Captain Lou Albano have to track down a booby-trapped cache of pirate treasure in order to save their gas station -- which, as the video firmly establishes, is in the middle of a desperately unsuccessful bake sale.

Portrait/Warner Bros./Amblin Entertainment
In fairness, "free cookies with gas" can be catastrophically misconstrued.

Roddy Piper, Classy Freddie Blassie, and the Iron Sheik pull up in a limousine for the explicit purpose of refusing to patronize the Lauper family business.

Portrait/Warner Bros./Amblin Entertainment

Meanwhile, Nikolai Volkoff drives by in a pickup truck, milking a ceramic cow. We are now two minutes into this music video and we have yet to hear a single note of music.

Portrait/Warner Bros./Amblin Entertainment
The subaudible shrieks of madness melting out of the screen cannot be considered "music" in the traditional sense.

Cyndi lifts up a portrait of Captain Lou's rubber-band-faced pirate uncle to uncover a hidden cave that was apparently just waiting behind the wall of their service shop. She crawls inside and spends the next several seconds screaming at an animatronic skeleton like Sam Kinison having a violent stroke on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride.

Portrait/Warner Bros./Amblin Entertainment

The Goonies themselves do not actually appear until the four-and-a-half minute mark, at which point they teleport in on a wave of 1960s sitcom special effects, wearing t-shirts emblazoned with a string of letters that spell out "The Goonies" if they stand in the correct order, which of course they fail to do initially, because this is a comedy.

Portrait/Warner Bros./Amblin Entertainment
Chunk has two letters on his shirt, because Chunk is fat.

It's like a tiny window into the future of Hollywood; Josh Brolin is a Lennon-haired shadow of the man who will eventually glue a bunch of old spaghetti to his face to play Jonah Hex, Sean Astin displays the moon-faced earnestness he will come to be known for, and Corey Feldman looks like a teenager who has experienced nothing but angry erections, which is a look he'll never grow out of. Unfortunately for us all, this will not be the last time Corey Feldman appears in a music video.

Corey Feldman/CiFi Records
I'm pretty sure this is part of a prophecy.

The group excitedly compares treasure maps, and we are treated to a minute-long montage of scenes from the film, after which the evil wrestlers from the beginning of the video show up and attack the Goonies, while Cyndi Lauper stands by and refuses to call child services. Then a witch shows up for some fucking reason and Cyndi nearly drowns in a subterranean waterfall after calling out to Steven Spielberg for help. In the overwhelmingly likely event that you have forgotten, let me remind you that this is the official music video tie-in to a movie about a bunch of kids hunting for pirate treasure to save their town from villainous country club developers. A pop star getting attacked by a witch before taking a sharp right turn into self-referential industry humor probably sailed right over the heads of The Goonies' target audience like a paper lantern full of Reaganomics jokes.

Portrait/Warner Bros./Amblin Entertainment
"What happened to the Goonies? Did that pedophile get them?"

And that's the end of Part One. Part Two, which aired a few months after the movie was released in theaters (because with an artistic triumph like "The Goonies R Good Enough," you have to stagger that shit out), picks up with the rambling narration of a character witness on an episode of Judge Joe Brown, before continuing the story with Cyndi and the Goonies working as slaves on the witch's pirate ship. Again, this is a completely different video for the exact same song.

Portrait/Warner Bros./Amblin Entertainment
Really, we're all prisoners here.

Cyndi and the children escape the clutches of the witch and her pro-wrestling henchmen (again, neither demographic is represented in The Goonies whatsoever), and return to the Lauper family gas station with armloads of cursed pirate wealth. Cyndi then puts her fingers to her mouth to blow a mighty whistle, and Andre the goddamned Giant appears in an explosion of pyrotechnic magician smoke to chase Roddy Piper into the street like a feral cat drenched in hobo blood.

Portrait/Warner Bros./Amblin Entertainment
"Andre should be wearing more pants" is a thought people were frequently forced to have in the 1980s.

And that's how the official Goonies music video ends. People who saw both chapters of this rock opera before actually buying a ticket to see the movie must've been seriously confused at The Goonies' total lack of discount witchcraft and 1980s pro wrestling.

Portrait/Warner Bros./Amblin Entertainment
"We've managed to betray fans of several properties! Congratulations, everyone!"

#3. Twister

Warner Bros.

For those of you who are still in high school, Twister was a mid-'90s trivia question about an estranged husband-and-wife storm chasing team doing battle with Cary Elwes' embarrassing southern accent, which is so bad it makes Bill Paxton's actual southern accent sound fake. As a film, Twister is worth the zero dollars it would cost to watch on Netflix, but not quite an even exchange for the amount of time it takes to view it in its entirety. "Humans Being" was Van Halen's heroic attempt to turn that threadbare narrative into a scrotum-detonating rock song, even though, by all accounts, Van Halen had ceased rocking several years earlier.

PepsiCo via YouTube
Roughly around the time this happened, give or take a few seconds.

It's really difficult to make an exciting clip reel out of a movie that is 90 percent people driving around in pickup trucks. The video for Van Halen's "Humans Being" attempts to do just that. Shots of Sammy "I have the chest hair of Cameron Diaz" Hagar painfully contorting his face to heighten the excitement of his lip-synching to maximum levels are interwoven with what I believe is the same three seconds of aerial footage of Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt carefully leading a wagon train of desperate character actors in wheezy SUVs down a country road while obeying the speed limit.

Warner Bros.

Warner Bros. Records

Warner Bros.

Warner Bros. Records
The viewing audience is now too electrified to move.

I always knew Van Halen would provide the soundtrack to a collective midlife crisis, but I never expected it to be captured on film. It's like watching the inner monologue of a 60-year-old man seconds before he shatters his knee while unnecessarily sliding into second base during a company softball game. It's the tragedy of failing to realize a dream that was never particularly grandiose to begin with. In that way, the Twister music video is the same as a truck driver having to pay full price for a 1 lb basket of tater tots because he couldn't eat all of them in 30 minutes.

Warner Bros. Records
"Yeeeeeeeeeah, driving in the raaaaaaaaaaaaaaain!"

The director attempts to convey the intense drama of a raging tornado by splashing water on the camera while Van Halen plays in front of a giant montage of swirling weather vanes. When we aren't being dazzled by exciting official Twister footage of people driving cars, we're marveling at exciting official Twister footage of people staring ominously at the sky and running away from lightning. It's exactly as ridiculous as releasing The Perfect Storm with a soundtrack by Def Leppard, but for whatever reason, this didn't occur to the world in 1996.

Warner Bros. Records
"Weather is the coolest" -- 1996.

If you've ever found yourself wondering what the confluence of two of the most forgettable things ever created would look like, Van Halen's official music video for the Twister soundtrack is your answer.

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Tom Reimann

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