5 Dumb Movies With Disproportionately Awesome Theme Songs

The theme song of a movie is supposed to instantly make you think of the name of the film it belongs to -- I can't be the only one who hears "Staaaaaar Waaaars, da da da DA da ..." and "Jaws, Jaws ... Jaws, Jaws ..." every time. Right? Theme songs have to be catchy and chills-inducing, but at the same time the composers can't lose sight of the fact that they are getting paid to make the director look good, not themselves.

Well, some composers said "Eh, fuck it" and did the exact opposite of that. I'm not saying these movies are necessarily terrible -- I'm saying their theme songs are so excessively and even unfairly good that they make the film look like shit in comparison. So if you're directing a movie, I'd seriously advise against hiring the musicians responsible for the theme songs to ...

#5. Police Academy

Warner Bros.

Police Academy is a typical '80s sex comedy, only instead of starring horny college students, it stars horny police cadets. It has boobies, gay jokes, and a scene where the laid-back protagonist plays a hilarious prank on his stuck-up superior and then the stuck-up superior yells the protagonist's name real loud (probably, I don't know, it's been a while). Don't get me wrong: I liked the Police Academy movies as a kid (particularly the boobies part), but even back then I could tell that they were dumb and made me dumber every time I watched them. Which, unfortunately, was a lot (because, again, boobs).

The theme song, on the other hand, sounds like something you should play to babies in the womb to make them smarter (the slow part around 1:30 always gets me):

I think that's just a great piece of orchestral music, and apparently I'm not alone: There are literally hundreds of solemn covers of the Police Academy march on YouTube, some played by actual police officers. Please watch that clip I just linked to and picture this compilation of Zed's best scenes overlaid on top of the serious police orchestra. Or don't, because that's how you get an aneurysm.

Europe particularly seems to like this song, judging by all the weird consonant-filled words I'm seeing on YouTube, and I can see why: It is the birthplace of Bach, Beethoven, and other guys who almost came close to the majesty of this composition.

Warner Bros.

So profound is the disconnect between the film and its music that I have to wonder if composer Robert Folk even knew he was making the soundtrack for a movie about Steve Guttenberg's wacky shenanigans and not, like, some award-bait drama about heroism and sacrifice. In fact, looking at his Wikipedia page, it seems that Folk also scored a movie called Purple Hearts in the same year Police Academy came out, so maybe he got the two projects mixed up somehow (here's Purple Hearts' main theme).

A More Appropriate Theme Song for This Film:

The main song for the Police Academy franchise should be as unashamedly stupid as the movies themselves. Luckily, the centerpiece of the Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol soundtrack fits the bill pretty well:

#4. Ben


Ben is a 1972 horror movie about a pack of telepathic killer rats, a sequel to Willard, the only other movie in the telepathic killer rat genre as of that moment. It ends with the rats getting flamethrowered to shit before they can overthrow human civilization and/or cause more sequels. One of the rats is named Ben and befriends a young kid, and then, during the last scene, this song plays as the two reunite:

It starts like Michael Jackson's classic ballad of the same name, and then ... what the fuck, that's what this is?! Is that one of those incongruous fan videos YouTube users like to make? Nope, and in fact, Cracked has talked about how the Ben album, which gave Jackson his first chart-topping solo single, almost had the killer rat army on the cover in front of the disturbingly calm-looking young M.J.:

They also almost named it Michael Jackson's All Must Pay, All Must Perish.

Obviously, only a raging schizophrenic would ever guess that the song was about a mind-reading rat just going by its lyrics about friendship and not judging people based on their appearance. This theme song would be more appropriate for the story of a man wrongfully committed to a mental institution who befriends a gentle giant convinced that he's a pop superstar. The man then takes the giant home to meet his son, and after the initial disappointment, the giant helps the kid compose a birthday song for his sister. I don't know, that's just the first story that comes to me off the top of my head.

A More Appropriate Theme Song for This Film:

Ironically, Michael Jackson would go on to score his highest-selling album (or anyone's highest-selling album) with a song that actually does sound like it belongs in a horror movie: You know, the one that goes "Thriller, Thriller, Thriller, Thriller ... No one wants to Thriller, Thriller ..." I won't put it here, though, because you've almost definitely heard it enough times in your life.

#3. Tron: Legacy

Walt Disney

This seems like a lazy choice, because Tron: Legacy is well known as a flashy but soulless movie, and its soundtrack was made by Daft Punk, who, inescapable summer hits aside, are generally regarded as good song makers. So of course the music is gonna be better than the movie. However, the reason I'm including this film here is that there's a track called "Adagio for Tron" that sounds like the last thing I'd expect to hear from both this franchise and this band (I'm counting it as a theme song because it has "Tron" in it; if you don't agree with that reasoning, I invite you to read a more detailed explanation on my blog):

OK, now what the fuck is this doing in a movie about Jeff Bridges and son playing first-person Pong inside a computer? This should be in some sensible period piece about two upper-class women whose burgeoning but ultimately unconsumed romance threatens to destroy the lives of those around them as a paradigm-changing war looms on the horizon. In fact, I'm convinced that when future people stumble upon this song centuries from now, they'll naturally assume it could only have come from such a film.

Walt Disney
"Ah yes, typical 19th century lady garb."

In the movie, the song plays as (SPOILERS: you don't give a shit) Tron apparently dies while sinking in a digital sea. I'll remind you now that Tron is literally a computer program -- meaning that "Adagio for Tron" is essentially used as a longer, more dramatic version of the "empty recycle bin" sound effect you hear every day on your computer. Someone please ask the Daft Punk guys to reinterpret the "shutting down Windows" jingle so we can all enjoy the resulting two-hour symphony.

A More Appropriate Theme Song for This Film:

The whole rationale behind getting Daft Punk to score this movie was probably "They like computers and stuff, right?" I think the producers could have found someone even more relevant to today's Internet users while embracing the film's video-game-related theme:

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Maxwell Yezpitelok

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