5 Dumb Movies With Disproportionately Awesome Theme Songs

#2. Speed

20th Century Fox

This is the part where I remind you that I never said that all the movies on this list suck, or that all these theme songs are perfect works of art (they're just way better than the movies). Are we clear on that? Good, because I'm saying it now: Speed sucks, and its theme song is a perfect work of art. Speed, in case you haven't rewatched it this century, is a bloated mess of a movie that somehow stretches a very simple concept ("This bus can't slow down or it'll explode! Also, Keanu Reeves!") for 116 goddamn minutes.

20th Century Fox

Watching Speed is like traveling on an airplane: It's fun and exciting the first time, but it fucking drags on forever every time after that. There just isn't a lot to like there once you remove the tension. On the other hand, Winamp tells me that I've listened to the movie's main theme by Mark Mancina dozens of times, and I think it's a masterpiece full of intrigue and emotion:

Despite being only three and a half minutes long, the Speed suite contains five different movements, one of which would make a kickass superhero theme song. I can say this with some authority, because back when I made my own animated films on Microsoft Kids Movie Maker 3D as a teen (obviously, I was very popular in school), I often used a MIDI of the Speed theme on the superhero ones, and it was always awesome, or at least my mom thought so. Even if you question her artistic taste (you fucker), I dare you to close your eyes and listen to this piano cover of the song and tell me you don't automatically picture Batman standing on top of a tall building, his cape waving heroically in the wind as he watches over his city below.

If instead you pictured Keanu Reeves running behind a bus while talking to Jeff Daniels on the phone, there's something wrong with you.

20th Century Fox

A More Appropriate Theme Song for This Film:

There's only one possibility:

#1. City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly's Gold


City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly's Gold is a wholly unnecessary "comedy" sequel starring the unholy trinity of Billy Crystal, Jon Lovitz, and the thief from Home Alone who isn't Joe Pesci. Oh, and Jack Palance's previously unrevealed twin brother/terrible plot contrivance. This movie played continuously on some cable station or another between the years 1995 and 2000, and as far as I was concerned, there was exactly one reason to watch it. This one:

That's some "Theme of Exodus" shit right there. For some reason, this song makes me think of gladiators fighting, and I assure you that few things ever do. This is seriously like the opening song for some epic Bible-themed Technicolor production of the 1950s, one that hopefully doesn't have Billy Crystal in it (Jack Palance can stay). The Curly's Gold soundtrack is inexplicably full of evocative gems like that. Here's a variation of the main theme with such a strong '60s Western flavor that they probably had to pay royalties to Sergio Leone's estate:

There's more tension and drama in that track alone than in the rest of the movie. We're talking about a "19 percent on Rotten Tomatoes" piece of crap film with a "four stars on AllMusic" soundtrack -- which is one more star than the soundtrack for City Slickers I, by the way. And that's the weirdest part for me: They could have simply used the soundtrack for the first movie and no one would have cared, just like they could have replaced not-Joe Pesci with a log with glasses and a wig and no one would have noticed.

I've digitally replaced him with a log in this shot to prove it.

But no, instead of reusing the soundtrack that was good enough for the original film, composer Marc Shaiman poured all his talent into making a much better one for the shameless cash-in of a sequel, as if no one told him that the rest of the team was half-assing it. Then again, this is the genius who arranged the music for South Park's "Uncle Fucka," so I'd expect nothing less of him.

A More Appropriate Theme Song for This Film:

Probably a three-minute remix of Jack Palance saying "Billy Crystal, I crap bigger than him" before doing one-armed pushups at the Oscars, but sadly no such thing exists yet. Make this happen, Internet.

Maxwell Yezpitelok has a new action/humor/sci-fi comic called ACK that you can read HERE, for free. So do that.

Recommended For Your Pleasure

Maxwell Yezpitelok

  • Rss

More by Maxwell Yezpitelok:

See More
To turn on reply notifications, click here


The Cracked Podcast

Choosing to "Like" Cracked has no side effects, so what's the worst that could happen?

The Weekly Hit List

Sit back... Relax... We'll do all the work.
Get a weekly update on the best at Cracked. Subscribe now!