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Weekend Earworms: Royally Good Uses Of Queen Songs in Film

Weekend Earworms: Royally Good Uses Of Queen Songs in Film

An estimated 92% of us experience earworms. Despite the annoying times we can’t get a chorus or a hook of an overplayed pop song out of our heads, getting a really good earworm stuck can be one of the best things, ever. We here at Nerdist are dead set on bringing you those types of songs—even if only for the weekend. So shove this into your grey matter!

Before we get going, let’s address the DC Film- shaped elephant in the room. I’ve not seen Suicide Squad yet and I am truly bummed at the response from both critics, fans, and their reactions to each other. It’s completely fine if you don’t like something, there’s just no need to start fights about entertainment. The majority of my life (and part of my job sometimes) is spent ripping down the very things that I love in an attempt to be funny. This–most likely unhealthy–practice in combination with the majority of the cinema ever produced causes me to go into any superhero movie with relatively low expectations. I never think they’ll ever be a good or great film as a whole, but I still hold out hope for some cool scenes and moments in the film. It’s a pragmatic approach that allows me to still enjoy terrible things and I suggest everyone try it instead of blindly devoting 5000% of your heart to anything that isn’t family or friends.

So, thus far, my only interaction with Suicide Squad‘s actual footage has been the trailers and I am still hoping for the best case scenario. That best case scenario being is this trailer, set to Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”:

This was the very first glimpse most of us had for the movie back in January of 2016 and I sort of wish it was just left at that. The more we see of something before its release allows us to pick everything apart and set expectations that aren’t necessarily in line with what the final product is. I may be overstepping here but had we just been given that trailer, maybe it wouldn’t have gotten such a poor reception because showing us a bit of the film with Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” playing is, in my opinion, a near-perfect trailer. Quick glimpses of characters, slight plot details, and a fair amount of action sets up the… uhh… it sets up the… OK, OK, it’s the song. It’s almost 100% the song that had me so excited for this. Despite Suicide Squad’s reception so far, I expect I’ll still enjoy moments of it but I think we can all admit that cinema is just so much more damned memorable and exciting when paired with Queen songs.

Now, I’m not saying everything can be saved by Queen’s music and one needs only to look to things like Happy Feet, The Heartbreak Kid, or recent political campaigns as evidence of train wrecks. But, having no knowledge of the finished film I will, for now, count the “Bohemian Rhapsody” trailer for Suicide Squad in the “win” column of movie moments. While we’re on the subject of perfect usage of that particular song, let’s revisit Wayne’s World.

This scene is probably the the most iconic use of Queen in all of cinema and it’s reasonable to assume it’s the reason we all got so jazzed for Suicide Squad earlier in the year. This scene from 1992’s Wayne’s World immortalized an already monumental song and has strained the neck muscles of entire generations since. The renewed popularity of the then 17 year old song even had it sailing up quite a few international music charts in 1992. If you’re of a certain age, there’s a good chance you’ve spent many a celebration mimicking Wayne and his friends’ headbanging like there’s no tomorrow.

How could I not include this epic song in a proposal that Queen makes otherwise OK movies even better? I have a fondness for 1980’s Flash Gordon but let’s not kid ourselves: despite Flash saving everyone of us, it’s a bit of a chore to get through. For anyone not willing to sit through the copious amounts of 1980 schlocky-ness, 2012’s Ted had one of the best cameos of all time with Sam Jones playing a hard-partying version of himself and featured the song during a planet Mongo dream sequence that goes down as not only one of the better reference/joke payoffs of the film, but also one of the most memorable scenes.

Oh boy. What can I say about the absolutely perfect way Edgar Wright used Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now” in 2004’s Shaun of the Dead that hasn’t already been said by smarter folks than I? Syncing the action of film’s final fight with the pop song speaks volumes to the way Wright is able to fill every single frame with comedy. Shaun of the Dead is the only movie in today’s article I would ardently defend for being great and still this scene wouldn’t have been as good without Queen. In a film already filled to the brim with unforgettable moments, it stands out as leader of the pack. Or.. zombie horde. What have you.

It’s probably easier to name movies that don’t use this Queen song in some form or another (or “We Will Rock You” for that matter). It’s the quintessential song for any celebration where the good guys win and the bad guys get their comeuppance. Initially, considering a certain worldwide sporting event happening now, I was going to make the focal point of this particular scene from D2: The Mighty Ducks but after re-watching it, something struck me as odd. There is absolutely no way that a group of diverse hockey-playing high school kids in 1992 would all know every word to “We Are The Champions” so seamlessly. My guess is that the Ducks were cheating all along and they were all much older than they claimed.

Until I see Suicide Squad myself, I’m sticking with the Queen-enhanced trailer as being a great movie moment. Especially since I just discovered Panic! At The Disco covered “Bohemian Rhapsody” for the film and… ugh… how do I put this? There are just some things you shouldn’t do, guys.

What movies did I miss that were made better by Queen songs? Let’s discuss in the comments below!

Image: NBC, Paramount


Blake Rodgers writes for Nerdist from Chicago, IL where he lives happily with his Guinness World Record for High Fives. You can be his pal by following him on Twitter (@TheBlakeRodgers)

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