10 godawful Hollywood movies with killer metal soundtracks

Bad movies with great soundtracks
(Image credit: Theo Wargo/WireImage/Cinematic Collection / Alamy Stock Photo )

Some movies are a slog to watch yet a joy to hear. Back in the 90s and 00s, it wasn’t uncommon for a horrendous horror or atrocious action flick to be propped up by some stellar, seat-rattling rock and metal songs. Here are 10 killer soundtracks where rock and metal bands saved a movie that absolutely shat the bed.

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The Crow: City Of Angels (1996)

The chances of 1994’s The Crow getting a sequel should have been zero given that original star Brandon Lee was killed on set. Naturally, that didn’t stop Hollywood from churning out this charmless sequel. The sole consolation is that co-producer Jeff Most corralled one hell of a soundtrack, featuring unreleased tracks from Korn (Sean Olsen) and Deftones (Teething), as well as covers from Hole (Fleetwood Mac’s Gold Dust Woman), White Zombie (KC And The Sunshine Band‘s I’m Your Boogieman) and Bush (Joy Division’s In A Lonely Place).


End Of Days (1999)

“Arnold Schwarzenegger vs The Devil” could have been the most metal movie premise of all time. However, by 1999, the future Governator was being usurped at the box office by new action heroes like Keanu Reeves and Brendan Fraser – and End Of Days’ cliches and overacting did nothing to reignite his fading stardom. At least Korn, Limp Bizkit and Rob Zombie were able to compensate for Arnie’s diabolical antics with an intense nu metal soundtrack. It even featured the long-awaited debut of Axl Rose’s “new” Guns ’N’ Roses: the industrial rocker Oh My God was the band’s first original song in eight years.


Mission: Impossible 2 (2000)

John Woo was the pioneer of Hong Kong action cinema. However, his balls-to-the-wall style of filmmaking didn’t always translate when he got in bed with Hollywood. Mission: Impossible 2 remains the ‘gun fu’ innovator’s most ridiculous moment, with its performances and plot both being laughably silly. While this Tom Cruise vehicle was too big for its own good, its soundtrack struck the perfect level of ambition, not least thanks to the presence of Limp Bizkit’s Take A Look Around and Metallica’s I Disappear.


Scream 3 (2000)

A Nightmare On Elm Street mastermind Wes Craven successfully lampooned the subgenre he helped popularise when he directed the meta-slasher Scream. However, by its third entry, the series had developed its own cliches ripe for takedowns. The good news was that Scream 3 received a killer soundtrack. Terry Date’s radio-friendly remix of Slipknot’s Wait And Bleed was placed shoulder-to-shoulder with other anthems like Spiders by System Of A Down and Crowded Elevator by Incubus. Nu metal rarely sounded more alive – ironically, it was on the film that murdered the Scream franchise for a decade.


Queen Of The Damned (2002)

This very loose adaption of an Anne Rice novel centred around a vampire rock star named Lestat was rightly lambasted on release. Queen Of The Damned’s sole saving grace was the fact that Korn’s Jonathan Davis both co-wrote the songs which Lestat performed in the movie and provided his singing voice. When JD’s label blocked his voice from appearing on the subsequent soundtrack album, he enlisted buddies such as Disturbed’s David Draiman, Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington and Wayne Static of Static-X to step in for him. Great idea, even if it couldn’t save the movie from bombing.


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Vin Diesel was the hottest action hero around for about five minutes in the early 00s, and this extreme sports blow-out was one huge ego flex. The movie was pretty dire, but the sound of Rammstein crunching through Feuer Frei! while the likes of Queens Of The Stone Age, Hatebreed and Mushroomhead lined up behind them on the soundtrack saved it from being a complete bust.


Freddy Vs Jason (2003)

Nightmare On Elm Street/Friday The 13th crossover Freddy Vs Jason flogged millions of tickets effortlessly. Yet, rarely did the film live up to its title. It instead wasted time trying to make this mash-up make sense when all anyone wanted was blood. Those savvy enough to pick up the CD instead of the DVD, however, got a rare treat. Ill Niño, Mushroomhead and Slipknot had songs next to ragers by DevilDriver, Killswitch Engage and Lamb Of God. It was essentially the sound of nu metal passing the torch to the New Wave Of American Heavy Metal.


The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)

The original Texas Chain Saw Massacre kickstarted the slasher craze. Marcus Nispel’s woeful remake reduced its source material to the cliches of the myriad lesser movies it inspired. Fortunately, Pantera, Hatebreed, Meshuggah and Lamb Of God all rocked up to restore some of the dignity that Leatherface had been lacking since 1974. Then more underground aggressors like Morbid Angel and Sworn Enemy pushed this over the line into being one of the most consistently brutal soundtracks Hollywood’s ever compiled.


Saw II (2005)

After Saw proved to be the surprise smash of 2004, its producers hurried a sequel into production by taking a script for a derivative horror called The Desperate and contorting it into a successor. As a result, Saw II had none of the mystique or character depth of the original. Mercifully, Saw II got a metal soundtrack as industrial as the rusting warehouses within the film, showcasing Skinny Puppy and Al Jourgensen. Papa Roach and Sevendust dispensed some nu metal angst, while Mudvayne contributed Forget To Remember, which Saw II director Darren Lynn Bousman filmed the music video for. Nice touch.


Jonah Hex (2010)

Woeful DC comic book adaptation Jonah Hex was a mess of plotlines that rambled randomly for a mercifully brief 81 minutes. However, the film was soundtracked by six new instrumental songs from Mastodon, so cherish its existence. The Atlanta sludge quartet released their contributions as an EP with the subtitle Revenge Gets Ugly. It contrasted the crawling post-metal of Death March with Clayton Boys and its Southern country twang, before Train Assault galloped along like a climactic action sequence. Shame the music wasn’t attached to something more deserving.

Matt Mills

Louder’s resident Cult Of Luna obsessive was still at uni when he joined the team in 2017. Since then, Matt’s become a regular in Prog and Metal Hammer, at his happiest when interviewing the most forward-thinking artists heavy music can muster. He’s got bylines in The Guardian, The Telegraph, NME, Guitar and many others, too. When he’s not writing, you’ll probably find him skydiving, scuba diving or coasteering.