The 50 Greatest Music Movie Moments: 37 - 34

37.) Gremlins 2 - New York, New York

Performed by Tony Randall and a gremlin chorus

The scene: After successfully taking over the Clamp Enterprises building and running amok, the Gremlin army convenes in the lobby, preparing to bring their mayhem and destruction to the entirety of New York City. In anticipation, a specially verbose and intelligent gremlin leads the group in a rousing rendition of the city's unofficial anthem.

The song: Gremlins 2 is over-the-top nutty and ridiculous, both in terms of storytelling and humor. The filmmakers threw everything including the kitchen sink into the film. Singing gremlins may seem ridiculous, but it makes sense in the context of the film. Coincidentally, it's the only sense made in the entirety of Gremlins 2.

36.) Donnie Darko - Mad World
Performed by Michael Andrews and Gary Jules

The scene: After a baffling series of events that requires a companion guide, everything gets nullified via time travel, shoving it all into an alternate timeline that never happened. The tragic and morbid events that compromised the entire movie are remembered only as a shared dream by the entire town. In a montage, the town awakens, reflecting on their narrowly avoided paths.

The song: Mad World was originally written and performed by Tears For Fears, an English new wave band. To amplify the dark nature intended, the song is pared down to a slow piano, cello, and minor chords upon minor chords. Some would argue the song became more successful than the movie; the 50,000,000+ views for the music video support this claim.

35.) Back to School - Dead Man's Party
Performed by Oingo Boingo

The scene: Well into a golden-aged college experience, Thornton Melon (Rodney Dangerfield) hosts a rager of a kegger in his lavish dormitory. As the party reaches critical mass, 'Dead Man's Party' dominates the soundtrack, rattling the windows and shaking the walls. When suddenly the camera cuts to reveal it's not just a stereo system cranked to the max, but Oingo Boingo themselves, live and in person.

The song: Dead Man's Party isn't deep or significant to the scene or the film, but to the general feeling of the movie. Back to School is an archetypical 80s comedy. As such, it gets an archetypical 80s party song. What makes Dead Man's Party so extraordinary is the filmmakers didn't just license the song, they actually got Oingo Boingo to appear onscreen, performing the hit... And I may be a bit biased because Oingo Boingo is one of my favorite bands of all time. But no matter. Moving on.

34.) Sid and Nancy - My Way
Written by Frank Sinatra
Performed by Gary Oldman in the style of Sid Vicious

The scene: Sid Vicious (Gary Oldman) is at the apex of a doomed solo career after pissing off and breaking up his former band, The Sex Pistols. The closest thing he ever has to a hit is an off-color cover of the Sinatra classic.

The song: My Way is such a corny, cheeseball song, stripping it of all its pomposity is the only way to do it justice.The anarchistic attitude and punk rock music delivered by Gary Oldman are on point, and the slow deviation from straightforward musical number into artistic metaphor is stylistic brilliance.

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