There have been plenty of examples that show why musicians and acting don’t mix: Crossroads, From Justin to Kelly, Cool as Ice, along with too many others to name. Some artists give it one go and move on, while others just don’t know when to quit (looking at you, Madonna). For the most part, these films are pretty well known and have been ridiculed since their release. But then there are those movies musicians wish you would forget and man, are there a lot of them. Here are 13 awful, ridiculous, and just plain bad movies artists wish you would forget.

13. Population 436

Co-Starring Fred Durst

Just when you thought this guy couldn’t get any sadder, turns out it’s worse that you thought. In this straight to DVD horror movie, he plays a small town deputy who helps census buerau reporter Steve Kady get to town. Kady’s there to survey the residents on the dwindling population. (Sounds legit). When he finally gets to the last family, he learns they have “fever” and “spooky” things ensue. I couldn’t find any clips online aside from the trailer, so I can’t comment on Durst’s acting ability, but considering the type of movie this is it can’t be that promising. What I do know is it doesn’t make him anymore likeable.

12. Straight to Hell

Starring Joe Strummer

The break up of the Clash must’ve been hard on Joe Strummer who agreed to star in this awful parody of Westerns. After watching 10 minutes of it online, I still have no idea what’s going on. The film is about a gang who is stranded in the desert after they almost get busted for a bank robbery. It’s actually an adaptation (if you want to call it that) of Giuilo Questi’s Django, Kill! The movie actually features lots of punk musicians including members of Circle Jerks, The Pogues, and Amazulu. Courtney Love is also in the film as a whiny pregnant woman who complains about everything. So, she pretty much plays herself. Strummer plays one of three hitmen and seems to do an okay job, when you can understand what he’s saying. Compared to other people on the list, he does a respectable job. The film has since gone on to receive cult status and is still an incredible mess.

11. Catacombs (2007)

Starring Pink

That’s right. Pop music’s favorite rebel starred in this dud from 2007. Similar to As a Above So Below, the movie revolves around Paris’ famous catacombs, which apparently harbors a killer raised by a Satanic cult in this film. After that the plot unravels a bit. There’s something about a sister, a rave, a prank, and an actual murderer, and maybe a case of stolen identity, but I’m just going off the plot synopsis. There aren’t many clips on Youtube, but in the one I did find Pink manages to sound whiny and bratty, unlike her badass self. She must’ve been skeptical about the film as she used her real name instead of her stage one. Again, never knew about this one until I started research and for good reason too.

10. Hard to Hold (1984)

Starring Rick Springfield

It should be no surprised to find Rick Springfield in a movie. Afterall, he was on General Hospital for a few years before focusing music full time. What’s funny about this film is the role of James Roberts is not that much of a stretch for Springfield. Roberts is a pop idol who is used to getting any woman he wants, but finds himself tongue tied when meeting Diana Lawson in a car accident. Who in the world is in a car accident and thinks it’s the perfect time to try to hook up? Apparently, Rick Springfield. It’s one of those “we’re from two different worlds, how can we be together?” movies. In other words, it’s like every other rom-com from the ’80s. Even though Springfield wasn’t terrible, the movie didn’t do well, which is probably why it’s been hidden from the public eye for a long time.

9. Monster Dog (1984)

Starring Alice Cooper

Alice Cooper is actually in a surprising amount of movies, but none of them are as bad as this one. I never even knew about it until I stumbled upon it via Netflix. In this horror film Cooper plays rock star (surprise) Vince Raven, who gets attacked by a bloody guy who says everyone will die except for Vince. Throughout the film we learn about his family’s lycanthropy curse. Spoiler alert: Vince is actually the monster dog and tries to kill everyone. Since horror and Cooper go so well together you would think the movie would be somewhat entertaining. The entire thing is bland and it’s clear Cooper is barely even trying to act. And as with most ’80s horror films, there is nothing scary about it. What’s even worse is since it’s a Spanish film, Cooper didn’t even dub his own lines for the English version. Throughout you’ll notice something is off about the mouth movements and it takes you out of the entire thing. Just stick with his cameo in Wayne’s World.

8. Strangeland (1998)

Starring Dee Snider

Apparently, all the old metal stars of the ’80s decided to make horror movies in the late ’90s. Since this was released around the time of the internet’s infancy, this movie preys on people’s fears that chat rooms harbor murderous weirdos. Enter Dee Snider. He plays the murderous weirdo whose really into pain and mutilating people. He’s supposed to look creepy with lots of piercings everywhere, but honestly he looked scarier in his Twisted Sister make up. Somehow Robert Englund of Freddy Kruger fame was roped into this project, but then again he doesn’t seem too picky about his film roles. Going by the trailer it’s probably a mediocre horror film, but probably something Snider wishes you’d forget about.

7. In the Mix (2005)

Starring Usher

Usher already got a taste of acting in The Faculty, which showed fans why he sound stick with singing. Apparently, not everyone got the message. In this 2005 film, Usher takes the lead role of a popular, groupie mobbed DJ who takes on the job as a popular, ladies man bodyguard for the mob. Eventually, he falls in love with the mob boss’ daughter, which is what always happens in these situations. From the trailer alone, it seems like the point of the film is to prove how much of a smooth, ladies man Usher is. Just about all the scenes involving women flirting with him, patting his butt, or feeding him fruit. There are a few “action” scenes, if you consider him running and jump major action, but of course Usher can’t be involved with any project if dancing isn’t involved (arguably it’s what he does best). Is it any surprise the film flopped and has a score of 2.4 out 10 on IMDb’s Bottom 100? Unfortunately, it’s not enough to keep the singer out of movies.

6. Love and a Bullet (2002)

Starring Treach

The former Naughty by Nature member starred in this major flop where he plays a hitman. It’s the classic trope of I’m bad, but now I wanna be good type of thing. The acting is so bad you can’t even describe it in words. Treach sounds like he’s struggling to remember his next line and the ones he manages to get are delivered flat. He sounds downright bored throughout the whole thing. It’s clear he should’ve taken on a solo rap career after his Naughty by Nature days. What makes this movie even more of a tragedy is it only grossed $18,926 and was released in only 14 theaters. When comparing these numbers, the other movies on the list did phenomenally better.

5. On the Line (2001)

Starring Lance Bass and Joey Fatone

Lance was very ambitious during his Nsync days. Not only did he try to fly to the moon and start his own record label, he tried his hand at acting. Spoiler: he’s not that great. This movie follows Lance as he searches for a girl he met on the L train in Chicago. It’s not a terrible movie; it’s kind of cute and has its funny moments. But the silly concept, cliched characters, sub par acting, and dry dialogue make it less than reputable. Also, watching the movie now knowing Lance is gay is kind of awkward. He can’t even fake chemistry with his intended girlfriend well though that could be due to his lame acting. Sorry, Lance. Joey, on the other hand, wasn’t that bad.

4. Longshot (2001)

Featuring Nsync, O-Town, LFO, Take 5, Britney Spears

Unless you were a fan of bubblegum pop, you’ve probably never heard of this movie. Since I did love Nsync and O-town at the time I wanted to see the film. Luckily, I never did. It has to be the most asinine excuse for a film ever. There’s supposed to be the typical guy in high school can’t get the girl, so he figures out ways to impress her type of plot, but really it’s all about the boy bands. There isn’t one second where you don’t see a boy band or hear one of their songs, but did you expect anything else from a film by Lou Pearlman? It’s a shameless vehicle to promote his “hot” bands at the time (before he stole all their money). He even recruited O-town to promote the film in the damn movie. It is one of the dumbest things I’ve seen. None of the pop stars can act and the film is full of goofy dialogue and shoddy production. To make things even worse both Kenny Rogers and Jermaine Jackson have cameo appearances. At least it wasn’t released in theaters.

3. Bad Timing (1980)

Starring Art Garfunkel

Bad Timing is a British psychological thriller that uncovers the sadistic, romantic relationship between a woman and her psychiatrist. The film caused a stir when it was released with the film’s distributor Rank Organisation calling it “a sick film made by sick people for sick people.” Sounds pretty intense, which makes it even weirder that Art Garfunkel plays the titular role of the psychiatrist. Sick, thriller, and British are the last things you would ever associate with the folk singer. The movie itself is pretty weird. Since it’s non-linear and is mostly told through a series of flashbacks, it comes off as an arthouse film with various closeups of paintings, Garfunkel scratching his head, and even him dancing in the nude, something no one has ever asked to see. If that wasn’t bad enough the singer tries to be cynical and sadistic, but looks too timid to pull it off. It’s hard to imagine him being threatening while maintaining his bozo hair cut. Not to mention every line he says sounds like he’s reciting it off of a cue card. Apparently someone thought Garfunkel was good; the film won Toronto’s People Choice Award in 1980.

2. A Letter from Death Row (1998)

Starring Bret Michaels

The ’90s weren’t a good time for Poison. With grunge music on the rise, hair metal was pretty much dead, which left former rockstars with a lot of free time. That would be the only plausible explanation for why this movie exists. This thriller is supposed to take the viewer into the mind of convicted killer Michael Raine and his experience on death row. But to add a twist, the viewer is never sure if Raine is innocent or not or even if he is telling his own story. The entire movie is available on Youtube, but watching the two minute trailer should be enough to see how awful it is. It looks like the entire thing was shot on a $200 budget, which is probably all the money the rocker had at the time, and filled with theater school rejects. The trailer even has the nerve to boast a “special appearance” from Charlie Sheen, like that’s supposed to entice people to see it.

1. KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park (1978)

Starring KISS

We all know that KISS isn’t ashamed to put their name on any and all merchandise from coffins to comics, but this movie is so bad they don’t even want to release it. This made for tv movie finds KISS not just a crazy rock n roll band, but a crazy rock n roll band that has superpowers. For some absurd reason, an evil inventor wants to destroy a California amusement park. Enter KISS to save the day with their powers of flying, firebreathing, telepathy, and shooting lasers from their eyes. During their quest to save the park, they fight robot monkeys, samurai, and even Frankenstein. But the inventor is a clever one! He makes KISS clones to perform a show and unleash his evil plans of destruction upon the world. In other words, no one knows what the fuck is happening in this movie. What makes it even worse is all of Ace Frehley’s lines are dubbed because he didn’t show up for looping; it’s painfully obvious. The movie finally saw a 2008 DVD release, but the movie was heavily edited with almost all of Frehley’s lines cut out. Still, it’s a must to see to understand just how bad it is.

Did I miss any awful musician movies? Which one is your favorite? Let me know in the comments!

Justin_Timberlake_-_FutureSex_LoveSoundsRelease Year: 2006

Rating: 7/10

Justin was already a star during his Nsync days, but ever since he started his solo career he’s become larger than life. His solo debut was great and his releases last year were satisfying. The same can’t be said for his second LP. While there are some awesome tracks here to get you dancing, many of them are uninspired, dull, and too damn long (an issue Timberlake still hasn’t fixed). The record is all over the place and can never seem to find it’s footing, which makes for a disappointing album.

If you couldn’t tell from the title, the theme of this album is sex. He already covered the topic on his previous effort, but here he goes even further. Though he tries to be sensual on “Futuresex/Lovesound” he ends up sounding like a creepo when he sings “daddy’s on a mission to please.” He keeps trying to be sexy by repeating the song title in a robotic voice; it’s clearly not working. On “Sexy Ladies” he brags about how many women he has going crazy for him. This topic gets a little boring after a while, especially since Timberlake approaches it in a cliché manner, but the track where he pulls it off the best is “Sexy Back.” The bass heavy music and the weird distorted vocals make the song infectious. It also doesn’t hurt that singing “I’m bringing sexy back” is really fun to say. It’s a stand out single because it sounded like nothing else he had done at the time.

My Love” is another strong track from the album. The music continues with the heavy bass and throws in a synth/electronic based riff that sticks in your head. Here, Justin tries out his falsetto and it’s okay. I’ve definitely heard better, but I’ve also heard worse. While the song has a great hook and is pretty good overall things get iffy when T.I. comes in. His rap is so unnecessary and to make it worse it’s pretty boring. The song would’ve been just fine without it. “Lovestoned” is a great dance track with its disco flavor and funk driven rhythm to get you moving. It’s a really fun, upbeat track, but after the four minute mark you want it to end. It goes on for a total of seven minutes for no good reason. This same problem is found on his later efforts. When will Justin learn making songs longer than they need to be don’t make them better.

“What Goes Around” has never been my favorite Timberlake song. The Middle Eastern inspired riff is interesting and the low key music is enjoyable, but it just doesn’t pop like some of his other songs. The end of a bad relationship vibe of the track makes you think of “Cry Me a River,” though it’s not as effective. The pleasant “Summer Love” sounds like an old hip-hop song filled with lots of synth that catches your attention. The song is vibrant, upbeat, and really catchy. It makes you feel good like a Justin Timberlake song should. The thing that ruins it is yet another prelude attached at the end. This happens several times throughout the album making the original track longer. These preludes are supposed to introduced the next song, but they are boring and pointless.

The one song that is just flat out bad is “Chop Me Up.” Since it features really heavy beats and Three 6 Mafia, it ends up sounding like one of their rap songs. Justin even attempts to rap and sounds like a poor man’s T.I. During the chorus, there are moments when a distorted voice sings part of it and it makes you think of a bad voice over. The whole thing comes off phony and really disrupts the flow of the album. It’s all r&b and pop dance songs until you get to this. It just doesn’t fit in. “Losing my Way” sticks out for the wrong reasons. On a record mainly about sex and love Justin decides to talk about a man who has lost everything because of his addiction to crack. While it means well it doesn’t fit at all. Plus, a choir comes on at the end and adds a whole layer of cheesiness to it. Sorry Justin, I’m not buying it.

Even though it has some great songs, the album gets 7/10. The record is all over the place. Sometimes it stays on the r&b and pop vibe, while other times it strays into different genres Justin has no business being in. This is also where the singer got the idea that ten minutes songs are okay. So many of the tracks have a five minute prelude attached at the end and it’s baffling to understand what they’re supposed to add to the album. When the songs aren’t dull and repetitive, they end up being so cheesy your eyes will pop out of your head from rolling them too much. It’s a shame because there are some great, fun tracks here, but the rest of it doesn’t hold up. At least Justin did better for his third release.

cassettes

Ever since the introduction of vinyl, audiophiles have been arguing about which format is the best for music. Was it the crispness of records or the ease of CDs? No matter what side you’re on everyone knew the answer was not cassettes. They never had the best audio quality and were inconvenient compared to the other music formats. It was no surprised when they were quietly phased out in the early 2000s. But in a shocking turn of events, they are trying to come back. Why?

When Billie Joe Armstrong and Norah Jones released Foreverly, I was shocked to learn there was a cassette edition. I thought it was supposed to be a one-time, interesting release for collectors. Then Demolicious got its own cassette, which puzzled me even more. Soon, artists left and right starting releasing their new or exclusive material on tapes: Skrillex, Fred Durst, and Protest the Hero to name a few. For any collector, these are cool items to have, but it’s still baffling. Cassettes never seemed like the popular option when it came to buying music. If anything it was just the cheaper one or your only choice if you had a Walkman. They may have been portable, but they sure weren’t convenient.

When you think about it, cassettes are pretty annoying. Unlike CDs, you couldn’t easily skip songs. Instead you had to fast forward and hope you didn’t stop in the middle of the one you wanted to hear. Also, they had the highest risk of getting ruined: they can easily get stepped on or the spool of tape can get tangled in the player. Personally, I like to own tapes; it’s the collector in me. But whenever I wanted to listen to an album I always went for the CD. Aside from hipsters, I didn’t think anyone cared for tapes anymore, yet more artists are starting to release new material on this format.

It’s even gotten to the point where Cassette Store Day made a comeback. Inspired by the much beloved Record Store Day, several UK record labels created the day to celebrate the diminishing format. It was first introduced in 2013, but since sales were anything but impressive, it was unsure whether the event would continue into the next year. Surprisingly, Cassette Store Day made a return this year with notable artists Julian Casablancas and Karen O providing exclusive releases. While it’s a cute idea, I doubt you’ll see hundreds of people lined up in front of shops to get their hands on exclusive tapes.

It’s a weird new trend in music that doesn’t add much to the listening experience. If anything it just seems like a way to get more money out of people. There are some fans who want to own everything a favorite band of theirs has released, so of course they are willing to spend 10 bucks on a cassette they don’t need. If this is the case it doesn’t seem like a trend that will last long. Sure, a few people will buy into it, but they’ll soon get tired of it and remember why cassettes were kind of shitty to begin with. It would make more sense if there were new cassette players or something like that, but most don’t even own a stereo system anymore.

Other than that, I don’t understand why they’re trying to make a comeback. Maybe it’s a way to play on nostalgia. Or record companies are so desperate for sells they see them as novelty items. Whatever the reason it’s still pretty strange. Even as an avid music lover and cassette collector, I find it bizarre. I can understand the avid love behind vinyl or why some people still turn to CDs. But cumbersome cassettes? It’s kind of hard to believe. Does that mean new concert films will be released on VHS? Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.

Royal_Blood_-_Royal_Blood_(Artwork)Release Year: 2014

Rating: 9.5/10

This British duo has been exciting rock fans everywhere. They’ve been named one of the best new acts of 2014 and their album received mass praise when it was released. Hearing so many good things about the band I knew I had to check them out. What I heard was an exciting record full of raw rock and roll songs. Their music may not stray much from the standard rock formula, but the tracks are at least energetic, loud, and full of sexy guitar riffs. It may not cause a revolution, but it will get you moving.

The band makes their presence heard with the opening track “Out of the Black.” It has this irresistible dirty, grungy sounding guitar riff that’s slowly reels you in. Because the music is so heavy, aggressive, and full it’s hard to believe it’s only two guys responsible for it. The way the symbols crash and the guitar snares along gets such an intense reaction that it’s only appropriate to start head banging. You can physically feel every note that’s played and you can’t help but move to it. Also, some of the visual lyrics are intriguing and clever: “I got a gun for a mouth and a bullet with your name on it/But a trigger for a heart beating blood from an empty pocket.” Something about that image is so vivid and awesome. It’s a great opener that let’s listeners know what type of ride they’re in for.

Come on Over” follows the same raw sound established in the previous track, but the way the riff races along sucks you right in. What’s interesting is that the opening line says “I’m on a train going nowhere,” matches perfectly with the chugging music. It’s a detail that’s so easy to miss, but one that impresses the hell out of you when you catch it. The chugging continues on “Figure It Out,” which has more a Blues inspired sound. What I noticed on this song is it’s very reminiscent of the White Stripes. Something about the style and the guitar playing makes you think back to when the White Stripes shook up the world. Still, it seems to be more of an influence than a rip off. One of the best parts comes during the bridge where everything speeds up as if they can’t control it anymore. Concentrated madness is the only way to describe it.

The White Stripes influence comes back on “Blood Hands.” Here, you can’t help but notice how much singer, Mike Kerr, channels Jack White. Some have taken issue with this, but it’s not that big of a deal, especially since it doesn’t come out in every song. Also, Kerr has a pretty decent voice that he uses to his advantage on tracks like “You Can Be so Cruel” and “Careless.” This is another great example of the band’s exciting, vibrant music. It may not be that innovative or all that different from what we expect from rock music, but you can’t deny how damn good it is. By the time the song ends it leaves you unsatisfied and hungry for more. This would usually be a bad thing, but since they more than deliver in the next track it’s not that bad.

Though every song is great, “Little Monster” has to be the best on the album. Everything about it is pure sex. The music is dirty, sleazy, aggressive, and sexy. Kerr oozes with sensuality as he purrs “Hey little monster/tell me what’s on your mind.” The clever and vivid pops up once again here with the best line being “I got love on my fingers/lust on my tongue.” The thought of lust as a taste perfectly fits with the theme and he sounds so hungry for it, you’re ready to jump on him. The sexiness returns on “Loose Change” with a hot, irresistible guitar riff. Once again, the band is energetic and explosive here as Kerr coos “Cause all that glitters is gold/Till the glitter gets sold and the money don’t fold/Yeah, your money don’t fold.” The track nicely ends with the sound of change hitting the ground.

I’ve been reading other reviews of the album and the biggest criticism anyone can come up with is the music never deviates from the standard rock sound. Is that really a problem? Sure, the album won’t change the face of music, but shouldn’t it matter how good it sounds? When did raw rock music become a bad thing? I think the issue is there are so many bands (Muse, MSI) melding different sounds and genres together to get something different. Rock music has been going in this direction for a long time, especially with the popularity of electronic music. So many artists try to fit it in their new material to keep up with the trend. Personally, I think it’s refreshing to find a band that wants to get back to the nitty gritty of rock music. Some have been craving for that raw, exciting sound that’s been lacking in rock music. Royal Blood is obviously here to deliver. What drew me to the band is the attitude their music has. It’s just good fucking music. Does every band out there have to be revolutionary? If that’s the case then pop artists should come under the same criticism along with The Black Keys’ early discography.

Overall, the album gets 9.5/10. All I can say is it’s a good fucking record. There isn’t a bad song here, the music is always exciting, and there’s something to love about every song. From the luscious riffs to the crashing drums it’s clear the duo is talented. Their music is raw, their energy is abundant, and everything about them is so vibrant. They may stick to the classic rock n roll formula, but it just shows rock’s not dead after all.

469c__17499.1405394089.300.310Release Year: 2006

Rating: 7/10

For just about every album they release, MSI puts out related EPs filled with b-sides and remixes. They usually do one for each single from said record. While it sounds like a great idea they don’t execute it in the best way possible. This Hot Topic exclusive features five previously unreleased tracks and five remixes. While a lot of the songs are interesting and aren’t that bad, they don’t compare with their other material. Sometimes it actually feels like these were rejects from the album and for good reason.

The strongest song from the mini-album is “My World.” Like most of their music, this one has a hip-hop feel and actually sounds like an old school rap song with interesting sounds and trilling music during the chorus. It also has the humor and weirdness you expect from MSI in lyrics like “Everybody wants a piece of my world/Everybody wants a piece of my… ass.” It also has the simple hook of “No no no no no no” that’ll get stuck in your head. This track could’ve easily appeared on any of their albums. “ Pre-teen Violence” has rock inspired music mixed with lots of synth and electronica. While the music is upbeat and catchy, the song itself is just decent. It’s lacking the bratty, aggressive attitude of their other songs and it’s not as memorable.

The best part of “Frying Pan” is the music. It’s a return to the hip-hop flavor mixed with 8-bit sounds that make you feel like you’re in an old video game. It’s catchy, upbeat, fun, and energetic with odd lyrics that are somewhat difficult to decipher: “Out of the frying pan and into the fire/Nobody knows me ‘cept me and my mother/Out of the frying pan, into my Mercedes/This is the dope shit for me and my lady.” It’s better than the previous track, but still not among their greatest. The weakest song is “Lush.” Things start off pretty good with frantic, boombastic music rushing towards you, but when the vocals start everything gets disjointed. Suddenly, the music sounds like a demented circus with various noises playing and it never synchs up well with the singing. By the end, it’s nothing but a mess of looping noise giving you a headache.

There’s not much to say about “Born to be Beheaded.” It has weird lyrics that seem to allude to prostitution (“Hey baby girl wanna fuck?/Poppin’ out my coochie for a buck”) and more of the heavy hip-hop music that infiltrates most of their songs. With Jimmy Urine constantly repeating the title of the song during the chorus, it still manages to be catchy. The remixes come next and honestly, these aren’t bad. The biggest issue with them is it’s all the same song. This means you hear “What Do They Know?” five times in a row. Most of them at least sound different, such as the MSI V. Julien-K & Chester Bennington mix that slows down the track and the Last Word mix that gives it beat box based music. These are mixes you wouldn’t mind listening to, but not one after the other. This is something MSI does a lot. Some of their EPs are ten mixes of the same track. It would’ve been better if they mixed different songs from the album to keep listeners from getting bored. With the way it is, after the second remix you’re ready to stop the album.

Overall, the EP gets 7/10. The EP is definitely a must have for collectors since it’s an exclusive, but if you can’t get your hands on it you’re not missing out on much. None of the unreleased tracks are bad, but they lack the bratty, just-don’t-give-a-fuck attitude of their best songs. Still, they’re not horrible to listen to. Regarding the remixes, they’re pretty well done, but since it’s the same song remixed five times the EP gets boring pretty fast. It’s an unremarkable release that doesn’t satisfy fan’s craving for MSI material.