Movie musicals aren’t restricted to old Hollywood. The versatile genre has spawned a number of bizarre and unconventional visions that have achieved cult status, critical acclaim, and audience derision. Here are ten majorly messed up musicals where even Doris Day, Fred Astaire and Julie Andrews would fear to tread…
Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001)
In John Cameron Mitchell’s messed up mixture of post-punk and glam rock, a transgender singer seeks self fulfilment following a botched surgical procedure.
The Wiz (1978)
A blaxploitation version of The Wizard of Oz starring Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Richard Pryor and directed by Sidney Lumet. Does it get any more messed up than this?
Director Ken Russell’s maniacally messed up version of The Who’s popular rock opera is a masterpiece to some, a monstrosity to others.
Dancer in the Dark (2000)
An extraordinary showcase for shrill Icelandic diva Björk, demented Dane Lars von Trier’s lachrymose love letter to the musicals of old will leave you feeling seriously messed up!
The First Nudie Musical (1976)
Ambitious, albeit messed up, attempt to combine melody and nudity. But if you’ve ever wondered what Cindy (Laverne & Shirley) Williams looks like in the buff, then dream on.
Moulin Rouge (2001)
Baz Luhrmann’s garish and overblown ode to excess is less about love, truth, beauty and freedom than it is about egotism, nepotism, and a complete lack of singing ability. Now that’s messed up!
The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
Time warping its way into our hearts, this rocking, shocking, midnight movie mainstay is undeniably messed up… and proud of it!
South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (1995)
Poignancy, profanity, atrocity, flatulence and ebullient production numbers – perhaps the most messed up musical of them all? You can always “Blame Canada”.
Paint Your Wagon (1969)
Hit Broadway musical turned sh-t Hollywood flop, in which messed up ranchers Lee Marvin and Clint Eastwood confirm that even cowboys get the blues.
EMO the Musical (2016)
Boasting a decidedly messed up concept – the forbidden love between a suicidal emo and an obsessive Christian – this homegrown musical pins a high school level of talent to a My Chemical Romance-inspired soundtrack.
For a more traditional take on the movie musical, check out Damien Chazelle’s Oscar-winning La La Land on DVD and Blu-ray.