Many movies rely on songs to set the mood, and there are some that are relied upon a lot – what we like to call soundtrack staples. George Thorogood’s hard-riffing ode to rampant self awareness, Bad to the Bone, has become the go-to song for introducing bad dudes, and dogs, and cats, and cars, and…
When George and his band The Destroyers first released Bad to the Bone it inspired a collective ‘meh” (well, if the term “meh” was around in 1982 it would have).
While the clip – featuring blues rock legend Bo Diddley – got some Australian airplay, the song never bothered the charts. They preferred nice wholesome stuff, like The Stranglers’ ode to heroin Golden Brown and The J Geils Band’s Centrefold…
A re-release for the Stephen King movie Christine didn’t help in the chart stakes either, however the track built a rep little by little over the years and can now boast being in at least 25 movies. If we included TV appearances on top of those then we’d be writing this thing forever.
Anyway, here’s that video that we mentioned. Read on for those 25 movie appearances.
The die was set with this first movie appearance of B2tB, based on one of the Parker novels by Richard Stark, and seen by approximately 37 people in total.
B2tB‘s first iconic movie appearance, and still one of our faves. What better soundtrack for a 1958 Plymouth Fury that came with the optional extra “possession” package?
Lethal Weapon (1987)
Yeah, we can see how the song and Mel Gibson’s character Martin Riggs go together…
Talk Radio (1988)
This Oliver Stone drama saw B2tB get a lot of airtime as the theme to a talk radio show hosted by a completely unlikeable fellow. To think, such folk still proliferate today…
Problem Child (1990)
A family comedy that also served as a reminder that should you be awesome and adopt an unwanted child, you should still do some due diligence beforehand.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
Probably the ultimate Bad to the Bone movie role. Who can forget our first glimpse of Arnie in his full leather jacket? Da-da-dun-dun-da-dun!
Problem Child 2 (1991)
Flesh and Bone (1993)
James Caan, Meg Ryan and Dennis Quaid combined in this drama about old acquaintances being rekindled. To be honest, we blinked and missed this one, so we’ve no idea where George and the boys popped up.
Major Payne (1995)
There it is, straight out of the blocks and not even letting the Universal intro breathe for this Damon Wayans comedy, which sees the funnyman as a dismissed US Navy major who beats a school’s misfit cadets into shape. Hopefully not literally.
The Parent Trap (1998)
Ah, wholesome Disney fun with… erm… kids playing poker. Yep, Bad to the Bone.
3000 Miles to Graceland (2001)
Kurt Russell? Ice T? Yep, them’s B2tB credentials right there.
Joe Dirt (2001)
A wholesome tale of a brother’s love for his sister, who thankfully turns out to not be his sister. But – oh, that’s seriously weird, Mr Dirt…
Firehouse Dog (2007)
Ah, the beginning of B2tB‘s doggy period and hey, we get it! Dog, bone! Now THAT’s chumpy comedy.
Beverly Hills Chihuahua (2008)
Drew Barrymore really is bad to the bone – even when voicing a posh chihuahua who’s strayed to the wrong side of Mr Trump’s invisible fence.
Beautiful Kate (2009)
Us Aussies aren’t immune to the B2tB charm, but when we also have Henry Wagons in your arsenal, why not combine the two? It’s a shame then that he didn’t pop his version on YouTube for us, so here’s the trailer for the mystery drama.
Lucky Luke (2009)
Another example of the international credentials of Bad to the Bone, appearing (somewhere) in this silly French take on the much-loved Belgian-created cowboy.
Dumb vampire comedy alert – so dumb that they didn’t even go for the ‘Vlad to the Bone’ riff!
Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore (2010)
Dog time again. Full disclosure: We missed this one, so have no idea where B2tB came into it, but it’s in there somewhere as it’s on the soundtrack album. Yes, there was a soundtrack album.
As the titular evil dude makes good his clever – and ever so sneaky – escape, what better theme tune than B2tB?
The Muppets (2011)
Yeah, yeah, so by now we know that the baddies always get the Bad to the Bone. But this baddie is actually deserving, as alternate universe – well, Fozzie’s Muppets tribute band The Moopets – Miss Piggy, Miss Poogy, lets loose. This clip where she meets her match isn’t it, but the movie’s always good for another watch.
It Boy (2013)
…and now it’s back to France, and more *BLEEP* Mauvais à l’OS (possibly an incorrect translation, as we got a different result from every single online translator that we tried – one gave us “C’est un mauvais garçon”, which we thought would mean “It is a bad boy”… But then we only did three years of French a long time ago).
Shaun the Sheep Movie (2015)
Truly one of the greatest animated movie delights that we know, the nasty animal catcher bloke Trumper and our song of choice go together well. Although maybe for this one it should have been retitled Baa-ad to the Bone?
Man Up (2015)
Darn it, we’ve seen this fun little Simon Pegg/Lake Bell romcom and can’t for the life of us remember where and in what context B2tB appears. But it is in there, promise!
Huevos: Little Rooster’s Egg-cellent Adventure (2015)
A Spanish cartoon this time. This song must really be keeping George in cigars…
It’s for Your Own Good (2017)
The Spaniards really dig that bone-deep badness, with this recent comedy about three meddling fathers also giving up soundtrack bucks to Mr Thorogood.