Five of the Greatest Rock Movies Ever Made
Published on 22 May 2021
Let’s face it, rock is no joke. When you strap on your axe and step out on stage, there’s no messing. Buuuut that said, there have been some hysterically funny rock comedies over the years. Today marks the anniversary of Wayne’s World which was released in 1992 and quickly became one of the all time great movies for rock fans. Upon learning this, we of course started debating the greatest rock movies of all time and we remembered a few absolute belters that we thought we’d share with you guys.
As we mentioned, today marks the anniversary of Wayne’s World’s UK release so it seems like a fitting place to start! Written by Mike Myers, who stars as Wayne himself, this film has become something of a right of passage for rockers. The film is based around Wayne and his best friend Garth’s public access TV show which is picked up against all odds by a big time television producer. Of course, this leads to fallouts, love interests and even the most famous white Strat of all time (sorry Jimi).
While extremely funny, this movie is born from unashamed rock geekery and we absolutely love how authentic it is. Mike Myers was so passionate about choosing tracks that it led to several fallouts with the production team. In fact, he even threatened to walk if they didn’t use Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody for the famous headbanging scene! Thankfully, Freddie Mercury found the scene hilarious and gave the guys permission. The rest is rock history.
This Is Spinal Tap
Never before or since has there been a Rockumentary quite as daft, silly and totally bang on the money as Spinal Tap. Although, Metallica’s Some Kind of Monster unintentionally came pretty close… Based around the now legendary fictional metal band, this film was a total satire of everything ‘80s rock superstardom represented.Interestingly, the initial idea also came from a TV sketch, much like Wayne’s World!
Featuring exploding drummers, amps that go to 11 and an 18 inch recreation of Stonehenge, This Is Spinal Tap is absolute gold from start to finish. Providing plenty of hilarity while also poking fun at how money driven and theatrical rock music had become, this is truly legendary stuff.
Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure
Before Keanu Reeves was the bad guy hunting John Wick, or indeed the bullet dodging Neo, he was Ted, the co-frontman of Wylde Stallyns. Bill and Ted are probably two of the most lovable on screen rockers ever created with frighteningly familiar ambitions of achieving rock superstardom. To get there though, they first must pass their history exam, setting in motion a surreal chain of events that lead to them travelling through time to learn what they missed while they were goofing off.
The soundtrack is magic in itself, with non stop hard rock and metal from artists such as Extreme and Shark Island contributing, among many other contemporaries with equally impressive hair. This is ‘most excellent’ lazy Sunday viewing with two follow ups if you need a little bit more rock in your life. Party on, dudes.
School of Rock
Taking things into the noughties, Jack Black took the reigns of rock slackerhood to new levels, playing the unashamed music fanatic Dewey Finn. After being kicked out of his band for busting 20 minute guitar solos and failing on one two many stage dives (we've all been there), he’s forced to find another way to pay the rent. This leads to him bluffing his way into a temp teaching job where he quickly whips the students into shape as his new found army of musicians. This is such a feel good flick which, much like the other films we’ve mentioned, comes from a genuine love of the music.
It’s soundtrack is absolutely outstanding with tracks from the Doors, AC/DC, Led Zep, Stevie Nicks and the Ramones, to name but a few and is well worth a listen. On top of that, a ton of easter eggs in the film as well as Black’s non stop music references make this a brilliant watch for any rock geek. Prepare yourself for face melting solos and even more acapella air guitar…
Perhaps the least well known film on our list is the most recent, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story. Taking a lot of tongue in cheek inspiration from rock history and particularly Walk the Line, the Johnny Cash biopic, this film is an absolute must watch. It follows star John C. Reilly as he grows up a budding musician and becomes one of the biggest stars on the planet. As with any great rock comedy, the songs written for it may be daft but they are also genuinely catchy and you’ll find yourself humming them for days afterwards.
With a stellar cast and some amazing cameos - where else can you see Jack White play Elvis, or Paul Rudd play Paul McCartney!? This is proper laugh out loud stuff that any music fan will appreciate, do yourself a favour and take some time off practice to check it out.
There are a ton of genuinely great biopics, documentaries and more serious music films out there, but this lot are the top of our list. Maybe that says something about our maturity… Either way, we’d LOVE to hear about some more we could check out so drop us a comment on social media to recommend any you thought were particularly good. Or just to exchange Bill and Ted quotes… either way works. Thanks for reading and remember - be excellent to each other.