Top Eight Worst Musician Vanity Film Projects
Rocks Off won't speak for everyone, but if we ever found ourselves a platinum-selling artist, we kinda doubt we'd press our luck by veering off into the world of acting. We mean, it hardly ever works from the opposite direction (right, Don Johnson?), so what good can possibly come from assuming otherwise?
But that's us. How does that quote from Die Hard go? "When Alexander saw the breadth of his domain, he wept, for there were no more worlds to conquer." Once a musician has already topped the charts, sold millions of records and packed stadiums from coast to coast, perhaps their inner Alexander gets a little antsy to prove himself in other areas.
Sometimes it works. Sinatra, Timberlake (go watch Alpha Dog), Bjork... they've all made critically acclaimed films and - more to the point - been singled out for praise themselves. It's not enough to merely Dave Pirner your way through a scene in Reality Bites, you gotta be better than those around you to get respect as a musician-turned-actor.
Or you could just screw the pooch entirely. Like these people.
8. Vanilla Ice, Cool As Ice
Rocks Off is sure the constant Robbie Van Winkle pile-on can seem perplexing to some of you, to the point where you might actually consider, we don't know, feeling sorry for the guy. Don't. Either you've gotten soft in your autumn years, or you aren't old enough to remember how inescapable "Ice Ice Baby" was back in 1990.
It turned normally respectable individuals into hideous wannabe MCs and continued our nation's unfortunate obsession with baggy pants from which we've still yet to free ourselves. Most of you have probably never seen Cool As Ice, and for that you should thank whatever dark gods you worship.
7. Prince, Under the Cherry Moon
Or "Under the Cherry Bomb," as some wags referred to it. Look, Purple Rain is a masterpiece: The music, the motorcycle... Morris Day. Rocks Off even tried the "purify yourself in the waters of Lake Minnetonka" line on a girl once. It didn't work (probably because we were in Central Texas at the time and not Minnesota), but that doesn't take away from the fact that Cherry Moon ran neck and neck with Howard the Duck on most critics' "worst of" lists in '86. How bad was it? Not even the presence of the Time's Jerome could salvage it.
6. Mariah Carey, Glitter
Remember, there's only one sure fire strategy for when your abominable rags-to-riches story goes belly-up at the box office within weeks of your own hospitalization for "extreme exhaustion": Blame the terrorists.
5. Ice Cube, Are We There Yet?
Fine, it's not so much a vanity project as it is Cube's first time starring in a largely inoffensive family comedy. We just never get tired of pointing out that this guy hollering and getting outsmarted by a couple of kids for our amusement in a movie directed by the same guy who helmed Jingle All the Way and The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas is the same guy who once delivered "a message to the Oreo cookie."
4. Michael Jackson, Moonwalker
Whether or not those close the King of Pop at the time of Bad's release were aware of his alleged proclivities involving children, they should have seen the footage of MJ turning into a giant murderous robot and raised a few red flags with the proper authorities.
3. Madonna, anything
Despite the fact almost all of her movies have been terrible bombs, Madge keeps trying to prime that pump. Her latest effort, Swept Away, only got greenlighted because convenient new film director hubby Guy Ritchie was enjoying decent buzz for Snatch. Her acting career remains moribund, while his only recently got back on track thanks to Robert Downey, Jr.
2. KISS, KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park
A nine-year old Rocks Off watched the "hottest band in the world" make their (TV) movies debut and went to bed dreaming of doing battle against evil cyborgs alongside the Starchild and Catman. A 30-years-old Rocks Off watched a bootleg copy he got at OwlCon and went to bed wondering if all kids were as stupid as we were.
1. Garth Brooks, Garth Brooks in...The Life of Chris Gaines
It's impossible to do a list like this without acknowledging the (at the time) Brooks' unfortunate career misstep. The album was intended as the "pre-soundtrack" for a feature film about the fictitious Gaines (played by Brooks) called The Lamb. The album...underwhelmed, though it still sold two million copies, and The Lamb was never filmed.
In retrospect, Brooks was ahead of the curve. Look at that fucking hair! Gaines is obviously one of the grandfathers of the emo movement. Hell, he could probably still front My Chemical Romance.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.