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BWW Blog: More Musical Adaptations That Would Just Make Sense - “So Bad, It's Good” Edition

These films are so bad that they deserve musical adaptations.

There are a lot of bad movies out there, ranging from moderately bad to absolutely horrendous. Somewhere in-between (perhaps on a separate spectrum) are those rare gems that are so bad that they're actually good. There are a lot of films like this, and many have achieved cult status due to just how ridiculously bad they are.

Back in December, I wrote about some films that my friends and I thought would make great stage musicals. I've decided to follow it up, only instead of looking at films that were positively received, I want to look at some "so-bad-it's-good" films that I believe would make hilarious musical parodies.

The Room

BWW Blog: More Musical Adaptations That Would Just Make Sense - “So Bad, It's Good” Edition

What would a list of the best of the worst be if it didn't include 2003's The Room?

This film, written, produced, and directed by Tommy Wiseau (who also stars) isn't just bad. It's a colossal mess. The acting is atrocious. The story is inconsistent and full of random unresolved subplots. The whole film feels like a huge fever dream.

The Room was originally intended to be a serious drama, but its bizarreness makes it so laughable that even Wiseau himself now calls it a comedy. Because of this, the film has achieved Rocky Horror-like cult status; to this day it sells out midnight screenings that involve audience participation. In recent years, Wiseau and the film have earned mainstream attention, having been the subject of the 2013 memoir The Disaster Artist (written by Wiseau's Room co-star and friend Greg Sestero) and its 2017 film adaptation.

In 2018 it was reported that Wiseau had plans to bring a musical version of The Room to Broadway. It doesn't appear that he's spoken about it since, but if he's still thinking about it, I guarantee there's someone out there who would be willing to collaborate with him and bring The Room to the stage (maybe not Broadway, but a stage somewhere). According to Wiseau, a musical based on The Room would be very similar to the film. I think that in order for it to be any good, it should be self-aware, poking fun at itself and its source material. In other words, it shouldn't take itself as seriously as Wiseau did when making the film.

Wet Hot American Summer

BWW Blog: More Musical Adaptations That Would Just Make Sense - “So Bad, It's Good” Edition

We've all got guilty pleasures. One of mine is the 2001 film Wet Hot American Summer. If you know nothing about this film, you'll at least recognize some of its stars. The film features an ensemble cast that includes names like David Hyde Pierce, Paul Rudd, Amy Poehler, and Bradley Cooper (in his film debut). A satirical film that spoofs 1980s teen sex comedies, Wet Hot American Summer takes place on the last day of camp at the fictional Camp Firewood, and follows the characters as they attempt to find romance, put on a talent show, and save the camp from from a piece of NASA's Skylab that is falling toward Earth. Oh, and there's a can of talking vegetables for some reason.

Although Wet Hot American Summer received negative reviews, it has developed a cult following since its release and spawned two critically successful Netflix series.

As someone with a weird sense of humor who can appreciate what the creators of this film were trying to do, I find this film to be a really fun late-night comedy. It's one of the dumbest things I've ever seen, and I absolutely love it.

If I had to guess what a musical based on this film would be like, I would say that it would be similar to Spamalot. If you take the plot of this film, make it a little more consistent (perhaps by adding new elements), and add some songs inspired by the music of the 80s, you could turn Wet Hot American Summer into a hilarious musical parody. Think of it like StarKid meets Meatballs.

Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny

BWW Blog: More Musical Adaptations That Would Just Make Sense - “So Bad, It's Good” Edition

Another guilty pleasure of mine is comedy rock duo Tenacious D's 2006 film Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny. Written by stars Jack Black and Kyle Gass, the film tells a fictional story about the band's origins, which involves the two going on a quest to find a guitar pick that will give them the ability to play extraordinarily well and become rock legends. The film itself is actually a musical, full of original songs written and performed by Black and Gass.

It's definitely not the greatest film in the world, but it has its moments. The songs, while not entirely memorable (unless you're me and my friend Trey), are still hilarious and make the film better. A stage adaptation probably wouldn't appeal to anyone who isn't a fan of the band or the film, but it would still be pretty cool to see someone attempt to recreate it onstage (especially the climax).

Howard the Duck

BWW Blog: More Musical Adaptations That Would Just Make Sense - “So Bad, It's Good” Edition

Just go ahead and ignore the title of this post for a second. When I reached out to my friends to see if they had any suggestions for films I could include on this list, my friend Alyce said Howard the Duck. It wouldn't make sense to adapt this film into a musical at all, but just the thought of it made me laugh, so I decided to include it. Thank you, Alyce.

Well, folks. That's all I've got for this post. Do you have a favorite "bad" movie that you think deserves the musical treatment? Let me know in the comments on the BroadwayWorld Student Blogs Facebook or Instagram page!

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