No, Justin Bieber did not make the list.
You know how some songs remind you of good times; summers at the lake, your college years, that merry-go-round you lost your virginity on (much to the ride operator’s chagrin)? Well that’s sort of what these tracks do; except that instead of your beautiful, sentimental memories, they harken back to murder, mayhem, and general chaos. Whether or not these songwriters had that in mind is a totally different story.
The song: “Twisted Nerve Theme” by Bernard Hermann
Who it reminds you of: Kill Bill’s Elle Driver
Quentin Tarantino has a gift for sliding in references to his favorite cinematic moments in a beautifully subtle way. Wait, did we say “beautifully subtle?” We meant “obnoxiously obvious and not even a little bit beautifully subtle.” Such is the case with the tune that Daryl Hannah’s naughty nurse whistles on the way to kill our heroine in Kill Bill. The ditty is from a 1968 British thriller movie called Twisted Nerve, about a man who pretends to be mentally handicapped to be near a girl he’s fallen for. In other words, it’s as much of a barrel of laughs as the super-touchy director who borrowed the tune.
The song: “Goodbye Horses” by Q Lazzarus
Who it reminds you of: The Silence of the Lambs’ Buffalo Bill
Q Lazzarus was trying to capitalize on the hugely popular new wave/synthpop movement of the '80s, when they were approached to have this song featured in a big Hollywood feature film! It could have been a huge break for the band, if it meant anything beyond having their song forever associated with a psychopathic serial killer who murders ladies in order to wear their skin as a suit. Unfortunately for them, that’s exactly what it did, and even more unfortunately for them, it turned out to be their only hit.
The song: “Shitlist” by L7
Who it reminds you of: Natural Born Killers’ Mickey and Mallory Knox
This riot grrrl jam is the soundtrack to the diner massacre committed by Oliver Stone’s power-violence lovebirds, Mickey and Mallory Knox, early in the movie. It fits too; the blaring jam is right on par with the slashing and hacking occurring onscreen. Even more so, the lyrics are actually sung by Mallory while she’s doing some good ol’ fashioned murderin’. As for L7, we don't think they had too much of an issue with being tied to a scene of mass destruction. The only thing that we aren’t quite sure of is how L7 ended up in a diner jukebox in a small Southern town where weapons move at unusually slow speeds.
The song: “Stuck in the Middle with You” by Stealers Wheel
Who it reminds you of: Reservoir Dogs’ Mr. Blonde
QT makes a second appearance on the list (a third if you count his story credit on Natural Born Killers) with this classic and grisly scene from his breakout movie. Whether he chose to cut away from Michael Madsen cheerfully deforming a man’s head for budgetary reasons or for dramatic effect, it certainly worked. Now every time you hear this Stealers Wheel tune you think less “ripping off Dylan” and more “ripping off a policeman’s ear with a straight razor.”
The song: “Singin’ in the Rain”
Who it reminds you of: A Clockwork Orange’s Alex and his merry band of droogs
Kubrick uses music to juxtapose the (healthy amount of) sex and violence heaped into this movie, with everything from classical to this upbeat standard made famous by a number that Alex gleefully sings while raping and pillaging the home of a writer. We would happily go to all the musicals if they were anything like A Clockwork Orange. Wait; are all musicals like A Clockwork Orange? What have we been missing?
The song: “Hip to be Square” by Huey Lewis and the News
Who it reminds you of: American Psycho’s Patrick Bateman
Dance parties and Bar Mitzvahs be damned - we challenge you to think of a better use of this peppy '80s staple than during the scene in which a cranked-up Christian Bale takes an axe to a completely shitfaced Jared Leto. This scene gave Huey’s song new life - as long as you define "new life" as being forever linked to an axe-wielding serial killer. It seems like Huey is on board.
Check out Who’s Tougher: The Jean-Claude Van Damme Edition or The 5 Worst People From Your Office To Be Stuck On A Desert Island With.