The Cinematique’s Top 5 best uses of Queen songs in film and television

Next week sees the much-anticipated release of the music biopic Bohemian Rhapsody which charts the highs and lows of the legendary rock band Queen.

As a huge fan of the group, I have decided to put together a list which consists of my Top 5 favourite uses of Queen songs in film or television.

I consider the list a challenge before the whole human race….I’ll stop quoting the lyrics now!
Honourable mentions: Flash Gordon (“Flash’s Theme”), The Mighty Ducks (“We Are the Champions”), A Knight’s Tale (“We Will Rock You), “Super Size Me (“Fat Bottomed Girls”), South Park (“We Are the Champions”), Blades of Glory (“Flash”), Family Guy (“Flash’s Theme”), Ted (“Flash’s Theme”), Pride (“I Want To Break Free”)

 

5# The Big Bang Theory – “We Are the Champions”

The countdown begins with the triumphant hit song “We Are the Champions” which consistently pops up whenever someone achieves success in real life or in pop culture. The hit tune has made numerous appearances in film and television which include The Mighty Ducks and A Knight’s Tale (as mentioned above). However I do love its usage in one of the early Big Bang Theory episodes which sees Howard Wolowitz (Simon Helberg) overcelebrate his team’s success in the Physics Bowl. Cue the shirt being ripped apart!

 

4# Shaun of the Dead – “Don’t Stop Me Now”

The next entry comes from Edgar Wright’s gory comedy horror Shaun of the Dead (2004) which sees Shaun (Simon Pegg) and his companions trapped in the Winchester Pub as they face-off against a swarm of deadly zombies. The adrenaline-filled scene uses the entertaining “Don’t Stop Me Now” to play over the fighting and certainly fits with what goes on over those two minutes. Wright himself stated in an interview that the song was written for that particular sequence and that Queen only charged him 15k to use it!

 

3. Blades of Glory – “Flash’s Theme”

Although “Flash’s Theme” originally came from the 1980 cult classic Flash Gordon, I opted for its appearance in the hilarious sports comedy Blades of Glory (2007). The song features near the end of the film as Chazz Michael Michaels (Will Ferrell) and his skating partner Jimmy MacElroy (Jon Heder) dance along to it as part of their space-themed routine. It’s an over-the-top sequence that provides plenty of laughs but ultimately leads to their pair winning the Montreal Wintersports Games. The tune is also brilliantly used in the 2012 comedy Ted which even features a hit cameo from Flash Gordon star Sam J. Jones!

 

2. Cheers – We Will Rock You

When it comes to songs that audiences can perform to, “We Will Rock You” easily stands out. My favourite use of the iconic foot-stomping tune comes from this cold opening that features in a Series 8 episode of the classic US sitcom Cheers. The scene starts off quietly before the slobbish Norm Peterson (George Wendt) and a number of customers begin tapping various things around the bar. Slowly but surely, the whole bar begins to join in the fun before Woody (Woody Harrelson) starts belting out the magic words. It’s a goofy but delightful moment that seemed like a lot of fun to film and stands out as one of my favourite scenes in Cheers.

 

1. Wayne’s World – Bohemian Rhapsody

There was only ever going to be one winner. This legendary scene from the beginning of the cult classic Wayne’s World sees slacker buddies Wayne Campbell (Mike Myers) and Garth Algar (Dana Carvey) travel to their favourite donut stop with two of their pals. During the journey, Wayne puts on Queen’s iconic ballad which leads to the ultimate carpool karoke as the quartet show off their vocals. The further involvement of the partied-out Phil adds more to the scene which was actually shown to Freddie Mercury prior to his tragic death. Thankfully he approved of the song’s use in the film which was a relief given that the studio originally wanted a Guns N’ Roses tune instead!

Wayne’s World’s connection to Bohemian Rhapsody is also made remarkable by the fact that Mike Myers has a small role in the upcoming biopic as an EMI executive who disapproved of the song being played when it first came about. All I can say about that is….”excellent”.

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