According to André Bazin’s seminal, What is Cinema? “it was montage that gave birth to film as an art, setting it apart from mere animated photography, in short, creating a language.” Said more succinctly by director Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu, “Cinema is a mirror by which we often see ourselves.” In that spirit, we at the Nu-Metal Agenda celebrate the unmistakable cultural era of hits, flops, misfires, and triumphs that was Nu Metal Cinema. An era when "Follow the Leader" TV spots haunted Saturday morning cartoon commercial blocks and audiences didn’t bat an eye at Tom Cruise free soloing to Metallica. Cinema may be the mirror within which we see our souls reflected, but in the immortal words of cultural critic Frederick Allen Mayne III, “Give me something to break.”
Synopsis: A CIA operative is revived by a toy demon to guide an army out of Hell, and the resurrection plays into a love triangle with his widow’s new partner. Tomfoolery unfolds when he gets ahold of a gun. After befriending two supernatural homeless dudes, and braving the worst effects I’ve ever seen in a 90’s film, Spawn wins, obviously.
How Nu Metal is the Movie?: The character of Al Simmons and his arc is cold to the bone. There are only a few things more nu-metal than revenge. Spawn’s yearning defines him until he realizes being adept with hate/rage can be used for something meaningful, surely resonating with the hearts of most 8th graders, if not early Linkin Park. But when I think nu-metal, I don’t think of Spawn. It’s too campy - it makes Metal Gear Solid look like the Great Gatsby. Not to mention the free-flowing usage of 90's slurs that surely have expired by now. Spawn carries his comic book likeness with the grace of a dishwasher thrown out of an airplane. If your nu-metal is defined by cheap, sugary exaggeration then that’s on you, but there’s too much truth in the greater genre - and I'm talking beyond music, in street art, fashion, etc - for that Venn diagram to be a circle.
How Nu Metal is the Soundtrack?: It’s guilty by association. The Spawn OST is that one guy that hangs around the frat house. Not technically part of the group, but welcome when he’s around. Trip-hop and nu-metal are basically cousins, and there’s no reason Korn and the Dust Brothers had to go this hard. Crystal Method and Sneaker Pimps make a dubious appearance as well. We have all the breakbeats in the world, but this soundtrack had room to go way harder. Spawn doesn’t deliver on this front, they didn’t adhere to the source material. Take me to hell, man. Give me those huge, compressed riffs that naturally would fit the scenes better than breakbeats. Which I do consider nu-metal, mind you, but I can’t help wanting more.
But is there Manson? Unfortunately.
Is it a Good Movie? Just play SoulCalibur 2
Bride of Chucky (1998)
Synopsis: Chucky’s back in the fourth installment of the Child’s Play franchise, courtesy of his girlfriend Tiffany. Abandoning the “Andy” storyline of the previous movies, what follows is a road trip movie packed with self-referential jokes ending in a finale at a cemetery where the dolls are finally destroyed once and for all…or are they?
How Nu Metal is the Movie? The film itself seems targeted directly at the same disaffected youth that nu metal appealed to. There are several nu metal bands on the soundtrack, and the score is by Graeme Revell who not only scored several other films on this list, but The Crow, The Craft, and Tank Girl.
How Nu Metal is the Soundtrack? Overall the soundtrack was aimed at a broader metal audience, but the included nu metal and adjacent artists are luminaries in the genre. The album features Static-X, Powerman 5000, Rob Zombie, Coal Chamber, and the criminally overlooked Kidneythieves doing a Patsy Cline cover, so it’s safe to say that nu metal is definitely represented.
But is there Manson? Not a bit.
Is it a Good Movie? Objectively? No, it is terrible. Someone who was watching with me tapped out about 40 minutes in. However, it is somewhat important as a film that both encapsulates late 90’s media and foreshadows a lot of what would become more common; especially self-referential or self-aware meta-humor.
Synopsis: Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider plays Carlton Hendricks, aka “Captain Howdy,” an online predator who has a morbid fascination with “enlightenment” through body modification and ritual pain. He kidnaps and tortures a local detective’s daughter, leading to a cat-and-mouse game that culminates in a showdown meant to raise questions about who the real “villains” are.
How Nu Metal is the Movie? Incredibly. At the time of release, it was probably the most comprehensive representation of the emerging nu metal genre on any movie’s soundtrack, and the songs are featured prominently throughout the film. It also embraced a nu metal fashion sense with raver pants and wallet chains, as well as modern primitive aesthetics like body modification and colorful dreadlocks.
How Nu Metal is the Soundtrack? Possibly the most nu metal thing to exist at the time. Looking back, it was probably the largest compilation of artists who were nu metal or closely associated with it. Even Dee Snider himself did a very nu metal song on it. There was also a tour tie-in that featured (hed)pe and Snot with Soulfly headlining. In 1998, that was about as nu metal as you could get.
But is there Manson? There is. It probably would have been weird if there wasn’t.
Is it a Good Movie? Absolutely not. Garbage. It almost wasn’t worth revisiting except that it really is the quintessential “nu metal movie” in my eyes. Dee wanted very badly to write and star in a horror movie and had the clout to get it made. While acting and screenwriting may not be Dee’s strong suits, he put together a powerhouse soundtrack that holds up far better than the movie itself.
End of Days (1999)
End of Days (1999)
Synopsis: Once every thousand years a woman is destined to be Satan’s bride, and he will bring about the Apocalypse by impregnating her as the new millennium dawns. In 1999, that woman is Christine York, an orphan living in NYC. Jericho Cane (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is an alcoholic private security contractor who has lost his faith in God. He must battle both the Catholic Church and Satanic cultists to find and protect Christine, and prevent the End of Days.
How Nu Metal is the Movie? Religious themes with a layer of grit and edginess, the standard late 90’s color palette, and the original marketing all point to this being a very nu metal film.
How Nu Metal is the Soundtrack? The soundtrack album is absolutely packed with nu metal, even though almost none of it is in the actual movie, save for the credits. Korn, Professional Murder Music, Limp Bizkit, and Powerman 5000 are all included here, along with a Guns N’ Roses tune that is very industrial metal.
But is there Manson? There is NOT! How they avoided having him when the movie is literally about Satan trying to get laid, I cannot fathom.
Is it a Good Movie? Up until the end, it’s not that bad. A bland, generic, post-peak Arnie flick you’d expect of the time. But the big final showdown with “Satan” is some of the best-worst CGI 1999 had to offer, and Arnold’s goofy faces and screams as he struggles with the possession had me cackling. It went from mid to just completely godawful in the span of a few seconds, and then it was all over and we FINALLY got to hear some actual nu metal.
The Matrix (1999) and The Matrix Reloaded (2003)
Synopsis: Computer hacker “Neo” (Keanu Reeves) discovers that the world he inhabits is a simulation called ‘The Matrix,’ run by sentient machines to pacify the humans they use to power their civilization. Neo is freed from the Matrix by a group of human rebels and joins their struggle to wake up more humans and eventually end the war with the machines.
How Nu Metal is the Movie? This is one of those movies that gets increasingly nu metal as it ages. You have to wait for the end credits for a proto-nu Rage Against the Machine needle drop, but between the costume department’s fascination with black leather and the backdrop of crumbling late ‘90s and early ‘00s urban infrastructure, The Matrix comfortably slides into the same nostalgic cultural soup as nu metal. The ethos of rebellion is ever-present, with a potent mix of grit, emotional depth, and unabashed silliness that will definitely resonate with fans of the genre. Written and directed by two trans women (Lilly and Lana Wachowski), the films also work as an allegory for what happens when you realize the world – and your own identity – is far more complex than you ever thought possible. The film series is, in a way, the perfect companion piece to an increasingly trans-led nu metal revival.
How Nu Metal is the Soundtrack? All that said, the soundtrack is a lot less nu metal than you’d expect! Rob Zombie and Rage Against the Machine show up a lot across multiple movies, but they’re competing for screentime with the likes of trip hop groups like Massive Attack or EDM acts like The Prodigy or Rob Dougan. The soundtrack for Reloaded dials up the nu a bit, with Linkin Park, Deftones, P.O.D., and Unloco all making appearances. If you’re looking for a late ‘90s early ‘00s time capsule that situates nu metal within a broader range of alternative music, you can’t go wrong with The Matrix soundtracks.
But is there Manson? Unfortunately, yes, on The Matrix and The Matrix Reloaded soundtracks.
Is it a Good Movie Though? Oh, it’s a blast. Philosophy and setpieces for days, memorable performances, and genuinely fun fight scenes make this one worth a watch whether it’s really nu or not
Dracula 2000 (2000)
Synopsis: A Y2K retelling of Bram Stoker’s classic tale- a gang of thieves raids the late Van Helsing’s basement to empty his comically large bank vault. Unbeknownst to them, their loot is in fact, everyone’s favorite bloodsucker, Dracula himself. After crash-landing their getaway plane in New Orleans, Dracula breaks free and wreaks havoc upon the city and his pursuers.
How Nu Metal is the Movie? Eh… it could be more nu-metal, that’s for sure. The cast certainly looks the part, dressed to the neck in trench and pea coats, with sunglasses and capital T Thicc hoop earrings to boot. But if it is kickin’ nu metal bangers you’re looking for, you’re going to have to wait at least an hour into this flick before there’s even a needle drop. Even then, it's just brief cut-ins during a few party sequences and another cut-in or two during fight scenes that were sorely in need of some nu metal rippers instead of the film’s score.
How Nu Metal Is The Soundtrack? Exceedingly. This is why the wasted potential of fight scenes devoid of any nu metal particularly stings. The OST of this film is packed to the brim with classic tunes and even a good dose of obscurity that makes this album a downright enjoyable every day listen. You get the likes of Taproot, Saliva, the obligatory Linkin Park track, and even some Flybanger. The soundtrack does not disappoint and serves as an excellent Y2K time capsule.
But Is There Manson? Regrettably, yes. In fact, the jarring needle drop of his feature is a more effective jump scare than anything else in this “horror film.”
Is It A Good Movie? No, but it's not awful. The set design, costumes, and some of the choreography are fun, but the plot barely holds together, and it has one of the worst twists of any retelling of a beloved tale. There’s some laughably bad acting as well, with a couple of good performances scattered throughout. It’s fun to indulge on a weekend afternoon but do not go into it expecting to be rewarded.
Little Nicky (2000)
Synopsis: After Satan decides to remain in power rather than give up the throne to one of his three sons, two of them decide to freeze the gates to hell and ascend to Earth to cause chaos. The third, Nicky, is tasked with chasing them down and returning them to hell before their father perishes as a result of hell being frozen.
How Nu Metal is the Movie? Before anything is on the screen - before one character, one actor, even the New Line Cinema logo - you hear the opening notes of P.O.D.’s “School of Hard Knocks,” firmly establishing Little Nicky in the canon of nu-metal films. Incubus’ “Pardon Me” gets a needle drop but be warned the lyric “Pardon me while I burst” gets deployed as a double entendre as Nicky makes kissy faces at his love interest. Elsewhere P.O.D’s “Southtown” and “Rock the Party (Off the Hook)” get prominent needle drops (why Atlantic Records was so… er… hellbent on using this raunchy PG-13 comedy as the launch pad for a Christian metal band I’m not sure) along with Linkin Park’s “Points of Authority” and Powerman 5000’s “When Worlds Collide.”
How Nu Metal is the Soundtrack? An original song by P.O.D, hits by Incubus and Deftones, Linkin Park’s first big feature, a remix of a Disturbed single, lesser-known cuts by Insolence and Unloco… a Muse song? - Little Nicky’s Music From the Motion Picture isn’t just packed with nu-metal gold, it's also a perfect shot of where nu-metal was at the turn of the century, moving beyond the raw and rugged sounds of Korn and Coal Chamber and into shiny, pop-polished production by Scott Litt and Don Gilmore. Maybe even more definitive is this surreal collaboration between Sandler, Incubus, and Deftones on a lovely acoustic rendition of “Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away)” for an MTV special.
But is there Manson? Nope!
Is it a Good Movie? Upon its release in 2000, cinemas were awash in idiot comedies that were universally loathed by critics and generally intelligent adults, and Little Nicky gets close to the bottom of that barrel. Sandler’s put-upon accent and facial expression itself is walk-out worthy, not to mention some requisite homo/trans-phobia. More cringe than offensive is the insultingly unsubtle product placement - we’re introduced to Popeye’s Chicken with Sandler exclaiming “Popeye’s chicken is fuckin’ awesome!” Popeyes then goes on to make several more appearances. Early scenes in hell display some inspiration, but a little imagination can’t save this film from being 1.5 hours of damnation.
Mission: Impossible II (2000)
Synopsis: Ethan Hunt leads his team on a mission to capture a deadly virus before it is released by terrorists. Unfortunately, he is not the only person after samples of the disease and must deal with a gang of international terrorists headed by a former IMF agent.
How Nu Metal is the Movie? This movie feels like the embodiment of nu metal. Aggressive, sexual, fast, and loud. It’s got attitude for days. The first film is nothing like this, and every entry that follows pretends it never happened. My colleague said, “there’s an argument to be made that not only is M:I-2 one of the first post-90s ‘music video movies’ it’s one of the first AMV films, which makes it stratospherically nu metal.” A fascinating piece of 2000s culture.
How Nu Metal is the Soundtrack? 2 words: I. Disappear. This soundtrack features Metallica at their most nu metal. I remember owning the CD for this with no intention of ever seeing the movie simply for the bangers. “I Disappear” is an obvious highlight, but let’s not forget the biggest evidence of how nu metal the soundtrack is: Limp Bizkit’s “Take a Look Around,” a fresh as hell take on the Mission: Impossible theme. Other contributors include Rob Zombie and Godsmack.
But is there Manson? No Manson!
Is it a Good Movie? As a Mission: Impossible movie, it’s not very good, especially after seeing the direction those films have gone in. As a standalone action flick, it hits a lot of solid pleasure centers in the brain. If I were staring at the entire series debating which one to watch, it would probably never get picked, but if I want to cheer for cool action and laugh at bad dialogue? I’m booting up this bad boy all day.
Scream 3 (2000)
Synopsis: Your favorite masked murderer Ghostface is at it again in search of Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell). Sidney, Gayle Weathers (Courtney Cox), and Dewey Riley (David Arquette) reunite to once again figure out the identity behind Ghostface and hopefully put an end to the bloodshed for good.
How Nu Metal is the Movie? On a scale of 1-10, 1. The only two songs featured in the movie (other than on the OST) were “What If” by Creed and “Sunburn” by Fuel, and overall the film captured more of a generic late 90s/early 2000s aesthetic with its fashion, set design, and tone. The movie was too focused on its plot and internal action to bother diving into the specific subcultures at the time. Some of the typical hallmarks of nu metal films like blue/green color grading and grunge aesthetic are absent here, and with the in-movie soundtrack having no representation it’s hard to call this nu metal at all.
How Nu Metal is the Soundtrack? Absolutely without a doubt. Featuring bands like Slipknot, Coal Chamber, Static-X, and System of a Down, there’s plenty of genre love on the soundtrack. The biggest disappointment is that none of these songs made it into the movie, as is unfortunately true of a majority of the curated soundtracks for major motion pictures.
But is there Manson? No. Nope. Nada.
Is it a Good Movie? As a Scream movie, it just doesn’t hold a candle to the original film (or even the second). Much of the meta-humor and references create eye-roll moments, and cheesy dialogue and questionable character decisions in the film make it more of a chore to watch than anything. Ultimately, everything the original Scream did to poke fun at the tropes in the horror genre seem to be the same pitfalls this movie gets trapped in.
The One (2001)
Synopsis: A rogue police officer, Gabriel Yulaw (Jet Li), travels to different dimensions, killing other versions of himself in order to become a mythical all-powerful superbeing known as “The One”.
How nu-metal is the movie? Science fiction had previously had its association with nu metal, thanks to the success of The Matrix and even similarly themed bands like Powerman 5000. The color grading of the film also adds to its nu-metal-ness, with a dominant blue tone that was prominent in various music videos, album covers, and even other films of the time. With the vibe, colors and even the music of the film combined, you can consider this film a standard nu metal flick. The amount of nu-metal songs in the actual movie is bountiful and obvious, such as the beginning scene when Yulaw fights a group of police officers to “Bodies,” or the ending shot, where he fights an endless wave of inmates to the sound of “Last Resort,” closing out the film with a lightning strike.
How nu-metal is the soundtrack? Although a soundtrack for the film was never released, the film contains a good range of nu metal tracks, albeit from only five bands: Drowning Pool, Disturbed, Godsmack, Linkin Park, and Papa Roach.
But is there Manson? Nope.
Is it a good movie? The One is a very interesting movie. Although it received mostly negative reviews, I personally found it to be a fun watch. Jet Li’s martial arts skills make for some great moments of action, which combined with some fun aesthetics and a unique concept, equals a pretty good movie. Definitely a staple in nu metal cinema to check out.
Synopsis: After four girls reject Jeremy Melton at a junior high school dance, one agrees; however, when they’re caught together she claims he assaulted her. Her accusation sets off a chain reaction of events: reform school, juvie, psych ward, and from this Jeremy emerges a lady-killer in every sense of the word. He vows revenge is in order and dons a vacant-eyed Cherub mask, scrawling foreboding Valentine cards for his victims and stealthily delivering them before killing in increasingly brutal ways in the days leading up to Valentine’s day.
How Nu Metal is the Movie? In terms of a troubled past and pent-up rage, this movie checks some boxes. In terms of aesthetics and characters, less so. The main victims are all wealthy, well-groomed, white, and for the most part happy. I will say the morgue scene reminded me of Korn’s “A.D.I.D.A.S.” music video with its cool-tones and a body unexpectedly rising from a table. The killer also wears chunky black boots and a long black trench coat with his Cherub mask and knife (which somehow remains immaculate through all the stabbing and slashing).
How Nu Metal is the Soundtrack? Almost all of the soundtrack is nu metal, featuring Orgy, Static-X, Linkin Park, Rob Zombie, and Deftones, to name a few artists/bands. Unfortunately, the songs only play in brief snippets at a low volume. Static-X’s “Love Dump” begins only to turn out to be some voiceless remix reminiscent of generic, throbbing club music.
But is there Manson? The soundtrack features Manson’s “Valentine’s Day.”
Is it a Good Movie? Not really. 1 hour and 38 minutes of incel-rampaging, and they couldn’t even put fake blood on the knife once. It’s definitely watchable, but as slashers go it’s tame and boring. There could have been a hard-hitting message about the harm fake assault accusations can do, less racism (one of the victims orders her Hispanic maid around and then calls her dad’s very young Asian wife a “mail-order bride from hell” in the same scene), better acting–I could go on.
Dragon Ball Z: Cooler's Revenge (2002)
Synopsis: Cooler’s Revenge is the 5th film in the Dragon Ball Z franchise. Cooler watches as Freeza destroys planet Vegeta, while a Saiyan pod containing a baby Son Goku escapes from planet Vegeta’s destruction. 20 years later, after hearing about Freeza’s defeat at the hands of Goku, Cooler is out for revenge, resulting in a head to head fight between Goku and Cooler for the fate of the earth.
How Nu Metal is the movie? It really is. The timing of a lot of the nu metal tracks in various scenes feel incredibly well-placed. Disturbed’s “The Game” is deployed during the main fight between Cooler and Goku which feels just as impactful as the first punch being thrown. Deftones’s “Change (In The House of Flies)” accompanies a somber moment to chilling effect. These moments are among the few that give this movie the feeling like you’re watching a 2000’s AMV on a cinematic scale.
How Nu Metal is the Soundtrack? They made sure to include all the genre mainstays from Drowning Pool, to Disturbed to Deftones. Also making note is some lesser-known bands such as American Pearl, Breaking Point, and Finger Eleven.
But is there Manson? Nope!
But is it a good movie? For long time Dragon Ball Z fans, it’s a film that’s serviceable enough, though it lacks many original characters. Cooler is basically just Freeza 2.0 and his henchmen are the dollar store Ginyu force. However, it makes up for this by having an original plot, and to this movie’s credit, it does have plenty of incredible moments. If you’re a nu metal fan that grew up on 2000’s YouTube AMV era, this probably holds a special place in your heart.
Queen of the Damned (2002)
Synopsis: The vampire Lestat is awoken from decades of slumber to become a rock god. This publicity, very unbecoming of a vampire, angers the others of his kind, who attempt to kill him in order to keep their existence a secret.
How Nu Metal is the Movie? Unbelievably. The inciting action is Lestat being awoken by the sound of a nu-metal band rehearsing nearby. Not only does Jonathan Davis provide Lestat’s singing voice - which bears no resemblance at all to actor Stuart Townsend’s - he also wrote all the original songs. Static-X’s “Cold,” Papa Roach’s “Dead Cell,” and Disturbed’s “Down with the Sickness” get prominent needle drops. Ancient vampire Akasha, played by the late Aaliyah, makes love to Lestat while Deftones’ “Change (in the House of Flies)” plays. Jonathan Davis himself makes a cameo. When it comes to the most nu-metal movies ever made, it’s Queen of the Damned and it’s everybody else.
How Nu Metal is the Soundtrack? Even more so. Due to record label politics, Jonathan Davis’ voice was not allowed on the official soundtrack. Instead, an all-star team of nu-metal heavyweights were enlisted to replace his vocals on the album including Chester Bennington, David Draiman, Jay Gordon, and Wayne Static. Not to mention additional songs by Deftones, Earshot, and Kidneythives.
But is there Manson? Unfortunately yes.
But is it a Good Movie? I take no joy in saying this, but no. A long flashback sequence early on kills the plot’s momentum, Aaliyah doesn’t show up til halfway through the movie, and the second half is a dark and dreary slog. A worthwhile watch no matter what, but it doesn’t quite stand on its own as cinema.
Resident Evil (2002)
Synopsis: Awakening in a mansion without her memories, protagonist Alice and an elite team of Umbrella Corporation soldiers venture into a secret lab to uncover the truth of why the facility suddenly went into lockdown. Surprise! It’s full of zombies! Alice now has to contend with a murderous AI security system, hordes of the undead, and monstrous bioweapons to prevent the contagion from spreading to the outside world.
How Nu Metal is the Movie? About as nu metal as you can get without being a straight up music video. Blue-green color grading, quick cuts and near future sci-fi elements will be familiar friends to nu metal diehards. Milla Jovovich pulls off feats of superhuman strength wearing a wildly impractical but undeniably sick cocktail dress, leather jacket and boots combo as the heroine Alice, and it only gets goofier from there. While maintaining the signature self-seriousness that nu metal thrives on, the characters charge boneheaded-ly from bad decision to worse decision, all to the tune of thumping industrial beats and chugging guitars.
How Nu Metal is the Soundtrack? Wall to wall. Heavyweights such as Slipknot, Coal Chamber and Fear Factory provide the soundtrack for the end credits, while cult favorites Mudvayne, Static-X, and Ill Nino score the grimy, medical-industrial atmosphere. As someone who has spent many an hour playing the games while listening to said bands, I couldn’t think of a better way to nail the vibe of an oncoming zombie apocalypse.
But is there Manson? Contributing not only the main theme but several prominent tracks that score the many action sequences, he is unfortunately unavoidable. Though the presence of Nine Inch Nails’ “Fist Fuck” on the tracklist left this writer longing for what could have been if the power-duo of Trent Reznor and Attiticus Ross had only formed a little sooner.
But is it a Good Movie? As an adaptation of the videogame, it’s a travesty. As far as brainless action movies go it’s a roaring good time. The film never really slows down long enough to get to know the characters but when you’re here to watch them be torn apart by zombies, do you really need to? The laser hallway and zombie dog scenes are highlights, as well as any instance where creepy little girl AI system The Red Queen is on screen. Grab some friends and some drinks and you’ll be in for a great evening, especially if you make it a double feature with the sequel, Resident Evil: Apocalypse.
Synopsis: An action-packed sport called Rollerball has captured the attention of the world. Soon, the minds behind the sport realize their ratings improve alongside violent accidents on the court. Jonathan, the star of his team, and his friends must fight the corruption of the sport and escape with their lives.
How Nu Metal is the Movie? The movie is considerably Nu Metal. Slipknot has a brief cameo, performing “I Am Hated” at an event the main characters are attending. Although the band isn’t acknowledged much, the performance does add some excitement to the screen. Many of the characters are also styled with spiky hair, metal chains, and dark, exaggerated makeup. Rob Zombie’s “Feel So Numb” and “Never Gonna Stop” are also featured in the film, along with “Ride” by Beautiful Creatures.
How Nu Metal is the Soundtrack? Many of the songs within the movie are considerably nu metal. The music, provided by Eric Serra, features a nu-industrial sound and even a backing track with rap-rock elements. The violent Rollerball matches set to this music give the sport an air of a futuristic WWE.
But is there Manson? Nope.
But is it a Good Movie? Also no. The plot is silly, the editing is very strange and jarring at times, and the ending of the film is extremely abrupt and unsatisfactory. A main character is randomly killed off and barely acknowledged afterward. One scene is bafflingly shot with a night-vision camera. Even after factoring in the solid Slipknot performance, this movie can’t be saved.
Synopsis: Vin Diesel’s Xander Cage is a stuntman wanted by the FBI who’s given a second chance after capture by becoming a spy for the NSA and infiltrating a Russian terrorist organization.
How Nu Metal is the Movie? More spiritually nu-metal than literally. Aside from a Drowning Pool needle drop and an opening scene in a Rammstein concert, you’re mostly looking at general x-tream vibes rather than straight-up nu-metal glory. Still, even a movie about door-to-door typewriter salesmen wouldn’t be able to shake the nu-metal allegations if it had cameos by Tony Hawk and Matt Hoffman like this one does.
How Nu Metal is the Soundtrack? In a unique maneuver, the xXx soundtrack was issued as a double disc set with disc one being straightforward nu-metal/electronica and disc two rap and hip-hop cuts. The album’s lead single, Bush lead singer Gavin Rossdale solo effort “Adrenaline,” rides a massive guitar hook courtesy of Jagged Little Pill producer Glen Ballard to some kind of fantastical Mountain Dew fantasia while tracks by Moby and Orbital round out the requisite electronica cuts.
But is there Manson? Blessedly no.
But is it a Good Movie? If you ask the late great Roger Ebert. xXx isn’t just a good movie but a borderline great one. His 3.5-star contemporary review lauds the film for being a Bond rip-off that takes itself seriously while also being impossible to take seriously. Other critics weren’t nearly as enthusiastic but Ebert wins the day as xXx remains a brisk, enjoyable action film with lots of real stunts with real explosions in real-life locations (remember those?) to marvel at.
Synopsis: After an accident blinds him as a child, Matt Murdock’s other senses begin functioning with superhuman capabilities. As an adult, Matt fights for justice as a defense attorney during the day, and by night dons the vigilante moniker “Daredevil” to protect the innocent of Hell’s Kitchen. When Kingpin hires Bullseye to kill Daredevil and pushes for further control of all organized crime, Murdock’s abilities and convictions are put to the test.
How Nu Metal is the Movie? Very. At several moments within the movie, entire songs are played during action sequences that could be easily clipped to become amateur music videos, from “The Man Without Fear” by Drowning Pool featuring Rob Zombie during a chase and action sequence, to a next to a full rollout of Evanescence’s “Bring Me To Life,” among others, this movie is riddled with montages and sequences of full nu metal nostalgia. Since it’s an early 2000’s superhero/comic based movie, it wouldn’t be complete without the goth club scenes, overly glossy transitions, a borderline excessive amount of leather, as well as Colin Farrell having about 15 ear piercings for some reason. All this, along with Daredevil sleeping in a sensory deprivation tank that is shaped like a coffin, gives the movie the stylistic feel of an hour and forty-five minute expensive photo shoot funded by Roadrunner Records.
How Nu Metal is the Soundtrack? Fuel, Saliva, Seether, Drowning Pool, Rob Zombie, Nappy Roots featuring P.O.D., Evanescence (twice), Chevelle, Boysetsfire, Finger Eleven, and 12 Stones are just some of the nu metal or nu metal adjacent artists on the official soundtrack. It absolutely gets the stamp of approval.
But is there Manson? No.
But is it a Good Movie? All in all, no. Daredevil has some shining moments within it, including some of the fight scenes that are absolutely a fun time and worth a rewatch. But between the lack of character depth, the cringeworthy playground fight scene (no means no, right fellas?), and the less-than-stellar dialogue, Daredevil feels like a missed opportunity despite some solid casting choices and great source material.
Freddy vs Jason (2003)
Synopsis: Infamous dream demon Freddy Krueger is back from the dead, but the town he terrorizes has forgotten him. To restore the citizens’ fear, Freddy summons Jason Vorhees, a similarly powerful teen-slayer. However, when Jason gets in the way of Freddy’s murders, the two must face off in a bloody battle.
How Nu Metal is the Movie? The movie is fairly nu metal. Machine Head provides some of the instrumentals for the score, adding heavy guitars while Freddy and Jason hack and slash at one another. There is plenty of Y2K fashion and teenage angst to go around as well. At one point, the characters even attend a rave in a cornfield, which is decidedly nu.
How Nu Metal is the Soundtrack? Extremely. The opening title card is backed by Spineshank’s “Beginning of the End” and the end credits are accompanied by Ill Niño’s “How Can I Live?,” Chimaira’s “Army of Me,” and Killswitch Engage’s “When Darkness Falls.” The soundtrack also includes songs from Slipknot, Sevendust, Mushroomhead, Powerman 5000, Murderdolls, Stone Sour, and more. In fact, every song included on the soundtrack falls under the nu umbrella in one way or another.
But is there Manson? None at all.
But is it a Good Movie? It’s definitely not the worst flick to come out of the wave of early 2000s horror schlock, but it does leave some things to be desired. There are fun kills and creative gore, which is undoubtedly what most viewers are there for, however, many of the characters serve no real purpose other than to die grisly deaths, and the plot is needlessly convoluted and drags at times. But the final battle between Freddy and Jason is worth the wait and it is an enjoyable watch overall.
Saw II (2005)
Saw II (2005)
Synopsis: Serving as a sequel to 2000’s Saw, Saw II follows two groups, one made up of police and the other made of Jigsaw’s latest victims. While the police have the identity of Jigsaw, the victims are trapped in a home packed with sick games and a nerve agent that’s slowly killing them.
How Nu Metal is the Movie? One well documented facet of nu metal is the fanbase it attracted: large swaths of tumultuous youth with a taste for the dark, obscene, and extreme. This desire is reflected in the film’s soundtrack, and the Saw franchise does a great job of handpicking bands that really echo the aesthetic of the film. Hell, Mudvayne used a set from the movie to film their music video for "Forget to Remember” — also directed by Darren Lynn Bousman — and lead vocalist Chad Grey has a cameo in the film!
How Nu Metal is the Soundtrack? Extremely. While Mudvayne were the stars of the film’s lead single, the soundtrack also includes Skinny Puppy, Papa Roach, Puscifer, Sevendust and Opiate for the Masses.
But is there Manson? There is— “Irresponsible Hate Anthem” is the first song on the soundtrack.
Is it a Good Movie?: Personally, it’s one of my favorites within the Saw franchise. The scenes with the latest game victims keep you on your toes, more so than the scenes involving the police, as they’re really just sitting in a warehouse. The victims have some real, deep tension, making each game more stressful for the viewer than the last (used needle pit, anyone?). Those who’re familiar with the film probably know of the iconic twist that nearly all the franchise films have, and how quick it became too predictable. At the time of this film the switch-up was still fresh and even more shocking considering who it was revealed to be, but if you’re just tuning in for the blood and gore, it gets the job done.