You know the Village People. They’re the guys in the fun outfits who sang that “Y.M.C.A.” song that people often play and sing along to, seemingly without a clue of what the song is about (via GLBTQ). Their songs full of the vim and vigor of the 1970s and their can-do attitude made them a huge hit in the disco era. As Teach Rock notes, they were able to break into mainstream culture despite — or perhaps because of — their obviously manufactured gimmick and their reliance on overtly stereotypical representations of gay culture.
So it makes total sense that this success should be translated from the stage to the silver screen. And who wouldn’t want to see a Village People movie? These guys got folks across the world to flamboyantly form the letters of their favorite inadvertent sex club over their heads every time that song comes on, and that’s a feat that should be turned into celluloid greatness. But the group’s foray into Hollywood stardom was unfortunately a very un-fabulous flop. Let’s take a look at the failed Village People movie and see just what went wrong.
The Village People movie was a fail, but at least it was an epic fail
To say that the Village People movie was bad would be an understatement. It was released in 1980 and it was called Can’t Stop the Music. And it was so bad that it inspired a decades-long tradition of recognizing the worst movies of the year that continues to this day: the Razzies. According to Entertainment Weekly, publicist J.B. Wilson went to see a double feature in 1980, and when he left, he was so irked at having wasted his time on the pair of terrible flicks that he tried to get his money back. One of those movies was Can’t Stop the Music. The movie attempted to show the world how the glitzy group was created, but it wound up winning the first-ever Worst Picture Razzie.
Officially called the Golden Raspberry Awards, the Razzies have become a Hollywood institution in their own right. Actors (some, at least) now take pride in winning a Razzie. Halle Berry and Sandra Bullock have shown up at the awards and given acceptance speeches, while others don’t seem to be able to take a joke. Ben Affleck notoriously broke his Razzie after receiving it during an interview with Larry King. When asked by Yahoo! Entertainment if he was proud of the first-ever Razzie going to Can’t Stop the Music, Village People Cowboy Randy Jones didn’t answer directly, just acknowledged the fact. “But yeah, Can’t Stop is the reason the Razzies exist,” he said.
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