A good song and a good movie do not go hand in hand. One can help the other or they can be completely distinct. In the below list, the songs stand on their own merits. And the films fail by the same. For this particular list I stuck to supernatural and sci-fi stories. Otherwise the list would be wayyyy too long.
“Flash’s Theme” by Queen from Flash Gordon
Personally, I do enjoy 1980’s Flash Gordon but it is kind of enjoyable for as much as they botch as anything else. It has a great supporting cast and a fantastic score by Queen. It’s SO memorable and catchy.
“A View to a Kill” by Duran Duran from A View to a Kill
I’m a big James Bond fan and have seen all the movies multiple times. But if there’s a worst Bond, this 1985 film is easily it. You’ve got Roger Moore looking like a chubby grandpa jogging around San Francisco and a plot that makes no sense (Max Zorin wants to flood Silicon Valley to have a monopoly on microchips but he seems to be ignoring that Silicon Valley USES microchips that are manufactured in Asia). Still, the Duran Duran song helps get the movie off to a good start.
“Don’t Turn Away” by Thomas Dolby from Howard the Duck
It’s not like this song is Dolby’s best. Far from it. But it is decent and the 1986 movie is a total turd.
“Who Made Who” by AC/DC from Maximum Overdrive
This 1986 song was a huge hit for AC/DC, reaching #11 in the UK and #33 in the US. Stephen King directed Maximum Overdrive based on his short story Trucks. The movie bombed badly. Probably because he was coked out of his mind at the time. But he insisted on an original soundtrack by AC/DC and at least it gave us a great song by them.
“Almost Unreal” by Roxette from Super Mario Bros.
1993 brought us the first big video game adaptation on film but it was garbage. I don’t know how the movie got this song by Swedish duo Roxette because it was not intended for the movie. It angered songwriter Per Gessle as it was originally written for the 1993 fantasy horror comedy Halloween-themed film Hocus Pocus. Which is why they sing about magic and use the phrase “hocus pocus” in the refrain.
“Kiss From a Rose” by Seal from Batman Forever
It’s insane how good this song is. Technically it was released in 1993 but it didn’t earn much attention at the time. Cut to 1995’s Batman Forever and it exploded. Massive, massive hit and it deserves it.
“The End is the Beginning is the End” by Smashing Pumpkins from Batman and Robin
This 1997 song won Smashing Pumpkins a Grammy. The movie only won a single award: A Razzie for Worst Supporting Actress (Alicia Silverstone).
“A320” by Foo Fighters from Godzilla
Dave Grohl has said this was a tremendous disappointment. The band contributed a song because they love Godzilla but 1998’s Godzilla by US filmmakers is decidedly NOT Godzilla. It was a real piece of crap but the song is quite gentle and beautiful.
“Slow Life” by Grizzly Bear from Twilight: New Moon
Grizzly Bear has been around for about 14 years but they really got hot within the last five. So leave it to a garbage movie like this 2009 Twilight sequel to highlight them on their soundtrack. Ugh. It’s frustrating when there’s a great song associated with a movie you have zero desire to see.
“The Baddest Man Alive” by RZA and The Black Keys from The Man with the Iron Fists
RZA co-wrote, directed and starred in this 2012 martial arts movie. It’s a bloated, dull affair. Too derivative to be much fun. But RZA is a talented musician so his big song for the film is still really enjoyable.