WARNING! This list contains SPOILERS for Stranger Things season 4.
A Season 4 addition to Stranger Things’ beloved ensemble, Eddie Munson quickly soared into viewers’ hearts like a bat out of hell (too soon?). His departure in the finale left fans grieving, cursing the Duffer Brothers, and simply wanting more.
Eddie is a refreshing, nuanced take on an established archetype, and audiences will no doubt be looking to fill the Eddie-sized void in their streaming queue. Fortunately, there are several movies that feature heroic rockers, Dungeons & Dragons-style adventure, or a complex picture of the persecuted outsider Eddie embodies.
10 Paradise Lost: The Child Murders At Robin Hood Hills (1996)
Stream on HBO Max, Hoopla, & DIRECTV
The first in a trio of true crime documentaries, Paradise Lost: The Child Murders At Robin Hood Hills follows the case of the West Memphis Three, a group of teenagers charged with the killing of three younger boys in Arkansas. In a real-life instance of Satanic Panic, Jessie Misskelley, Jason Baldwin, and Damien Echolls were accused of committing the crimes as part of a cult Satanic ritual.
Echolls forms a loose inspiration for Eddie Munson in Stranger Things. An outsider interested in heavy metal music and the works of Aleister Crowley and Anton LaVey, Echolls became a scapegoat for the conservative West Memphis community. The fascinating documentaries explore the biases against young people, like Damien and Eddie, who do not conform to their communities’ expectations. Notably, all three Paradise Lost movies feature a soundtrack by Metallica; this was the first time the metal band allowed their music to be used in a film.
9 This Is Spinal Tap (1984)
Available to Buy on AppleTV & Amazon Prime Video
Rob Reiner’s iconic mockumentary is guaranteed to be on Eddie’s checked-out list at the video store. This Is Spinal Tap hilariously skewers the titular heavy metal band (and a few real-life bands), whose ridiculousness is only exceeded by their pretension.
In between amps that go to 11 and hijinks with miniature bread, one of the film’s funniest sequences features a mythic musical introduction to an 18-inch recreation of Stonehenge. It’s easy to imagine Eddie Munson, embodying his dungeon master persona, introducing his band Corroded Coffin with the same gravitas. For those who can’t get enough of the visionary rockers, This Is Spinal Tap is getting a legacy sequel.
8 Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989)
Stream on Amazon Prime Video, Showtime, Hoopla, & Max Go
At the heart of the Bill & Ted franchise is the radical idea that music can change the world for the better – especially if you can get Eddie Van Halen. the first installment, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, follows two metalhead burnouts on a righteous quest to ace their high school history report. With the help of time machine, they introduce the philosophical lyrics of Kansas to Socrates, give Beethoven access to an electric keyboard, and glimpse a future where their band, Wyld Stallyns, creates a Utopian society.
Bill S. Preston, Esq. and Ted “Theodore” Logan, though no one expects much of them, are extraordinarily likable. Much like Eddie, they prove to be brave, loyal friends, and much more than meets the eye. Not to be outdone by Excellent Adventures outrageous premise, the bonkers, existential sequel Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey takes the duo through heaven, hell, and other dimensions. Eddie, another endearing misfit, would fit into Bill and Ted’s adventures seamlessly, and could probably teach them a little something about playing the guitar.
7 Wayne’s World (1992)
Available to Rent on Amazon Prime Video, AppleTV, & YouTube
The dynamic duo of Wayne and Garth anchor SNL sketch-turned-big screen hit Wayne’s World with their signature Midwestern slacker/rocker humor. Featuring exquisite cameos by legendary rockers Meat Loaf and Alice Cooper, Wayne’s World is, in many ways, a love letter to rock and roll.
Whether attempting to play “Stairway to Heaven” in a music store or head-banging to “Bohemian Rhapsody” in the car, Wayne’s World is full of iconic music sequences that stand up to Eddie’s performance of “Master of Puppets.”
6 Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World (2010)
Stream on Starz & DIRECTV
Navigating the pitfalls of being young can feel like life or death, especially when you are a) framed for the Satanic death of local teens by an interdimensional dark wizard or b) forced to fight your love interest’s seven evil exes to win her heart. The frenetic, colorful Edgar Wright comedy Scott Pilgrim vs. the World gives epic, gamified weight to youthful romance.
Armed with a bass guitar, Scott faces off against a series of increasingly powerful romantic rivals like combatants in a video game – or obstacles in a D&D adventure. Both Scott and Eddie Munson infuse their everyday experience with mythic gravity, and both must overcome their instinct for self-preservation to make the ultimate sacrifice. additionally, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World features an awesome soundtrack, which includes several excellent original tunes.
5 Dazed And Confused (1993)
Stream on Peacock
Following a large ensemble cast of teenagers on the last day of high school in Austin, Texas, Dazed & Confused beautifully captures the 1970s and the ennui of youth. While the highest stakes in the film include hazing, finding a ride home from a party, and nabbing Aerosmith tickets, its characters wrestle with some of the same internal conflicts as Eddie and his friends.
One of the central characters, football star Randall “Pink” Floyd, grapples with whether to sign a drug-free pledge to remain on a time. Like Eddie Munson, he fears he’ll be giving up his individuality to mindlessly conform. meanwhile, Dazed And Confused boasts an iconic rock soundtrack, including songs by Alice Cooper, KISS, Foghat, and Black Sabbath.
4 Tenacious D In The Pick Of Destiny (2006)
Available to Rent on AppleTV & Amazon Prime Video
Did Eddie Munson survive Stranger Things’ fourth season, he might have grown up to start a band a lot like Tenacious D. Eddie actor Joseph Quinn even admitted that watching Jack Black in School of Rock inspired him to play guitar (via Entertainment Weekly). Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny is a sprawling musical fantasy adventure with cameos by rock royalty like Ronnie James Dio and Meatloaf, plus a lauded appearance by Dave Grohl as Satan.
Jack Black and Kyle Gass are as the eponymous rock duo, who cast off the delightful criticism of a conservative Midwestern town to become rock legends. Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny perfectly blends key aspects of Eddie’s personality: rock and roll, epic fantasy adventure, and refusal to conform.
3 Studio 666 (2022)
Available to Rent on AMC On Demand, AppleTV, & Amazon Prime Video
In what could be considered a spiritual sequel to Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny, Studio 666 is a wild horror comedy built around the music of Foo Fighters. The film follows fictionalized versions of the real-life rock band, cataloging the strange, supernatural events that occur in the house where they’ve chosen to record their 10th album.
Studio 666 is chock-full of rock music easter eggs that would delight Eddie Munson. The themes of demonic possession, good versus evil, and face-melting guitar solos make Studio 666 an ideal watch for fans of Eddie.
2 SLC Punk (1998)
Stream on HBO Max
One of Eddie Munson’s best qualities is his unwavering commitment to authenticity; he never stops being unapologetically himself. The characters in the indie cult classic SLC Punk, similarly, strive to be themselves – punk anarchists – in highly religious, conservative Salt Lake City. Navigating parental disappointment, fear of selling out, and accusations of devil-worship by the public, the main character Stevo (Matthew Lillard) brings humor and complexity reminiscent of Eddie.
SLC Punk also lets its characters grow out of their youthful, idealistic views of anarchy, rebellion, and fashion. Stevo has to reckon with tragedy and violence, which cause him to reconsider his punk identity and ultimately conform to societal standards. Eddie will be frozen in time as his teenage self, but given time, he would have become a truly thoughtful, mature version of himself.
1 Legend (1985)
Available to Rent On AppleTV & Amazon Prime Video
Eddie Munson, as the leader of the Hellfire Club and dungeon master of the Cult of Vecna campaign, has an expansive imagination for fantasy and adventure. Given its dark, striking imagery and epic fantasy storyline, he might have found some inspiration for his campaigns in Ridley Scott’s 1985 sword and sorcery flick legend.
Featuring goblins and demons that feel right at home in a D&D Monster Manual, legend features noble characters fighting to push back the onset of eternal darkness in their fantasy realm. Tim Curry amazes as the Lord of Darkness, a Satan-inspired monster and Vecna-level threat.
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