As much as it might pain some purists, the music of the great Bon Scott found a whole new audience in the 2010 Jon Favreau–directed film Iron Man 2, which featured the song ‘Highway To Hell’ over the closing credits, as well as an all-AC/DC soundtrack on which Bon's songs were well represented: ‘Rock ’N’ Roll Damnation’, ‘Cold Hearted Man’, ‘If You Want Blood (You’ve Got It)’, ‘T.N.T.’, ‘Hell Ain’t A Bad Place To Be’, ‘Let There Be Rock’ and ‘Highway To Hell’.
We’re so used to hearing AC/DC tracks in commercials and in sporting arenas, especially ‘Back In Black’ and ‘Thunderstruck’, but Bon-credited songs are also enduringly popular: mostly from the Highway To Hell album. Bizarrely, few songs from AC/DC's best album, Powerage, seem to make it onto the screen.
During the research of Bon: The Last Highway, out of curiosity more than anything, I knocked together a list of well-known North American films and TV shows that feature songs specifically credited to Bon Scott (and his co-songwriters Angus Young and Malcolm Young). This list is by no means exhaustive or definitive: just the better known films.
Interestingly, the earliest known appearances of AC/DC tracks in film were in Australian releases In Search of Anna (1978), Hard Knocks (1980) and Fighting Back (1982). All were Young/Young/Scott songs. But it was only after Bon died in 1980 that Hollywood producers realised using an AC/DC song on screen was a wise investment (especially when the rest of the film was unwatchable).
Motion Pictures (North America)
Maximum Overdrive (1986) ‘Ride On’
Empire Records (1995) ‘If You Want Blood (You’ve Got It)’
Beavis and Butt-Head Do America (1996) ‘Gone Shootin’’
Dirty Work (1998) ‘Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap’
Detroit Rock City (1999) ‘Whole Lotta Rosie’, ‘Problem Child’
Little Nicky (2000) ‘Highway To Hell’
Final Destination 2 (2003) ‘Highway To Hell’
The Longest Yard (2005) ‘If You Want Blood (You’ve Got It)’
The Dukes of Hazzard (2005) ‘If You Want Blood (You’ve Got It)’
Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006) ‘T.N.T.’
Shoot ’Em Up (2007) ‘If You Want Blood (You’ve Got It)’
Wild Hogs (2007) ‘Highway To Hell’
Grown Ups (2010) ‘Walk All Over You’
Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief (2010) ‘Highway To Hell’
Iron Man 2 (2010) ‘Highway To Hell’
Megamind (2010) ‘Highway To Hell’
Final Destination 5 (2011) ‘If You Want Blood (You’ve Got It)’
Bridesmaids (2011) ‘Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap’
Suicide Squad (2016) ‘Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap’
TV Series (North America)
American Dad! ‘If You Want Blood (You’ve Got It)’
Hawaii Five-O ‘Girls Got Rhythm’
How I Met Your Mother ‘Highway To Hell’
Blue Bloods ‘Highway To Hell’
House ‘Highway To Hell’
My Name Is Earl ‘Highway To Hell’
That ’70s Show ‘T.N.T.’
ER‘ ‘Highway To Hell’
Supernatural ‘If You Want Blood (You’ve Got It)’
The Simpsons ‘Highway To Hell’
BON: THE LAST HIGHWAY: THE UNTOLD STORY OF BON SCOTT AND AC/DC'S BACK IN BLACK is available to preorder now through Amazon, Barnes & Noble and hundreds of other retailers. Just click the title above (in red) to preorder and save on the retail price.
Jesse Fink is the author of Bon: The Last Highway: The Untold Story of Bon Scott and AC/DC's Back In Black and The Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC. For more information about Bon, click HERE or click the book covers below to be directed to editions in your preferred territory and language.