An American Psycho Publicity Stunt Made Huey Lewis Never Want To See The Movie

One of the most memorable scenes from "American Psycho" is when mergers and acquisitions business executive (or is it murders and executions?) Patrick Bateman finally kills his rival Paul Allen to the peppy tune of "Hip To Be Square" by Huey Lewis And The News. Wearing a rain jacket to protect his expensive suit from the impending bloodshed, Patrick blasts the tune on his fancy CD player and goes into a long-winded monologue about the hidden depths of the lively pop song:

"A song so catchy, most people probably don't listen to the lyrics. But they should, because it's not just about the pleasures of conformity and the importance of trends. It's also a personal statement about the band itself."

The song communicates Patrick's need to hide his violent tendencies so that he can conform to the anonymous and shallow environment of Wall Street — where all the men mistake each other for someone else, wear similar suits, and trade business cards with barely noticeable differences. As Huey Lewis sings passionately in the background to the crashing drums, Patrick chops Paul Allen's body with an axe. Like the rest of "American Psycho," this sequence is both terrifying and humorous.

Decades later, Huey Lewis still has never watched "American Psycho," despite licensing his song for the movie. He is upset that the marketing team took advantage of the fact that "Hip To Be Square" takes place in such a vicious scene to create a publicity stunt.

Removing his song from the soundtrack album

Uproxx reports in an episode of Mark Hoppus' Apple Music After School Radio, Huey Lewis explained why he still has not seen "American Psycho":

"On the eve of the release of the movie, they came out with a press release that went everywhere that said that Huey Lewis had seen the movie and it was so violent that he yanked his tune from the soundtrack, to pump up interest. And that pissed me off, frankly, so I boycotted the film. I've never seen the film, but I did see the clip when we lampooned it for 'Funny Or Die.'"

100,000 copies of the soundtrack were removed from shelves, but not because of violence: The rights had not been paid for the song to be included on the album (via The Guardian).

It's clear that Lewis studied the "Hip To Be Square" clip for the parody with Weird Al Yankovic. He recreates everything to a T, from the silly little jig that Patrick Bateman does by the CD player to Christian Bale's clipped voice, sharp mannerisms, and wide eyes conveying a live-wire energy. Instead of talking about his music, Huey Lewis monologues about the film itself:

"Do you like 'American Psycho'? It's okay. Although originally polarizing to audiences and critics alike, it developed a much deserved cult following when released on digital video disk or DVD. There, it found a second life and really came into its own. Commercially and artistically, the movie works both as a grim examination of male vanity while also maintaining real genre thrills."

Then, he kills Weird Al for covering one of his songs. Even though he is still upset about the publicity stunt, it's great that Huey Lewis could deliver such a hilarious treat for "American Psycho" fans.