What is former Backstreet Boy Nick Carter up to? Funny you should ask! He just pulled a Captain Planet and assembled a team of fellow boy-band alums to appear in a movie he cowrote for SyFy. It is a Western zombie B-horror movie called Dead 7; it premieres tonight; and if you didn’t have a Joey Fatone poster hanging over your bed in 1998, you probably should not watch it. But for those of you who are still interested in aging boy-band idols, here is a ranking of their performances:
10. Jacob Underwood, O-Town: His white-man dreads made him the most memorable O-Townie, but they could not help his cameo. (I had to rewind to find him.)
9. Chris Kirkpatrick, ’N SYNC: Not great, but to his credit, his small-town sheriff was the hardest role in the film. He had a lot of lines, and he had to be believable while getting his eye ripped out.
8. Dan Miller, O-Town: Was this guy really in O-Town? I’m not even sure he was in this movie, but IMDb insists he was.
7. Erik-Michael Estrada, O-Town: Better than Justin Timberlake in The Social Network; not as good as Justin Timberlake in In Time.
6. Jeff Timmons, 98 Degrees: It was like he walked out of a Florida CrossFit and into this movie. Points for consistency!
5. Nick Carter, BSB: Listen, he’s no Daryl Dixon, but the man looks good in Western wear.
4. Howie Dorough, BSB: Is there anyone on this planet who wouldn’t say, “You know, I guess I sort of like Howie D”? You can’t teach that kind of charisma.
3. Joey Fatone, ’N SYNC: I had the highest hopes for the hammiest member of ’N SYNC, and I wasn’t disappointed. A handlebar mustache, a leather blazer, and an alcohol problem — Fatone sold it all.
2. “In the End,” Dead 7 soundtrack: The boys recorded one song together, and the vibe is sort of Linkin Park moody with multipart harmonies. I was moved.
1. A.J. McLean, BSB: I have never seen an actor more dedicated to Juggalo face paint, a Kevin Spacey–level bad Southern accent, and a high-pitched giggle. MVP by a long shot.
This piece originally appeared in the April 1, 2016, edition of the Ringer newsletter.