Well, if you’re Halloween Shindig, you take a page outta Sam Raimi’s book (of the dead), use another death metal song, this time about Evil Dead 2, follow the same basic concept and style, and crank that shit the fuck up!
And with that spirit firmly in mind, Halloween Shindig presents Deicide’s Dead By Dawn, or The Sequel to the Ultimate Experience in Grueling Metal!
Odds are you’re not reading this. It’s not exactly rush hour over here at The Shindig. I’m the site administrator. I see the numbers and I wouldn’t call them encouraging.
If you do happen to be reading this though, odds are you don’t really like Pet Sematary 2. That’s just simple math. The number of people who actually like that movie divided by the number of daily visitors this site gets makes it practically fucking impossible for you to be a fan.
You may use such tempered words as “tolerable,”“serviceable,” or perhaps even “forgettable,” to describe your feelings toward it, but I’ll wager “good” probably won’t be among the ones you choose.
Cause let’s face it, it just wasn’t that great of an idea, at least not artistically. Financially, sure, in that they turned 8 million dollars into 17 million at the box office alone. I doubt anyone involved considered that a failure in any monetary sense.
As a movie to just watch (either then or 25 years after the fact) it just doesn’t do enough of anything particularly well to be all that entertaining or to justify its own existence beyond being a sound financial investment.
There are 3 positive things I can say about Pet Sematary 2 however.
It’s a Halloween movie, complete with costumes and trick-or-treating, a Halloween party at the Pet Sematary and a satisfying autumnal-leafy-vibe.
Clancy Brown is well cast and fun to watch. He’s fittingly menacing as the main antagonist and he definitely does all the heavy lifting here.
Someone thought it would be cool if they had The Ramones provided the end credit track again.
And it was. I hope that person got at least a nice piece of that 17 million domestic gross.
Lead-in by the Friday 2-styled, sequel-requisite “tell the story of the previous installment as a spooky campfire story” move, here’s The Ramones returning to the Micmac cemetery with Poison Heart.
PS: that voice you’re hearing is from young actor Jared Rushton, whom some of you may remember as Tom Hanks’ buddy in Big. However, astute Halloweeners may recognize and even younger Jared from Lady In White, where he locked Frankie Scarlatti in the cloak room on Halloween. Yep, Jared is a 2-time Halloween prick and honorary Shindig All-Star. Good work Jared, your agent was pretty keen. Send him a fruit basket.
What better place to bring our Haunted House Rockin’ block to an end than here, at the Berber House with Hauntedween, a Haunted House Halloween Title Track?
While not a real haunted house, The Berber House is just a festive Haunted House, or rather a Haunt, which has hitherto but unrepresented in our block.
A staple of the season since well before I was brought to this plane of existence, The Haunted House is as much a part of Halloween as Trick-or-Treating, Jack-O-Lanterns and slutty costumes.
High school kids in rubber masks weave through a thick mist of dangling limbs and fake fog looking for their next mark.
Disorienting lights strobe to the beat of pneumatic pistons firing foam jump scares.
You can hear a chainsaw perpetually chugging, but you can’t see much of anything at all.
Grown adults tip-toe around corners in the dark, weary of things they know aren’t really out to get them.
The nervous shriek, the tough guys almost instictively punch and the weirdos laugh uneasily.
Some are good and some are terrible, but they all have that same smell, that same vibe, the same excitement, and you should always treat yourself to at least one visit a season.
Hauntedween is a low budget affair filled with that same sort of passionate home-town charm and love for the holiday you find in local Haunted Houses, and it features a killer lying in wait at just such a local Haunt. You can read The Shindig’s write-up here!
This Title Track (which it is gracious enough to give us) plays over a montage of the Sigma Phi frat boys rebuilding the old local Haunt in preparation for a holiday fundraiser to save their fraternity!
It may be awkward to say, and it may not make one bit of sense, but here it is all the same…it’s Hauntedween!
It’s time once again Weeners for the King of Halloween himself, Mr. King Diamond.
Sure, this song isn’t really about Halloween or even Trick or Treating for that matter, but the King is playing a game called Trick or Treat and damn it if that’s not good enough for the Ole Shindig.
The ever theatrical Diamond’s catalog consists mostly of concept albums, as the majority tell very detailed and horrific stories. Why no one has turned one of these into a movie yet is beyond me. There’s a couple of real good ones.
In particular, the gem from which our next tracks hails, 1996’s The Graveyard.
The Graveyard tells the story of an unnamed King Diamond character who is wrongfully committed to a sanitarium by Mayor McKenzie. Seems King used to work for the him and one night happened upon the The Mayor molesting his own daughter. Yikes.
So the Mayor cooked up a story and tossed King Diamond into the meat grinder.
After years in Blackhill Sanitarium losing his mind, King kills S nurse, escapes and takes refuge in The Graveyard, where he begins to plots his revenge. He also murders some other people and becomes obsessed with the idea of a person’s soul living inside its decapitated head forever, but mostly it’s the revenge he’s interested in.
And that’s where we join our story…
King has kidnapped the Mayor’s daughter Lucy and buried her alive in one of seven graves. Mayor McKenzie has 3 tries to discover which grave is holding Lucy or he will murder them both…
::my best John Kassir impression::
…in a little game the King is calling…Treat Or Treat…yeeehahahahaaaaa.
If you’ve been following The Shindig for any reasonable amount of time then you may have noticed I hardly ever mention A Nightmare Before Christmas. In fact, aside from that post-Halloween gif I reblogged last year, I’ve never mentioned it before. There’s a couple of good reason for this.
One of them is that there is certainly no shortage of love shown to Tim Burton and Henry Selick’s 1993 stop motion classic around the web, especially within the Halloween circles this blog runs. I’ll wager you could recreate the film pretty handedly from just the gifs on Tumblr alone. Everyone knows it, everyone loves it. No sense in beating a dead horse, the way I see it.
More directly though, it has never been a movie I typically associate with Halloween. Sure, Jack The Pumpkin King, Halloweentown and all of that but for me the film has always had a decidedly Christmas air to it. Fuck, the word Christmas appears in its title. That’s an automatic disqualification from any Halloween movie list as far as The Shindig is concerned.
However, as everyone is well aware, the first 10 minutes or so before Jack happens into Christmastown are about as Halloweeny as as it gets, aided in no small part by this fantastic song from Halloween Hero and Shindig All-Star Danny Elfman.
It’s one of the most Halloweeny songs ever committed to film or record period and any Halloween playlist would be remiss not to include it. And whenever that claim comes down the pipe, The Shindig abides.
What better way to celebrate Halloween than with a song called Halloween by a band called Halloween? Sounds like a triple threat to me.
But who the hell is Halloween? It’s a great question, one I found myself asking just a few weeks ago.
Known to the Motor City as Detroit’s Heavy Metal Horror Show, Halloween didn’t find a whole lot of notoriety outside of their niche in early 80’s metal. Hampered by line-up changes, delayed album releases and shelved efforts, Halloween just never seemed to gain any traction.
However they’ve had numerous reunions over the years, re-releases and they even still play Halloween shows to this day. Hell, you could probably go see them right now in Detroit. They played last year, and I think they’re doing it again this year as well.
All I know is that we just found these guys and overnight they became Shindig All-Stars. How a band called Halloween somehow slipped through the cracks we may never know, but like all hidden Halloween gems, these treat don’t escape our tricking grasp for long. And with songs like Halloween Night, Trick Or Treat and Tales From The Crypt you can be sure you haven’t heard the last of Halloween.
So, let’s welcome the boys of Detroit’s Heavy Metal Horror Show into the fold with a ceremonious Hallo’s Eve initiation, aided in part by that creepy old druid lady from Halloween 6, and Tommy Doyle of course, overacted to perfection by a very young Paul Rudd.
Halloween, take your rightful place amongst your brothers with all the other hallowed horrors of our Halloween halls.
On Halloween, here’s Halloween performing…Halloween.
There’s no shortage of music for 80’s horror icons, no matter how popular or obscure. From Matt Cordell to Horace Pinker, no psycho is too small for a Title Track. Hell, even Bud the C.H.U.D. has his own song, and he ain’t even a real C.H.U.D.
However, when it comes to The Big 5, there’s a lot of representation from some pretty heavy hitters.
And though Freddy may have Dokken (and The Fat Boys), and Jason may hang out with Alice Cooper, and Pinhead might be backed up by Motörhead and Michael Myers may just have greatest theme in horror history, Leatherface gets the baddest song of the bunch, in my opinion. It may be from virtual nobodies Lääz Rockit, but this song is tough as shit.
The whole Leatherface soundtrack is pretty rock solid, but this Title Track is everything you want for everyone’s favorite chainsaw-wielding, cross-dressing, skin-wearing, Texas-fried lunatic; some kick-ass shredding, some disgruntled vocals and some highly referential lyrical content. Handled.
I’ve lead the track in with Tobe Hopper’s iconic introduction (as read by Night Court’s John Larroquette’s) because let’s face it, that intro from part 3 sucks balls.
From just another of the forgettable retreads in the under-capitalized Texas Chainsaw franchise, it’s Lääz Rockit, headin’ for the crossroad with Leatherface.
Halloween (She Get So Mean)by The Ghastly Ones (feat. Rob Zombie)
If White Zombie was a garage band in the late 60’s, they might have sounded a whole lot like our next divisible by 20 track.
From the Zombie A Go-Go released holiday mix “Halloween Hootenanny” comes this great Halloween track from perennial spooksters The Ghastly Ones.
Providing some uncharacteristic lyrical accompaniment for the Ghastly’s this time around is the man himself, Mr. Rob Zombie.
Since the song is titled Halloween (She Get So Mean) I’ve led the track in with every Halloweener’s favorite Halloween avenger Rhonda from Trick R Treat, as she schools us all on the sinister origins of our Hallowed holiday.
Cause you can’t not follow that sample with anything else. Right on the heels of one Frankenstein song comes this lesser known effort from Bobby “Boris” Pickett.
As stated previously, Bobby tried to recreate his Monster Mash success several times over the course of his career. File this one under the “Heavy Metal” attempt, though there’s little metal going on here.
Finding information on this track is a bit tricky but it seems to have originated off the Dr. Demento show.
Bobby has brought his (actual?) son along for the ride, who takes his own stab dear old dad’s monster making.
He creates a monster that’s the right shade of green and ready for some rocking. And even though he was implanted with a brain labeled, as Fritz claims, “Musician: heavy metal, not blues,” the song is a certainly a far cry from anything resembling metal.
It’s a Shindigger all the same, and how could it not be? Anytime Bobby Pickett decides to sing about monsters rocking out, we gotta represent.
I’m gonna wrap up this Vampire block with a Title Track of ridiculous proportions, from one of my favorite sub-genres, 80’s Monster Comedies.
Though technically released in 1990, Rockula was written and filmed in the late 80’s and has all the trappings of an 80’s Monster Comedy, and as such is filed accordingly by the Shindig.
If you’ve never seen Rockula, here’s the jist:
Ralph (played by Dean Cameron, aka Summer School’s Chainsaw) is a typically 80’s “friendly” vampire. Ralph’s got a problem though. See, 400 years ago Ralph failed to save his beloved Mona from a ham bone wielding pirate who murdered her on Halloween. After which, a terrible curse befell Ralph. He must relive this trauma ever 22 years, as Mona is reincarnated and Ralph is given another chance to prevent this tragedy. A chance which he always seems to squander.
However, in the late 80’s, Mona is resurrected as a musician, so Ralph becomes Rockula to win her heart. And maybe keep a close eye on her to finally prevent that Halloween/ham bone/pirate murder.
Sound great? No? Well it is, and it features a couple of great tunes performed by Dean Cameron (and one by Toni “Oh Mickey” Basil, who plays Ralph’s Vampire mom.) Tunes that, of course, are featured on the Shindig.
From Rockula, performed by Rockula, it’s the triple threat, Rockula!