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Trick or Treat

TRACK #125:

Trick or Treat by King Diamond

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.

 

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This Is Halloween

TRACK #120:

This Is Halloween by Danny Elfman

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.

Everyone hail to the pumpkin song!

 

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Halloween

110_halloween_no-one-gets-out TRACK #110:

Halloween by Halloween

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.

 

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Leatherface

101_leatherfaceTRACK #101:

Leatherface by Lääz Rockit

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.

Here’s your invitation.

 

 

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Halloween (She Get So Mean)

080_halloween-hootenannyTRACK #80:

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.

Enjoy!

 

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It’s Alive

078_dr-dementoTRACK #78:

It’s Alive by Bobby “Boris” Pickett

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.

 

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Rockula

076_rockulaTRACK #76:

Rockula by Rockula

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!

 

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Bloodletting (The Vampire Song)

073_concrete-blonde_bloodlettingTRACK #73:

Bloodletting (The Vampire Song) by Concrete Blood

Impromptu vampire interlude!

I noticed there were a lot of vampire songs in the queue, so coming off the heels of From Dusk Till Dawn, why not just drop a block of blood-suckers right here in the 70’s?

Concrete Blonde had already been around for some time and utilized on some pretty awesome genre soundtracks (Texas Chainsaw 2, The Hidden) by 1990, when they released their best selling album Bloodletting.

The title track is a great Shindig addition about New Orleans and vampires with some serious Anne Rice ambiance about it.

Legend has it (read: the Internet) that the song was indeed inspired by the lady herself, or at least her writings, at any rate.

Though inclusive to many different movies and TV shows, none of them really hit the mark. So, we’re gonna lead this fucker in with an appropriate, Big Easy-style sample from Interview With The Vampire, just for good measure.

Suck it up Weeners!

 

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Dark Knight

072_from-dusk-till-coverTRACK #72:

Dark Night by The Blasters

Before Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez gave the world Grindhouse, they first collaborated on the 1996 mash-up horror flick From Dusk Till Dawn.

Opening the movie most appropriately is this toe-tapper from The Blasters. It not only sets the tone for what is to follow but captures the atmosphere of their western-crime-horror perfectly.

The whole soundtrack is pretty great, for anyone who likes their tunes a little on the tex-mex side, featuring tracks from Tito & Tarantula, ZZ-Top and Stevie Ray Vaughn amongst others.

I won’t assume everyone’s seen this flick, as I don’t catch too much about it on tumblr, it’s almost 20 years old by now and Tarantino and Rodriguez aren’t quite the pop culture icons they were at the time of it’s release.

If you haven’t seen From Dusk Till Dawn, I recommend it to both horror fans and crime fans alike, as the picture starts out as one and becomes the other. Which, while working at several video stores back then, was a complaint I heard a lot from some renters. Renters that apparently didn’t expect the movie to explode into an all out blood-bathed gore-fest in the 3rd act.

Honestly, I think that’s the movie’s greatest strength and I kinda wish more films engaged in this type of genre bending. Characters that finds themselves in horrific situations were leading perfectly non-horrific lives until that point. Why should that lead up always feel like a set-up? The fact that these characters are allowed to live and breath in a world outside the trappings of a horror film, until they are decidedly in one, is refreshing. It makes them real, believable characters and gives more weight to their reactions to the horrific turn of events.

Add to that a solid script from Tarantino, some first rate action staging from Rodriguez, a great big screen leap from George Clooney, some awesome gore and creature FX from the KNB crew, fun cameos from Tom Savini and Fred Williamson, multiple performances from Cheech Marin, one sexy ass vampiric Salma Hayek, a bevy of naked vampire strippers and a great soundtrack and you’ve got yourself one hell of a movie. So fun a movie, in fact, that we can forgive Tarantino and Harvey Keitel for their somewhat labored performances.

So grab a bottle of whiskey, some condoms filled with holy water, and maybe a jackhammer tricked out to be the most bad-ass vampire death machine ever, cause its gonna be a dark night.

And remember, psycho’s do not explode when sunlight hits them, I don’t give a fuck how crazy they are.

 

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The Halloween Dance

080_halloween-hootenannyTRACK #70:

The Halloween Dance by The Reverend Horton Heat

I love the Rev, so I’ve always appreciated the fact that I could include him on the Shindig, via this made-to-order Halloween song compliments of Rob Zombie’s Halloween Hootenanny album.

Not only is this upbeat tune a great Halloween song but it also features a pretty referential verse where he shouts out Psycho, The Hunchback of Notre Dame and The Stepford Wives.

There’s even a brief musical nod to The Munsters, all wrapped up in the Rev’s customized psychobilly sound.

Halloween never sounded so swingin’.