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.
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.
Well, we couldn’t do a block of Horror Host hits without including perhaps the most successful, recognizable and desirable Horror Host of them all, Elvira.
Casandra Peterson was initially picked to become the new Vampira, when KHJ-TV in LA approached Maila Nurmi to reboot The Vampira Show in the early 80’s.
Maila wanted Lola Falana. KHJ did not, and essentially hired Peterson on their own. This irked Maila so thoroughly that she completely walked away from the entire project.
No matter to KHJ, they went ahead and did it anyway, without Maila, renaming their host Elvira, and proceeding with “Elvira’s Movie Macabre.”
This also irked Ms. Nurmi. So much so that she sued Casandra Peterson for likeness infringement.
She lost the suit however, as the court found a striking similarity was not infringement enough, and ruled in favor of Peterson, who went on to great success as The Mistress of the Dark, becoming a brand unto herself, with national syndication, spokesperson deals, 2 pinball machines, 2 feature films and scores other Elvira themed products.
A whole new generation of horror nerds had their own wet nightmares at the…hands…of the almost impossibly beautiful Casandra Peterson, who remains so iconic to horror culture, it’s difficult to think of a time without her.
Wrapping up our Horror Host block is the Mistress herself (who else) singing about the dangers of a Haunted House.
Inclusive, though not to any movie relevant to the Shindig (1992’s Wayne’s World) this hit from shock-rocker Alice Cooper needs no introduction to anyone reading this right now, I’ll wager.
One of 2 songs on the Shindig featuring a monster allusion to sexuality, Feed My Frankenstein uses the dubious imagery of Frankenstein to replace the word “cock.”
Why Frankenstein, though? Is it sewn together from several different cocks? Does it just want to be loved, only to meet disdain from all who gaze upon it? Or is it simply that it’s just a monster of a cock?
If that’s the case, why not Mummy? Feed A-MY…..mummy.
Hmm, guess that lacks a little something syllabically.
That probably cancels The Wolfman, too. And the Creature from the Black Lagoon is definitely out.
Hey, Dracula could work! He’s already a monster of a sexual nature. Plus, he’s associated with hunger (or more appropriately, thirst), something I can’t really say for Frankenstein. I guess he’s just not big enough, and I suppose that’s really the underlying, if perhaps juvenile, point.
As mentioned previously, this puppet was sculpted by my buddy and horror/music/Shindig enthusiast Mikey Rotella. I’ll reblog the photo so no one need dig for it. Pass it around Tumblr! Make his work famous.
Oh, and I almost forgot. This track is led-in with almost unnatural appropriateness by a sample from George Romero’s Day of the Dead. Too perfect for words.
In 1993 they decided to take the previously British franchise of Hellraiser across the pond, because Lord knows, America always takes something cool and makes it cooler.
That being said, it’s certainly not the worst Cenobite installment, however it’s hardly the best, as I feel both 2 and 5 are better films. Though I have met some static for my championing of Inferno, which I still feel is one of the more interesting sequels, despite being largely devoid of Cenobites and Pinhead.
Which is the worst? God only knows. They’re up to what, 9 now? I stopped after Hellseeker to be perfectly honest, and from the shots I’ve seen of…whoever the hell that is replacing Doug Bradley, Revelations isn’t providing any….well….revelations.
But enough of my (rather unqualified) opinions of this franchise in its totality. Let’s join Lemmy and Motörhead as they rock out with that secret song at the center of the world.
Ernest Scared Stupid (theme)by Bruce Arntson & Kirby Shelstad
If there’s one thing I liked as much as Halloween growing up, it was Ernest. So naturally, Ernest Scared Stupid is by far my favorite of comedic genius an all-around swell guy Jim Varney’s extended career as Ernest P. Worrell.
Complete with kick-ass trolls courtesy of The Chiodo Brothers (see: Killer Klowns From Outer Space)Ernest Scared Stupid should be watched at least every Halloween by everyone who isn’t dreadfully repulsed by the character of Ernest.
And even then, you should watch it anyway, and be ashamed of yourself for hating Ernest.
No horror theme is quite a beautiful sounding as Phillip Glass’ recurring theme from Candyman. It’s haunting, particularly in the context of the film, but on its own, it’s a rather sweet and quiet piano melody.
Spliced over the rain effect here which closes out Raining Blood, it’s a nice interlude for your guests to enjoy as they grab more Re-Agent Punch, piss on your fence, or blast some lines in your bathroom without you.
Here’s to hoping Candyman busts through that goddamn mirror and guts them for their selfishness.
When I was 12 my brother bought me Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds’ Murder Ballads for Christmas, and ever since I’ve been a huge fan.
So it’s always given me great joy to have been able to include them legitimately, without forcing some song or another into one of my categories.
Thanks to Scream, Wes Craven’s self-aware response to 80’s slash, Nick and his Bad Seeds have an undisputed seat at the Shindig Table.
A creepy and atmospheric tune perfectly suited to a horror film, Red Right Hand (a nod itself to Milton’s Paradise Lost) looms over the speakers while Woodsboro closes early for its newly enacted curfew.
In a non-horror related aside, this song can also be heard as Jim Carey stumbles around with a large foam cowboy hat in Dumb and Dumber. And while I love me some Dumb and Dumber, I think the tune is a bit more at home in Scream.