Horror Hotel

TRACK #185:

Horror Hotel by The Misfits

Here’s another classic example of referencing a horror classic without actually talking about the movie at all, from Shindig All-Stars and referential magicians, The Misfits.

Sure, it might be called a Horror Hotel, but God knows what Danzig’s actually talking about here, because it’s not the 1963 Christopher Lee film.

What we do know is that it’s definitely about a hotel and some bad shit’s going down there, maybe even some horror. Particularly in Room 21, where all the underworld scum seem to congregate. Can’t say I know of any specific Room 21s from horror lore, but I’d be open to suggestions about what other references Glenn might be bandying about. Though I’ll wager it’s probably used simply because “Room 36” doesn’t rhyme with “scum.”

But that was sort of Glenn’s deal. Name a song after a classic movie and then whip up some lyrics that sort of jive with the mood that title conjured. Unless of course you’re talking about Return of the Fly, which basically reads like a Videohound entry of the film of the same name, right down to listing of its actors and characters.

None of that really matters though, does it? I mean, at least not where The Misfits are concerned. Personally, I rather like that these songs are less overt in their referential nature. Something like Blitzkid’s Candyman lacks any of that artistic (?) subtlety, opting to bludgeon you with lyrics so simple and childlike, it sort of takes something away.

You get none of that from Danzig and Co., and as such are gifted that wonderful space of ambiguity and interpretation.

Plus, it give us the opportunity to cram that space with plenty of samples from the song’s namesakes. Couldn’t do that if they just named the song Room 21, now could we?

You wanna start somethin’ with me…?




TRACK #100:

Halloween by The Misfits

Is it the ultimate Halloween song? Well, in certain circles, I’m sure it is.

While The Shindig isn’t quite sold on its top billing, there are a few things we are sure of:

  1. It’s one hell of a Halloween jam.
  2. It’s been on The Shindig since its very first 700mg CD incarnation.
  3. It belongs on every Halloween party playlist ever created. Period.  I don’t even care if you don’t like The Misfits. Include it.
  4. It’s easily one of the 5 greatest Halloween songs ever recorded.

Danzig’s trip down memory lane hits all the high points of Halloween; pumpkin faces, brown leaves, kids trick or treating in costumes, candy apples and razor blades. Plus some other stuff about dead cats and burning bodies hanging from poles.

Now, while I’ve certainly never encountered such as this on any Hallow’s Eve I’ve ever lived through, that’s not to say they aren’t Halloween staples, especially not for Glenn Danzig. Guy remembers Halloween a little different than you and me. Or guy just parties a little harder. Or hell, maybe that’s the sort of thing that happened on October 31st in Lodi New Jersey during the 60’s, I dunno. Whatever the reason, it’s a pretty Halloweeny ass image none-the-less.

So, let us enter the triple digits, and kick off this, a most grand and seasonal block of Halloween Shindig with The Misfits and Halloween.

I remember Halloween.




TRACK #61:

Vampira by Misfits

If John Zacherle is the grandaddy of Horror Hosts, then Maila Nurmi is their mother goddess.

Back in 1954, The Vampira Show was the first program to feature a spooky host introducing (and mocking) old B-movies.

Though only on the air for about a year, Vampira’s mark on horror culture can still be felt today, particularly tooling around Tumblr, where her image is ever present.

And why not? As Mr. Danzig so succinctly puts it:

Two inch nails
with a pale white feline face
inclination eyebrows to there
Mistress to the horror kid

Vampira is the embodiment of the classic horror image. Young fangirls still want to be her, and young fanboys still want to be with her. And though nothing but a few old kinescopes exist of the short-lived program, Maila Nurmi’s legacy will forever live on with the genre.

Fittingly led in by Martin Landu’s oscar-bearing Bela Lugosi, exulting Ms. Nurmi’s appealing qualities to Johnny Depp’s irritated Ed Wood.

Go try on a sweater then, Nerd-o. Me and Bela here will just sit back with some morphine and enjoy the show.



Ghouls Night Out

TRACK #25:

Ghouls Night Out by The Misfits

Webster’s defines Ghoul as

  1. legendary evil being that robs graves and feeds on corpses
  2. one suggestive of a ghoul; especially  : one who shows morbid interest in things considered shocking or repulsive

So basically, we’re all ghouls. And if there was ever a night for ghouls, it was Halloween.

So, take it away boys.

(Cut in with Stephen Weber from Tales from the Crypt’s S3 Episode Mournin’ Mess, and well, that’s Bill the Butcher at the end there from Gangs of New York.)