There’s a lot of reasons why everyone loves Return Of The Living Dead. There’s its great special FX, its endlessly quotable script, its moments of genuine fright, its fantastic soundtrack…
and then there’s Trash.
In the role that turned Linnea Quigley into a horror icon, Trash is the terminally insouciant, death obsessed, gutter punk exhibitionist who just can’t seem to keep her clothes on.
She also can’t seem to talk about anything but death, but I doubt there was one straight male horror fan in 1985 between the ages of 12 to 34 who gave one damn.
I love Linnea Quigley. She stars in one of my favorite Halloween movies of all time and appears in my favorite Christmas movie of all time. I love to see her in anything and I’ve sat through quite a bit of garbage (Deadly Embrace, I’m looking in your direction) simply because she makes an appearance.
You may not always get a Trash or a Suzanne (Night of the Demons) or a Spider (Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama) but you’ll always get Linnea. And whether she’s being cute and bubbly, or morose and sassy, she will always be refreshing compared to her surroundings.
This track from SSQ will forever remind me (and I’m sure countless others) of both Trash and Linnea and my first experience with the horror vixen, who takes almost as close a place in my heart as The Mistress of the Dark herself.
So, let’s get some light over here, Trash is taking off her clothes again.
Delivering back to back jammers from 2 Shindig Allstars in your film and a great way to get that double-shot of hot rock ‘n roll represented directly onto the playlist. It’s just too perfect.
Oingo Boingo, who were no stranger to 80’s soundtracks themselves, found their music webbed up in this Sawyer family fiasco and it adds a lot of chaos to the intense opening chase sequence from Texas Chainsaw 2.
Rick the Prick wants to hear “Bright Lights, Big Titties,” or rather, he’d like to see them.
Unfortunately, all he’s gonna see is the bright lights of a truck carrying a corpse and a big fucking chainsaw.
Here’s Danny Elfman and Oingo Boingo, with a track that might have just made the cut without even being featured in a movie, No One Lives Forever.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. It’s status as a horror classic is indisputable, even if you don’t care for it all that much. Why you wouldn’t is beyond me but I’m sure there are some of you out there.
Personally, I love it. It’s subtle in all the right ways, despite it’s rather incongruous reputation as a gorefest. It’s not overbearing, it’s wildy disturbing and suitably intense when it needs to be.
As a franchise though, it’s one of the weaker offerings in my opinion. Troubled by lengthy lapses of inactivity, tonal shifts and studio bouncing, it never seems to catch a rhythm; never feels like a true series.
All the sequels seem detached from one another, almost like reboots rather than sequels.
Some people swear by The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2 and with plenty of good reasons. Savini’s on board with some great work. Billy Mosely comes out almost more iconic than the films real draw with an inspired (albeit over the top) turn as Chop Top. Dennis Hopper shows up to bring an added sense of gravitas. The perceived gore of the original is actually on display in this outing. And all in all, it’s pretty fun, albeit very different sequel.
One thing I appreciate most about this Texas 2 though (as is the case most times with The Shindig) is its soundtrack. Featuring some great tunes from some Shindig All-Stars knocking it out of the park.
With the added wraparound of Stretch and the KOTLA radio plot, you got some Shindig gold.
Here’s a little double threat of Texas Chainsaw goodness from some of the ‘dig’s finest.
Leading off is Shindig Allstars The Cramps.
We all know The Shindig has a lotta love for The Cramps. Without being overtly horrific they manage to exude the genre subtly with they’re Shock! Theatre and drive-in double feature aura. 80’s horror producers took note and The Cramps found themselves mixed up with all sorts of genre offerings.
Here, within the Texas Chainsaw sequel, Stretch from KOKLA Red River Rock radio has a soft spot for gang too, and we can’t blame her.
So what is a Goo Goo Muck? Well, it just sounds like a horny teenage monster or some ilk similar to that of a werewolf or a vampire.
Sounds like something Lux might just whip out of thin air. Ah, but interestingly enough, this Cramp’s cut is actually a cover!
Originally recorded by Ronnie Cook in 1962, this old rock and roller is perfect fodder for The Cramps’ spooky sound.
Return of the Living Dead 2 gets a bad rap. Granted, it’s pretty well deserved, but it gets a bad rap all the same.
Honestly though, in its defense, it had a full count walking to the plate: take one of the most beloved, successful and awesome zombie horror/comedies ever, which wraps itself up pretty fucking tightly and expand on it. Go!
Yeah it strikes out, but that was to be expected. At least it doesn’t get caught looking. It goes down swinging.
It’s never very dark or scary or serious (as the trailer led people to believe) nor is it ever terribly funny. Comedy is tricky and when it face-plants, it does so hard and loudly. It’s not quite as cringe inducing as its equally I’ll-advised contemporary, C.H.U.D. 2, but unlike its counter part you at least feel like your watching an honest to god sequel, despite how shitty that sequel may be.
One thing ROTLD 2 gets sort of right is the music. While nowhere near the iconic status of its predecessor’s, there’s some good tunes to be had on this soundtrack. Whether it’s Anthrax or Leatherwolf or this turn from Joe Lamont.
Being that this really the only thing the Shindig ultimately concerns itself with, Return of The Living Dead 2 gets its day.
Since our Halloween movie countdown is focusing on Halloween Seqeuls, let’s keep the sequel soundtrack train rolling over here with a tune from an actual Halloween sequel.
If you’re a C.H.U.D. fan, a horror fan or even just a normal person trying to sit down and watch an enjoyable movie, C.H.U.D. II: Bud the C.H.U.D. doesn’t have a whole hell of a lot to offer you.
If you’re Halloween Shindig, a blog centered around a Halloween Playlist which encompasses all types of random nonsensical horror-related music from the movies, suddenly C.H.U.D. II: Bud the C.H.U.D. has something quite fantastic to offer.
And that thing is out next number, by-liner title track Bud The C.H.U.D. from Kipp Lennon.
Who the hell is Kipp Lennon?
That’s a great question. Apparently he’s a founding member of the folk group Venice. Yeah, I’d never heard of them either.
However, it appears he’s also the voice behind mental patient Leon Kompowski who believes he’s Michael Jackson in the Simpsons episode “Stark Raving Dad.” As such, he’s the guy who sings “Happy Birthday Lisa.” That’s pretty weird.
Seems he’s had a handful of gigs impersonating Michael Jackson’s voice. He doesn’t do that here unfortunately, presumably using his natural God-given sound to accentuate all the incredible lyrics Bud the C.H.U.D. has to offer.
Outside of this track, C.H.U.D. II is a rather harmless, if midly entertaining tangent to the original C.H.U.D. It also takes place during Halloween and features a pretty great Halloween party sequence (a staple) and some fun trick or treating.
Compared to some of the junk featured on The Return of the 31 Days of Halloween Horror list, you can do a lot worse this season the C.H.U.D. II.
So, if you’re feeling festive and silly, pop it on and you’ll be treated to this fun 80’s tune from Kipp Lennon.
So it’s 1987 and you’re Kevin Tenney and you just made a crazy Halloween movie about kids getting possessed in an old abandoned funeral home.
It’s all edited; its fun, it’s funny, the gore looks great, Linnea looks great, Amelia looks great, the pacing is down, everything us shaping up to be a fine horror romp.
But something’s missing. Where’s the music?
What you need is an end credit tune that says everything you want to say in a decidedly late 80’s hard rock fashion. What are you to do?
You hire your fucking brother Dennis Michael Tenney, that’s what you do. Then you tell him “knock it outta the park bro,” because “everything’s riding on you.”
And then he gives you The Beast Inside...
…and it clears the fucking bases.
Composer of the main theme and the rest of the music from Night of the Demons that isn’t Bauhaus’ Stigmata Martyr, Dennis Michael Tenney knows his way around a hard rocking 80’s power ballad, and The Beast Inside is no exception.
It’s got the slow melodic verse followed by the chugging chorus. It’s got a weird demon voice saying “The Beast!” just before the solo tears in from nowhere. And it’s got the strangely vague yet vaguely epic lyrics.
What the hell is Dennis talking about here?
It plays more toward the figurative side of it’s double entendre that’s for sure, making a metaphor out of it’s title for the beast inside of all mankind. Then it throws in a bunch of vague cold-war anxiety just to let you know it’s being written in the mid-80’s. But if we don’t analyze it too much (which honestly, we shouldn’t even be doing) it makes for a pretty rocking coda to a movie about demon possession.
And it’s all lead in by a Halloween prick getting his comeuppance via a slice of ironic justice served up by his dear, doting wife. That’ll teach ya to shove razor blades in apples, ya old blowhole.
At #133 here’s Shindig All-Star Dennis Michael Tenney with….The Beast Inside!
I wanted to keep the Demons train rolling and mash-up Boddy Rhodes’ Hank from Demons 2but that soundtrack kinda sucks. Save for Rainby the Cult and some fun score music, it’s a pretty lame horror soundtrack and is almost completely useless to The Shindig.
“Take this! I’ll hang onto this!”
They opted to go all new wave gothy with the sequel and while I love The Cult (perhaps the only rock outfit on there), I tried it out and Rain just isn’t ballsy enough for all of Bobby’s shouting.
You know what is?
They got their balls to the wall, as it happens. So I decided to cheat a little.
Bobby Rhodes is just too good to leave in the lurch because of an inferior soundtrack and the original Demons has too good of a soundtrack not to double dip.
So we’re gonna bust out a Demons double shot for ya. Here’s Accept’sFast As a Shark from Demons 1 sampled out with tons of from shit from Hank in Demons 2.
Horseshoes and hand-grenades as far as The Shindig is concerned.
Perhaps better suited to a giallo than a supernatural tale of possession, Fast As a Shark is still a pretty awesome track for any horror movie, full stop. Delivering its somewhat moot warning while letting you know just how royally fucked you are. Holy shit.
And to cap it all off they’re just putting you on blast:
“Now it’s your time.
A loser will die.”
Gee, thanks for the vote of confidence Accept.
As for Demons 2, it’s pretty much the same damn movie, only everyone’s stuck in an apartment complex and the creatures emerge from a TV broadcast instead of a film.
There’s more characters, spreading around the action a little more but dragging the pace down a bit. Obviously, Bobby Rhodes is back, this time in the form of physical trainer Hank. He’s a more stand-up cat and a much better leader, otherwise he might as well just be Tony The Pimp in sweatpants.
There’s even another group of time-sensitive teens driving around trying to get to the main location. Yeah, it’s pretty much the same movie. Except, ya know, for its shittier, non-metal soundtrack.
It’s also little sillier around the edges with a few children, including a very young Asia Argento. One of these little fuckers actually turns into a demon, which itself is pretty cool. That is until this winged gremlin-like ghoulie-thing tears out of his stomach. Again, kinda cool when it happens, but then it starts chasing the pregnant woman all around. That gets a bit clowny.
The additional characters make the chaos a bit little less focused. There’s the couple stuck in the elevator, the lady with her demon dog, Sally and her birthday partiers all dealing with different levels of demonoid phenomenon.
Meanwhile, Hank and some of his gym-short meat-heads are holding it down in the parking garage, flipping cars, tossin’ molotovs, busting up demons with axes and gunning down possessed fools left and right.
As horror sequels go, it’s not bad. It sticks to the formula pretty stringently, offering up the same basic premise while upping the ante just enough. And like most sequels, it fails to outdo its predecessor. But honestly, if they keep calling forth demons and letting Bobby Rhodes miraculous return to battle ’em back, The Shindig it’d be all over it. Unfortunately the Demons saga gets all fuckered after part 2.
Lamberto directed The Ogre in 1988, which was widely released as Dèmoni 3. It is not. Similarly, Umberto Lenzi directed Dèmoni 3 (aka Black Demons) in ’91. This is also not Demons 3.
Officially, Demons 3 is Michele Soavi’s 1989 movie The Church(aka Cathedral of Demons or Demon Cathedral) which, while pretty badass, doesn’t necessarily feel like a Demons movie either. Though after a sinister crypt it opened, the titular church does seal itself shut much like in the earlier Demons outings.
But, we fans still get all the Bobby Rhodes-Demon-action we can from the original double-header. So come on Weeners, MOVE IT! MOVE IT!
Ah Demons, how I love thee. Let me count the ways.
This awesome Italian gore-fest from Mario Bava’s son Lamberto might not live up to his father’s catalog in the masterful film making department, but what it lacks in finesse it more than makes up for in kick ass gore effects, hilarious dubbing and general balls-to-the-wallsery.
The setup is simple. Unsuspecting movie-goers attending the premier screening of a new horror film become possessed by the same evil unfolding on the screen. Cue crazy demon madness.
What I love most about Demons (is not, bizarrely enough, it’s soundtrack) but Bobby Rhodes’ pimp-hero Tony. Or rather, I should say whoever dubbed him in English. They’re both awesome and the two form together like the Wonder Twins to create something even more awesome.
My pal Mikey, who met Bobby Rhodes at Fangoria’s Weekend of Horrors some years ago, said he has this really thick Italian accent and it was bizarre to hear that voice coming out of his face. Here’s a picture. Mikey is appropriately pumped.
Cause Tony is the fucking man and he provides us with some of the greatest get-it-done, no-nonsense tough-guy horror movie bullshit ever committed to the screen. He’s seriously one of my favorite horror heroes of all time and though he dies about halfway into the proceedings, he (or rather Bobby and the awesome guy who dubs him) return in a more noble fashion for Demons 2. Double bonus.
What I love second about Demons is its unrelenting gore-soaked effects from maestro Sergio Stivalleti. The movie is caked in oozing liquids, green foam and nasty teeth. The demons look mean and scary as hell while they mercilessly rip the unsuspecting movie-goers to shred.
Coming in third is the soundtrack. It’s a serious 80’s metal bash and exactly what you want from a horror soundtrack: Accept, Saxon, Motely Crue, Billy Idol, hell there’s even a random Rick Springfield song in there for good measure.
So, with all those heavy hitters then, why choose Pretty Maids? Well, first thing is Night Danger fucking rules and is exactly the kinda rocking 80’s metal storm the Shindig needs to follow up the King.
Secondly, it’s all Satany and badass.
Thirdly, it’s front and center in the film, right as all the demon shit hits the fan.
Spliced with tons of samples from Tony the Pimp cause fuck yeah.
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.
The Time Warpby Richard O’Brien, Patricia Quinn, Nell Campbell and Charles Gray
You all know the moves, most assuredly, because you all know the song and the musical it originates from, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, all too well.
It’s just a jump to the left, and then a step to the right. Pretty simple shit honestly, but here’s a diagram anyway. Act like you know.
Halloween is inexplicably associated with Rocky Horror. I may never understand exactly why, within the larger culture, these 2 things are so entwined but VH1’s Halloween showings of it in my youth have forever bonded them together in my own consciousness. Perhaps that’s the case for a lot of people.
According to the production however, the laboratory sequence and Rocky’s creation were filmed on the 30th of October in 1974. So there’s that and that’s pretty Halloweenish, not that Rocky Horror really needed any justification.
The most well known, oft played and Shindigable track is the bizarre inter-dimensional dance craze that was all the rage on Transsexual in the galaxy of Transylvania.
Is it about sex? Probably, everything else in Rocky Horror appears to be. Or perhaps it’s more literal, as they use a time warp to transport themselves back to Transexual. Maybe it’s both.
I’ve heard it interpreted that Riff Raff’s initial verse is about feeling horny and then orgasming. Magenta’s solo describes the viewing of pornography or perhaps a more direct for of voyuerism, while Colombia’s solo is a depiction of a rape scenario. Dunno if I cotton to all of that exactly (particularly since Colombia doesn’t seem to mind all that much) but it’s as solid a read of the songs intentions as anyone could ask for. And of course, there’s all that pelvic thrusting.
Whatever the hell the Translyvanian’s are on about, it’s certainly getting them riled up and causing them to dance like buffoons all over the place, just as you should be doing at your Halloween party right…about…now.
Just remember to hit the floor when it’s all said and done.