Audio

The Haunted Mansion Theme

TRACK #141:

The Haunted Mansion Theme by Buddy Baker & Xavier Atencio

I’ll start this off with the perhaps blasphemous admission (particularly considering my Southern California residence) that I have never been to Disneyland. I’ve heard every reaction, so feel free to engage in whichever one comes most naturally to you.

It goes without saying, then, that I have also never been on The Haunted Mansion ride. Though, if I were to visit the happiest place on earth, it would probably be for the explicit purpose of doing just that.

I have, however, heard its theme song an innumerable amount of times and it’s pretty damn Halloweeny, so I would be rather remiss to omit it from a playlist such as this.

There’s a lot of great voice talent on display in this old, fun tune from the 50’s. It’s great to think a song this old still plays in the halls of The Mansion some 60 odd years since its inception.

In a world that perpetually moves on, upgrades and reboots, it’s just nice to know Eddie Murphy isn’t cackling his way through some Rick James produced ghost rap. Though honestly, having just type this out, that actually sounds pretty fucking awesome. But the Mansion is still better off without such nonsense, regardless of how much I desperately want to hear that song now.

I’ve collided the tune with the ride’s own spoken intro for a little extra spookiness. So grab a hatbox, your death certificate and don’t close your eyes! It’s time for Disney’s Haunted Mansion!

 

 

Audio

Friday The 13th Part 3 Theme

TRACK #123:

Theme From Friday The 13th Part 3  by Hot Ice

It may not be Harry Manfredini’s classic score but the Theme From Friday The 13th Part 3  by Hot Ice is as bad news as any horror theme you can throw at me.

Spooky, synthy and down right Halloweeny, it’s one of my favorite horror themes ever. Even those partiers unfamiliar with its origins won’t question this instrumental’s inclusion on your Halloween playlist, so perfectly suited is it.

With a creepy theremin like chorus and a thumping baseline, Hot Ice delivered the goods, even if it was for an installment I’m less excited about.

Yeah, I’m not crazy about Part 3. I like it, don’t get me wrong and it has a lot going for it but if I’m ranking the first 5, it looks like 1, 2, 4, 5, 3. On the 10 film spectrum, it centers up pretty a bit, (1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 3, 8, 10, 9) but its still in the bottom 5. Why you ask?

Welp, it’s the kills. They’re a little lazy I think and the 3D (a gimmick I appreciated in the bad old days) actually hinders rather than enhances.

It almost appears as though the filmmakers were hoping the 3rd dimension would make any old bullshit look cool. It doesn’t.

Jason’s first hockey mask adorned kill is a great example of this. It should be intense, up close and gory. Instead he fires a harpoon across a dock, right at the audience’s face and into the eye of his young prey. It’s suppose to be cool, I guess. It’s not. Not even in 3D. It’s just weak. And lazy. Literally lazy. He fires a harpoon 20 yards. It’s whack as fuck. At least he looks like a badass tossin’ the gun down. There’s that I guess.

However, part 3 does have some stuff that makes it worthwhile. The hockey mask’s debut, some great shots of Jason unmasked (including a horrifying final sequence), some fun assholes you really wanna see die, particularly Shelley (one of my least favorite Friday characters of all time) and definitely this theme by Hot Ice.

 

Audio

Night Of The Demons Theme

108_night-of-the-demons-1987TRACK #108:

Night Of The Demons Theme by Dennis Michael Tenney

There are few Halloween movies I love as much as Night of Demons. It satisfies all the criteria for a Halloween horror hit. If you’ve never had the pleasure of seeing it, click here for some reasons why it should be playing right now on your television set. Or better yet, just click this to watch the fucker immediately on whatever screen you happen to be reading this. To hell with the rest of my post. You’ll hear the song right off the bat and see the real animations where the gifs originated. I won’t be hurt, you’ll be watching Night Of The Demons and my goal will have been actualized.notd_open1

Still here? Alright, fair enough. Maybe you’ve already seen it. Or maybe you’ll just wait. Or maybe you don’t care at all about watching Night Of The Demons. If so, you’re probably not reading this either, so who cares about you? Why am I continuing to address you? Back to people who care!

One of the things I love most about Night the Demons is this great theme from director Kevin Tenney’s brother Dennis and the awesome opening credit sequence which it accompanies.  notd_title

What better way to kick off a Halloween gore fest than with some seasonal synth and some simple, spooky animations? A solitary glowing Jack-O-Lantern and some scarier synth? Yeah, maybe you’re right. But there ain’t no gore in Carpenter’s original, so my statement still stands.

So, if you’ve already had your fill of Michael Myers, pull up a chair and spend All Hallo’s with Angela, Stoogie, Sal, Suzanne and the rest of the demons gang. You may not live to regret it.

notd_pump

 

Audio

The Munster’s Theme (with lyrics)

084_munsters_at-home-withTRACK #84:

The Munsters’ Theme (with lyrics)

by Jack Marshall & Bob Mosher

Everybody loves The Munsters’ foot stompin’ surfy theme, but Jack Marshall’s tune actually had some lyrics to go with. Written by the show’s producer Bob Mosher, this version of the theme was never featured on the show.

However, thanks to the album At Home With the Munsters, fans are given a chance to hear this more typical sounding theme.

It may be a little slower, and definitely not better, but it does feature some clever lyrics and even a nod to our hallowed holiday. Shindig approved!

I led the track it with a clip from The Munsters’ Revenge, a TV movie produced in 1981 which actually takes place around Halloween, and features The Munsters at 2 different Halloween parities. Finally.

Because, every evening is Halloween, at The Munsters’!

 

 

Audio

The Munster’s Theme

083_munsters_themeTRACK #83:

The Munsters’ Theme by Jack Marshall

Speaking of iconic, it’s high time we talked about the most iconic family in all of horror-dom, The Munsters.

Though only lasting 2 seasons, Herman, Lily, Grandpa, Eddie and Marylin Munster have lingered on, long past their short stint on the airwaves to become some of horrors most beloved characters.

With such talented actors as Yvonne DeCarlo, Al Lewis and Fred Gwynne hamming it up in such great costumes and make-up, it’s not hard to understand why the show has remained so wonderful to watch and still manages to capture new generations of viewers.

So loved are The Munsters, they’ve been revisited and recast more times than just about anything in the genre, with 5 separate actors playing Herman, Grandpa and Lily, and 7 stepping into the role of Eddie. Marilyn still has the most though, at 9, including 2 actresses (Beverly Owen and Pat Priest) during the show’s initial run. That’s pretty crazy.

However for fans, these revisits have run the gamut from quaint and acceptable (1981’s The Munster’s Revenge) to somewhat watchable (1995’s Here Come The Munsters) to the flat-out cringe inducing (the ill-advised, ill-conceived and ill-received The Munsters Today.) The latter (being a rebooted, sequel-series that aired from 1988 to 1991) somehow managed to stay on the air an entire season longer than the original show, though only producing roughly the same number of episodes.

While each installment has something of merit (The Munster’s Today does feature a rather good turn from Howard Morton as Grandpa) nothing quite matched or lived up to the series. Even 1966’s Munster, Go Home! (the closest to actually feeling like the show) is hampered by the decisions to film in color, recast Marilyn and lose the laugh track.

All that said, perhaps the most iconic aspect of the show is its oft played, oft covered and oft imitated theme song composed by Jack Marshall. If you’ve ever seen the un-aired (and colorized!) pilot for the show, you know just how instrumental Jack’s theme really was.

Instantly recognizable, it’s one of the great television themes of all-time, and just about every rehash (including Munster, Go Home!) has either failed to include it, or used some seriously bastardized version (The Munsters Today) that feels egregious.

Though they were changed a bit between seasons 1 and 2, I’m not quite sure which I honestly prefer most. I’ve included the season 2 theme on the Shindig because I believe it’s the one most often referred to, covered and imitated. Also, The Los Straitjackets’ version appears later in playlist, and that definitely has a distinctly Season 1 sound.

So, let’s spend some time on the Shindig with America’s First Family of Fright, The Munster.

 

Audio

The Trioxin Theme (Main Title)

004_return-of-the-living-deadTRACK #79:

The Trioxin Theme (Main Title) by Francis Haines

It seems as though I’ve been ignoring my Horror Themes category. Better sock one in here before the playlist ends up with a giant lyric-less cluster somewhere in the middle.

And if you need a go-to Horror Theme, then Francis Haines’ Return of the Living Dead Main Title Theme will do just fine.

Perfectly creepy, perfectly Halloweeny, The Trioxin Theme is just the break we need from the rock to bring a little ambiance back into the mix.

As soundtracks go (official, purchasable albums that is) The Return of the Living Dead is a great one. Not only is the music awesome, but it chock full of so many great samples from the movie I don’t even need to bust out my DVD to lead them in. Just grab 2 tracks, splice em a little and we’re good to go.

From one of the greatest zombie movies ever made, here’s the main title theme from The Return of the Living Dead.

 

Audio

Ernest Scared Stupid (Theme)

050_ernest-scared-stupidTRACK #50:

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.

The theme from Ernest Scared Stupid, along with it’s awesome opening credit sequence, set the tone for this wonderful holiday treat.

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.

 

Audio

Helen’s Theme

048_candymanTRACK #48:

Helen’s Theme by Phillip Glass

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.

 

Audio

The Addams Family (Theme)

030_addams-family_themeTRACK #30:

The Addams Family (Theme) by Victor Mizzy

No matter what era or medium they seem to find themselves, be it a comic strip in the late 1930’s, a sitcom in the 60’s, cartoons in the 70’s, movies in the 90’s, or a modern Broadway musical, The Addams Family always seems perfectly suited to their surroundings and never disappoint.

In honor of America’s first family of the macabre, let’s all gather with a shawl on, a broomstick we can crawl on and lets make a few calls on – The Ad-dams Fam-i-ly.addams-and-halloween

 

 

Audio

Tales From The Crypt (Theme)

023_tales-from-the-cryptTRACK #23:

Tales From the Crypt Theme by Danny Elfman

With so much representation on the Shindig, in one form or another, it’s strange to see we’ve gotten this far without including Danny Elfman.

Easily my favorite anthology-form horror offering, HBO’s Tales From the Crypt positively scared the shit out of me in my youth, largely thanks to its creepy intro with that incredible model, the Cryptkeeper bounding from his coffin like a ghoulish jack in the box, and Elfman’s eerie theme here.

Perhaps my favorite theme of all time, and certainly my favorite of Elfman’s (maybe with The Simpson’s catching a close 2nd), creeping us a little further into the Shindig, here’s Tales from The Crypt.