Audio

The Monster Squad

TRACK #116:

The Monster Squad by The Monster Squad

Since we all know and have just addressed with whom you’ll contact over telephone wires should it become apparent that you in fact have harmful apparitions approaching, let’s task listeners with a similar question:

Yeah, but who do you call when you have Monsters?

That’s right and at last we come to The Monster Squad. From the very first CD in 2002, The Monster Squad has been a permanent fixture of Halloween Shindig and remains one of my favorite selections on the playlist.

Granted, I may be a bit biased but this song is representing hard. Let’s check the stats:

  1. Is it about a horror movie?
    Check, it’s about the goddamn Monster Squad.
  2. Ah, yes, but is it in the movie?  
    In it? Motherfucker, it’s the Title Track. Triple check that shit.
  3. We talkin’ bout Monsters? 
    Fuck yeah we are. It’s like a goddamn monster mash up in this motherfucker. Dracula, Frankenstein’s Monster, the Wolfman, the Mummy, the Creature from the Black Lagoon. That’s the big five, son. Throw in some sexy vampire chicks, a grotesque bat transformation and a werewolf exploding out of the sky and you’ve got some real monster shit on lock. Check + to Monster Song.

What more could you ask for? Well, they even mention Halloween too. Sure, it’s to illustrate how this ain’t Halloween (or some phony deal) but we’ll just look that other way on that one. They say Halloween and damn it if that ain’t all that matters sometimes.

Now all of that sounds like a Referentially Inclusive Monster Halloween Title Track to me, gang. That’s Great Pumpkin status right there.

And it’s a Monster Rap to boot? Holy shit, is there anything this song can’t do?

One of the most ridiculous tracks you can imagine, The Monster Squad was suspiciously recorded by some anonymous collective of Hip-Hop Demigods that chose to remain nameless. What?!

Why the hell anyone would elect to do this is so far beyond the scope of my imagination it boarders on madness. If I was responsible for this song I’d put it on every job application I ever filled out.

  • 2 years as an Assistant Hanger Inspector for Sears and Roebuck.
  • 4 months as a Substitute Wigsmith at The Downtown Clownery.
  • Oh yeah and I wrote the motherfucking Monster Squad Rap. What’s up?

From a time when everyone thought something like this was a really great idea,  The Monster Squad (for anyone thinking otherwise) is a really great idea.

It’s is pretty whack? Yeah, I guess so. If you wanna be a jerk about it.

Is it poorly conceived and equally executed? Yeah, I suppose I’d have to concede that fact too, if you really want this to be a frank discussion about musical integrity.

But fuck that discussion and fuck you for wanting it pal, cause this song fucking rules. It’s a rap song about a group of kids fighting The Universal Monsters. Oh, did you not catch that? It’s a rap song about a group of kids fighting The Universal Monsters. Whomever is responsible for this song should be a cultural icon. They should have a fucking Grammy and an Academy Award.

Instead,  (I’ve Had) The Time of My Life from Dirty Dancing took the honor that year. All right, fair enough. Maybe that’s a better song, but it lacks the lyric:

“We don’t wanna hang with the walking dead, so we gotta kick some monster butt instead.”

What’s up now, Academy of Arts and Sciences?

Looking into this travesty further, I discovered the competition that year was actually pretty stiff. Check this shit out:

Damn, that’s a solid 80’s line-up right there. Maybe I spoke too soon. Still, it should have been nominated at the absolute least. Who the hell is still talking about Cry Freedom 26 years later?

No one, that’s who.

But I digress.

An interesting side note to this song: the original version I had on the 2002 CD was pulled from my old VHS copy of Monster Squad. Incidentally, this was later signed by Tom Woodruff Jr.

Check it out.

This version contained the line:

“First came Dracula, now the Wolfman too, The Mummy and the Gillman swimming in the pool.”

What? Why did that roll call just fall the fuck apart?

Hear that sample below.


I always thought this was a pretty strange and horrendous line, particularly when they could have just as simply said “and the Creature from the Black Lagoon.”

But I guess they couldn’t say “and the Creature from the Black Lagoon,” for the home video release. Damn copyrights.

All things considered, that’s not a bad save. Syllabically sound, it even sort of rhymes, at least no more or less than the original false rhyme.  But damn is it silly. Why is he in the pool? Did I miss a scene where he climbs out of a pool? Why did he just say that?

Upon upgrading the tune for better quality many years later when The Monster Squad finally saw a DVD release, I noticed the line was suddenly changed to “and the Creature From The Black Lagoon” and I thought “Shit, that must have been the original lyric. How about that.” Now, I just feel sort of nostalgic for the old, butchered scab.

But I’ve spoken too verbosely about all of this as is, so let’s just make with the goods, huh?

One of my favorite songs on the playlist from one of my favorite movies of all time. Here it is….The Monster Squad.

 

 

 

Audio

Night of The Demons

109_night-of-the-demons-2009TRACK #109:

Night of the Demons by 45 Grave

Great Pumpkins are few and far between, so to stick two so close together is indicative of the kind of block where in here toward the center of our hallowed playlist.

At last count there were four total; two tried and true Halloween Pumpkins, one Monster Song Pumpkin and another by way of Devilish Track. That’s the bases covered, doubly so in that The Monster Squad is also a Monster Rap.

This one though, this one is the gold standard. This is the one which inspired the category. This is the one by which all the others are measured, and even they fall short of the Shindiggery on display here. If the playlist had its own theme, it would probably be this song.

It’s not necessarily may favorite song on the Shindig (though it would definitely be up there), nor do I mean to suggest it is the best, but it’s so exemplary of what this playlist is all about that it beggars belief. Horror Movies, the music from them, the referential Rock ‘N Roll about them and of course Halloween, all succinctly served in a 4 minute sonic stew.

Is it any surprise that such a song should come from 45 Grave? Not to this guy it doesn’t, and when i first heard it back in 2010 my jaw dropped and I immediately shouted “Holy shit does this song need to be on the playlist.”

But because nothing could be that perfect, naturally, there’s a catch. In this case (and it’s perhaps a bit of my own prejudice rising to the surface) it is the caveat that the song is that comes from the the Night of the Demons remake. Which is a solid soundtrack, to be sure, but a terrible remake. Moreover, it was a terrible movie in its own right. However. as a remake to one of my favorite Halloween movies of all time, it’s even worse.

So, to balance out that factor, I’ve book-ended it with samples from the original, because, how could I not? This song could have been on the original soundtrack. It should have been. So let’s just pretend it was.

And with that, 45 Grave and I invite you to drink, get stoned and party all night, for the demons come alive on Halloween.

 

Audio

Dead Man’s Party

091_oingo-boing_dead-mans-party

TRACK #91:

Dead Man’s Party by Oingo Boingo

Well, it wouldn’t be much of a dead man’s party without Dead Man’s Party, now would it?

A classic and obligatory party playlist inclusion, no Halloween would be complete without at least one go-round to Oingo Boingo’s certified horrifying hit.

No frills, no samples, no nothing. Just Dead Man’s Party. Enjoy

 

Audio

The Black Widow

082_alice-cooper_welcome_to_my_nightmareTRACK# 82:

The Black Widow by Alice Cooper

Vincent Price is awesome. I’m not really sure how else to put it. I could use words like “extraordinary,” or “singular,” or even “eminent,” but they all just sound like “awesome” to me.

Another, even more appropriate word, might be “iconic.” Having starred in over 40 genre pictures, Mr. Price, though not exclusive to horror (having appeared in almost 200 film and television productions) has left his indelible mark on the world of the macabre.

Simply anchoring some of my all-time favorite horror films, including The House on Haunted Hill, The Masque of the Red Death, and The Abominable Dr. Phibes, Vincent Price already equals horror. And that’s not even mentioning The Tingler, The Raven, A Comedy of TerrorsLast Man on Earth, House of Wax, The Pit and the Pendulum, Witchfinder General or The Fly. You get the idea.

Even outside the sphere of horror, Price still owns my loyalty, adding his distinctive flare to Egghead, one of my favorite villains from one of my favorite shows ever, the old Batman series from 1965.

Again, that’s not even to speak of his radio work, The 13 Ghosts of Scooby Doo, his Sears-Roebuck sponsored Fine Art Collection, The Great Mouse Detective, Dead Heat, Edward Scissorhands, and this absolutely insane album of him talking about witchcraft and the demons.

I’ll type that again just in case you breezed passed it: Vincent Price recorded a 90 minute spoken word album all about witchcraft and it’s fucking incredible.

His credits even include a stint on Hollywood Squares. Seriously?

Seriously.

So iconic is Vincent that he appears on the Shindig at least 3 times without any intervention from my sampling hand. Bands who wanted to sound spooky tapped Vincent for that little extra something sinister. Never a bad decision.

The first example of this is from none other than Alice Cooper, no stranger to the sinister himself. Price leads in Track 82, The Black Widow from Cooper’s 1975 album Welcome to My Nightmare.

As if that wasn’t enough, Price also starred in the corresponding television special which followed the album entitled Alice Cooper: The Nightmare, where he reprises this monologue, in perfect Price fashion, almost identically.

Vincent Price may have passed, but among horror fans he will live on forever, ritualistically resurrected with each push of the play button. And as for the Shindig, his extraordinarily singular and eminent voice can be heard all over it.

 

Audio

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.

 

Audio

Soul Dracula

075_hot-blood_disco-draculaTRACK #75:

Soul Dracula by Hot Blood

Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on your perspective) there was more than one disco Dracula tune.

In fact, there was a whole album. It was even called Disco Dracula. It was the only effort from weird German band called Hot Blood and there’s a couple of vampire themed tracks on this sucker. Hell, there’s even a Frankenstein song called “Baby Frankie Stein.”

Mostly a funky instrumental, this lyrically sparse number does repeatedly feature the the titular phrase “Soul Dracula,” which is honestly enough for the Shindig. However, Hot Blood puts a little pepper on the porridge by using a goofy Dracula voice. Bonus.

Leading this track in is a clip from Blacula, cause lets face it, Blacula is the soulest motherfuckin Dracula around. To quote James Brown “Eddie Murphy, eat your heart out.”

And because it is mostly an instrumental, we went ahead and saddled the whole track with some Blacula clips, cause Blacula is awesome, and he deserves it.

Enjoy!

 

Audio

Drac’s Back

074_red-lipstique_dracs-backTRACK #74:

Drac’s Back by Red Lipstique

Disco was no stranger to novelty tracks. And as all you Shindiggers know, novelty tracks were no stranger to monster songs.

Though originally recorded in 1979 by Andy Forray, The Shindig prefers this slightly more up-tempo version by Red Lipstique.

Never heard of Red Lipstique? Well, that’s because they weren’t really a real band. It was the pseudonym The Bollocks Brother’s used when they released several singles, including this cover of Andy Forray’s disco hit.

Never heard of The Bollocks Brothers? Well, I hadn’t either.

However, I have heard of this song, and it’s definitely Shindig material, no matter what band records it, or what name they use

So c’mon Weeners, sing along…

“I wanna suck your OOOOOHHHH!”

Dracula, Drac’s back!

(side note: I could think of nothing more fitting to lead this track in than a clip from Hammer’s Dracula A.D. 1972, which finds Christopher Lee’s Drac being resurrected into London of the early 70’s. Not quite the disco era but still appropriate.)

 

Audio

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!

 

Audio

Haunted House

064_elvira_revenge-of-the-monster-hitsTRACK #64:

Haunted House by Elvira

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.

 

Audio

Feed My Frankenstein

058_alice-cooper_hey-stoopidTRACK #58:

Feed My Frankenstein by Alice Cooper

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.

Recently, for his stage show, Alice Cooper commissioned haunt specialists Distortions Unlimited to create a giant Alice Cooper Frankenstein puppet. Here’s a video of it if you no idea what I’m talking about. He…uh….pops out…at that 3:45 mark, if you just wanna scan to it.

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.

Enjoy!