Audio

Haunted Cathouse

TRACK #147

Haunted Cathouse by The Nekromantix
What Haunted House tour would be complete without a stop at a haunted whorehouse?

Here’s a psychobilly banger from The Nekromantix which has the guys reminiscing about the good old days, ya know when they got free blowjobs from weird creatures at this spooky brothel.

I lead in the song with a clip from Blood Sisters, Roberta Findlay’s late-era slasher where some sorority sisters are challenged to spend the night in…a haunted whorehouse!

With Roberta’s name and the plot outlined above, you’d be forgiven for thinking you were getting into some top-notch 80’s slash-sleazery. Unfortunately, you’d be mistaken, and probably fairly disappointed by this scavenger hunt, genre mash-up which delivers little in either haunted house chills or hack-n-slash thrills.

It’s not even terribly sleazy, which is a pretty hefy sin for a movie about a haunted whorehouse where a bunch of sorority girls are having a sleep-over.

Oh, well. At any rate, here’s The Nekromantix describing a house which would have been much cooler than the one we get to see in Blood Sisters.

 

Audio

Terror (in the Haunted House)

TRACK #146:

Terror (in the Haunted House) by Blitzkid

Though they share titles, I’m not entirely convinced Blitzkid was inspired by the film Terror in the Haunted House to write this upbeat spookster.

See, Terror in the Haunted House doesn’t really take place in a Haunted House. I suppose House of Haunted Hill doesn’t really either, but it at least it pretends to. Terror in the Haunted House doesn’t even do that.

What it does do however, is attempt to bug you out with a bunch of subliminal messages and images cut into the movie. They called this gimmick “Psycho-Rama!” which sounds way cooler than it actually is.

The look of these messages is pretty goofy. They’re actually kind of distracting and not at all effective. Take a look. I’ve slowed them down for optimum perception!

Not so spooky. Hell, the later ones seem pretty aftermarket. Particularly this red snake one, instructing you to “Rent Rhino Videos Everyday.”

Yeah, pretty sure prints didn’t ship with that message in 1958.

No, Terror in the Haunted House is much more a psychological thriller than horror, and not an entirely ineffective one at that. A bit silly sure and no doubt more than just a little Castle-esque, but it is occasionally somewhat sinister and intriguing.

Mostly though, it’s just a snoozer. And with the absence of any fun ghosts or phantasmic goings-ons, 100% missable.

So, let’s just enjoy this spooky spin from Shindig All-Stars Blitzkid. It’s shorter and a lot more fun.

 

Audio

House On Haunted Hill

The song is actually featured on the compilation Gothabilly: Rockin’ Necropolis, but that album cover sucks, so lets just look at this one, cause it’s awesome.

TRACK #142:

House on Haunted Hill by The Ghastly Ones

I love House on Haunted Hill. It’s my favorite William Castle outing, with maybe The Tingler taking a real close second.

It’s great. I love it. I have since the 1st  time I saw it over 20 some odd years ago on Halloween night. It even managed to sneak it’s way into my DVD player again last Hallow’s Eve, the slippery bastard. Wasn’t even thinking about it before it crept in.

Similarly, I love surf music. I have since I heard my dad’s old crackly LP of Telstar probably 20 some odd years ago.

What do these 2 seemingly unrelated loves have in common? Why it’s the Guys from Van Nuys again bringing 2 of my favorite things together as only they can.

For lack of a better term, Surf music has always been a rather incestuous scene. With modern Surf bands no doubt cutting their teeth shredding through old Ventures‘ tunes, Dick Dale licks and smooth grooves from The Shadows. It seems a rite of passage to add your own flare to a tried and true Surf standard. No Surf album, old or new, is complete without at least one cover of a classic or even more obscure number. Hell, most of the time there’ll be more than just one, rest assured.

Even the old timers did in their day. Sure the songs weren’t old then, but they passed them around all the same. It’s no surprise to find the same song recorded by 3 or 4 different bands, sometimes more. What is surprising, sometimes, is to find out who actually cut it first.

Such is the case with our next tune, a track I thought for years was a Ghastly’s original. How could it not be? Oh my surprise some years back when at my local CD Trader I ran afoul an interesting 3 CD set entitled “Halloween Nuggets: Monster Sixities A-Go-Go,” comprised largely of songs hitherto unknown to the Shindig. Needless to say we were sold, but it was a curious track on disc 3 which really sealed the deal.

House on Haunted Hill? By Kenny and The Fiends? Holy shit. There’s another song about  House on Haunted Hill?

Here’s my money Mr. Used CD man. Thank you very much.

What happened next was a mixture of both delight and disappointment all wrapped up in the same strange smirk. Yes, there was a song about House on Haunted Hill. Well, sort of. A funky instrumental it was, which while a bit disheartening, quickly inspired a Myers-esque head tilt. This song sounded familiar. Holy shit! This is The Ghastly One’s House on Haunted Hill! Those fiends!

The Shindig didn’t find a new song that day (well, not that one anyway) but it did gain a renewed appreciation for an old Shindig mainstay, a renewed love for a favorite band and a little elucidation on the age old art of the Surf Cover.

True to form, the Ghastly’s dry brush their own green twang onto this old Aurora-fashioned go-go surf-spookster and keep the tradition alive.

However, surf lacks the, shall we say, lyrical content to truly bring the ideas together beyond a simple title and a little atmosphere. Sounds like a sample lovers dream, and the Shindig is always up to that challenge.

So at number 142, Kenny and the Fiends via The Ghastly Ones and William Castle via Halloween Shindig, submit for your audio pleasure…House On Haunted Hill.

Are you ready, dear?

 

Audio

Trick Or Treat

114_return-of-the-loving-deadTRACK #114:

Trick Or Treat by Nekromantix

Referential hits, spooky themes and inclusive Rock ‘N Roll are all well and good, but nothing really captures the spirit of The Shindig quite like a straight up Halloween jam.

And psychobilly spooksters Nekromantix (a name which itself is referential) have just the jam the mad doctor ordered.

Trick Or Treat is the kind of no frills Halloween gem that’s just kinda toss onto an innocuous album because well, that’s just how they roll. “Halloween? Sure, we gotta Halloween song. Here ya go”

Full of nostalgia and rubber remembrance for the Halloweens of our youth, this tune is essentially all about the costumes; picking out the right one and having a great time doing it, all in the spirit of trick or treating. And just like any good Halloweeners, they’ll even catalog passed costumes and the myriad of ideas they have for upcoming costumes as well.

So come on Weeners, whadda you gonna be this year?

 

Audio

Hellraiser

007_blitzkid_let-flowers-dieTRACK #113

Hellraiser by Blitzkid

Shindig All-Stars Blitzkid are back and whaddya know, they’re singing about an 80’s horror movie.

This time Hellraiser is their pleasure (sir) and we’ve spiced it up with a hefty dose of Pinhead’s verbose bullshit to really make it feel at home.

So come on, solve the easiest puzzle box/portal to ungodly horrors that ever existed. Seriously, they couldn’t have made that fucker a little trickier to crack? Nothing that contains that much crazy shit should be that easy to just accidentally open by rubbing your thumb across. Jeez guys.

 

Audio

The Wicker Man

102_iron-maiden_rock-in-rio-2001TRACK #102:

The Wicker Man by Iron Maiden

One of my favorite horror movies of all time is The Wicker Man. It’s awesome. If you’ve never seen The Wicker Man, it comes highly recommended from Halloween Shindig.

Being part of what was referred to in the 70’s as Folk Horror, The Wicker Man follows Police Sargent Neil Howie as he investigates an anonymous tip of a missing girl on Summerilse, a secluded island off the coast of Scotland.

There, a small but jovial group of Celtic pagans are free to practice their religion unfettered by the prying eyes of a judgmental society. That is until devout Christian Sargent Howie starts poking his disapproving nose around.

It is slow burn horror at its finest with an unsettling sense of dread which mounts to one of the great reveals in horror history.

With effective turns from horror vet Christopher Lee as Lord Summerisle, Edward Woodward as Sargent Howie, plus a cast of creepsters as wide as the island, The Wicker Man isn’t your typical horror movie. Lacking gore, trite frights or largely any of the overt trapping of the genre, The Wicker Man‘s true horror is a psychological and social one that is both subtle and unnerving, and lingers long after the embers of its titular effigy fade.

It would double feature nicely with Dead and Buried, another creepfest about a small town of weirdos doing weird shit.

All that said, one of my favorite bands of all time is Iron Maiden. With Steve Harris’ unstoppable bass, the dueling harmonies of Adrian Smith and Dave Murray, Niko McBain’s thunderous percussion and Bruce Dickenson’s stainless steel vocals, they’re a heavy metal force for the ages.

So when these guys decided to cut a track about The Wicker Man, you know it’s a guaranteed Shindigger.

And though I like the studio version, it can’t hold a candle to the intensity of this opener from their Rock In Rio live album. Plus, it’s got that epic instrumental introduction, just perfect for overlaying this equally perfect sample.

So, come Weeners, it is time to keep your appointment with The Wicker Man.

 

Audio

It’s Only Halloween

086_butch_only-halloweenTRACK #86:

It’s Only Halloween by Butch Patrick

Show business can be a bitch. One day you’re a hit, the next day you can’t find work as extra in a community theater production of Our Town. What’s an actor to do?

Well, it’s even worse if you’re a child star. Not every Richie Cunningham can turn lemons into an Academy Award.

So, what’s Butch Patrick left with? Well, when your 1983 hit “Whatever Happened to Eddie” fails to make enough waves to buoy your career, I guess you take another stab at referentially cashing in on your former success.

In 2007, Butch cut the seasonal track It’s Only Halloween, where he does his best Shanter impersonation over a requisite Halloween beat.

Say what you want about this song, but I like it and given it’s a Halloween song recorded by Butch Fucking Patrick, I can’t think of a more fitting place for it than right here, with every other spooky, bizarre and otherwise unwise track on Halloween Shindig!

 

Audio

Making A Monster

077_blitzkid_trace_of_a_strangerTRACK #77:

Making A Monster by Blitzkid

Perennial spooksters and Shindig all-stars Blitzkid are back at #77 with their ode to Mary Shelley’s classic tale of science gone wrong.

Sympathetically written from the Monster’s perspective, the song actually has a bit more in common with the source material than the 1931 film used to lead the track in. But a clip that perfect can’t be ignored, not by The Shindig at least.

 

Audio

Candyman

007_blitzkid_let-flowers-dieTRACK #49:

Candyman by Blitzkid

For fans of the Shindig favorite Blitzkid, it probably seems fitting to have this song come straight in at #49 following Helen’s Theme. I always thought so anyway.

Pretty straight forward Blitzkid offering here, as they detail the plot of the 1992 Tony Todd creep-fest Candyman, a film which still manages to give me the willies at times just thinking about it.

That shit-smeared bathroom reading “Sweets to the Sweet.” That graffiti style Candyman face Virginia Madsen climbs through. Her waking up in a pool of dog-blood next to a severed head having no idea what has happened while a woman screams bloody murder from the other room. Candyman flying backwards through a window. Creepy stuff. Effective.

“I hear you’re looking for Candyman, bitch.”

Well, just turn the lights down low and say it five times…

Candyman. Candyman. Candyman. Candyman…..

 

Audio

House Of 1000 Corpses

046_house1000TRACK #46:

House of 1000 Corpses by Rob Zombie

Well, Lords of Salem was released this past weekend, much to chagrin of critics and the Internet as a whole, it seems. Tumblr especially appears to be awash was some pretty negative reactions.

So, now seemed as good a time as any to drop in this previously unfeatured addition to the Shindig.

Why previously unfeatured? Well, at the risk of posting negative ideas, and alienating some followers, my love for Rob Zombie extends from about White Zombie to well,…White Zombie. Of Rob’s solo and film career, I can not say I am a huge fan.

So why add it at all? Well, its a Title Track and that’s a little hard to just straight-up ignore. Plus, of all his movie this is probably the one I enjoyed the most. And this song is cool enough and certainly Halloweeny enough to enjoy a position on the playlist.

And hell, I like Rob Zombie. He taught me how awesome samples are in metal songs and pointed me toward a lot of really great movies. What I think of his ability to remake them, or steal ideas from them, is neither here nor there.

So go support Lords of Salem. I haven’t yet, but that shouldn’t stop you. It may be derivative but at least it’s not another goddamn remake.