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.


Oct. 19th: To The Devil…A Daughter (1976)


Hammer’s last horror film may quite honestly be the least Halloweeny film on this list, but it takes place around and on Halloween, so dammit, that’s enough. Plus it’s all awesome and Satany. What more do you need on Halloween?

Christopher Lee stars as excommunicated priest Michael Rayner. Seems the Holy Roman Church didn’t cotton to all his Astaroth worship and told him to pack his shit. No matter, Rayner just sets up his own heretic order, The Children of The Lord (ambiguous) in the middle of some lake in Bavaria.

Prized amongst these children is one Catherine Beddows, played be a very young (perhaps too young, given the nudity) Natasha Kinski. Catherine is given the special privilege of traveling home once a year on her birthday to see her father Henry. Her birthday, as it happens, is All Hallo’s Eve, which we’re told is the most important date in the Satanist’s calendar.

This year, however, is her 18th birthday and that’s got her pops all spooked. So, he contacts occult author John Verney to whisk her away for this particular visit. Seems strange, even to Verney, whom has only recently meet Beddows and only for this specific reason.

See Beddows is a member of Rayner’s satanic order, and is anticipating a rather sinister 18th birthday for Catherine, should Rayner get his hands on her. So it’s up to Verney to deduce the plot and protect Rayner’s special child, before his evil designs can be fulfilled.

As I mentioned, the movie itself is not terribly Halloweeny, but it is jammed packed instead with tons of crazy Satanic rites and ritual, with Christopher Lee creepin’ up the whole damn screen any time he’s there.

It may flounder a bit in it’s 3rd act, but this critically maligned Hammer offering is an awesome addition to the Satanic 70’s catalog, and one of my favorites of the sub-genre.

If you’re into crazy Satan movies, enjoy weird scenes of strange rituals, love hearing blasphemous heretical dialogue and are looking to add a whole lot of that to your Halloween this year, than To The Devil…A Daughter is the one to do it with.



068_howling-2TRACK #68:

Howling by Babel

Round 3 of The 80’s Oddball Sequel Dance Party goes to The Howling, a franchise that seems to have produced nothing but oddball sequels.

I’m not exactly sure what to make of Howling 2, another gem from 1985. For that matter, I’m not sure anyone involved is sure either.

Christopher Lee personally apologized to Joe Dante on Gremlins 2 for appearing in it, if that gives you any idea of what we’re dealing with here.

However, despite all the uncertainty, there are a few things you can be sure of:

  1. It’s definitely not the worst Howling entry. In fact, it may just be the most enjoyable, and that includes its predecessor.
  2. It’s ridiculous. It’s awesome. It’s ridiculously fucking awesome.
  3. You’ll see Sybil Danning in (and out!) of some bizarre outfits that’ll make you believe Lady Gaga jacked her entire steez from Stirba: Werewolf Bitch.
  4. Ditto for the bewildered Christopher Lee (except the nudity and Lady Gaganess)
  5. You’re gonna hear this song, performed by fake band Babel, at least a dozen or so times throughout.
  6. And anytime a song is this permeable, it’s definitely on the Shindig.

I highly recommend it’s viewing to anyone who wants to see:

  • Werewolves
  • Werewolves fucking
  • Awesome werewolf-cult party orgies
  • Sybil Danning’s tits
  • Christopher Lee lookin like a Jedi
  • Christopher Lee straight stabbing werewolves
  • Bizarre werewolf logic and mythos
  • A weird munchkin thing running around in a scary mask
  • Crazy 80’s laser FX
  • Whack-ass shape wipes
  • Some of the worst werewolf acting around
  • Some of the worst acting around (save for Christopher Lee)
  • Seriously some of the worst editing ever

Ridiculous Howling 2 gig blast commencing forthwith. Get your reblog button ready. It’s at the bottom now. Thanks Yahoo!



Scream and Scream Again

009_scream-and-scream-againTRACK #9:

Scream and Scream Again by Amen Corner

Chances are your party’s not gonna have a 22 day gap between songs 8 and 9, so since everyone will still be busy screaming to ward off The Tingler, let’s scream again with the help of Amen Corner.

If you’ve never heard of Amen Corner don’t feel bad, I don’t think anyone has. Hell, I wouldn’t have either had I not been watching Scream and Scream Again a few years ago. They’re performing this tune (a title track,…more on that later) in a weird British nightclub. I said, “Hey this song kinda grooves. It would go great right after Homer tells Bart to take out the garbage.”

So that’s where I put it and there it’s stayed. Plus, it’s also a Vincent price flick, so that’ll make a nice two-fer.

If you’ve never seen Scream and Scream Again, I wouldn’t sweat it. Mostly your missing a largely incomprehensible mishmash of ideas and images, dumb cops, weird murders and a bizarre subplot of puesdo-nazi that never really pays of like you imagine it should. It has some good moments though, plus it’s 1 of 2 films featuring both Vincent Price and Christopher Lee (Peter Cushing is in there too, but not for long.) However, there’s a lot of other stuff I’d put ahead of it on a gotta see list.

Despite all that, this song still makes a nice retro addition to any Halloween playlist. Enjoy.