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The Hell of It

TRACK #154:

The Hell of It by Paul Williams

Speaking of Paul Williams, let’s take this moment to segue right into one of Horror’s most beloved rock operas, Brian DePalma’s 1974 pitch-perfect send-up of the entire recording industry, Phantom of the Paradise.

Elements of Faust, Phantom of the Opera, Frankenstein, Portrait of Dorian Gray and even a little Dr. Phibes are fused together to tell a tale of love, betrayal, fame and revenge set to the backdrop of the doped-out, sinister 70’s music scene.

The Phantom, Winslow Leach, in his awesome modular tomb!

Williams scored the entire film for DePalma, and stars as Swan, the unscrupulous producer who collects talents and souls for his Death Records label.

Phantom is unique, visually arresting, kinetic and humorous all in equal measure. From DePalma’s active camera, to Gerritt Graham’s flamboyant Beef, to Winslow’s killer Phantom disguise, to Swan’s bitchin’ giant record-shaped desk, to the parodic music, to the satire – it’s all just works.

Even getting Rod Serling himself to handle the opening narration is like a stroke of genius.

Here we have the film’s final track, a rocking little number played over the picture credits, that has all the seeming of Satan himself speaking directly to Swan.

If you’ve never seen Phantom of the Paradise, give this pop-rock-horror-satire a spin this October. And if you already love it, watch it again, just for the hell of it!

Man, that carpet is awesome. I want this room!

 

 

Audio

The Devil’s Men

TRACK #153:

The Devil’s Men by Paul Williams

While fairly understated and never quite as rousing as it seems like it should be, The Devil’s Men is a somewhat worthwhile endeavor, if only to see card-carrying good guy Peter Cushing all cloaked out and evil, raising a 10 foot, fire-breathing Minotaur statue he calls “lord.” Oh yeah, and all the creepy robed Minotaur worshippers. Oh yeah and them all exploding at that end. That shit is pretty awesome.

But it’s mostly worth seeing for the grooviest title track this side of Scream and Sceam Again, which incidentally, Cushing also appears.

Paul Williams, whom many of you may know well from his performance in and musical contributions to, Brian DePalma’s Phantom Of The Paradise, wrote and produced this shindigger. And props all around, cause it’s a doozy.

However, much like the last 2 cuts in this True Title Track block, someone had it out for The Devil’s Men, someone who sucked at their job.

They took it and retitled it Land Of The Minotaur. Which (while in and of itself isn’t such a bad title) seems pretty unnecessary, particularly during the 70’s satanic panic where one would imagine a film called The Devil’s Men might play just fine.

They also saw fit to removed a bunch of violence and all the nudity. Seriously? What’s next? Did they cut out an awesome Title Track too?

Yes! That’s exactly what they did, and they should be tried and hung for the successive severity of their crimes.

So, if your gonna watch The Devil’s Men, make sure you watch The Devil’s Men, and not Land of the Minotaur, cause it doesn’t have a lot going for it to begin with, and the censored version removes just about every reason there is to watch it at all. For shame.

Here, now returned to its former glory, it’s Paul Williams with The Devil’s Men!

 

Audio

Night Danger 

TRACK #126:

Night Danger by Pretty Maids

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.

Whadda you waiting for, you sonofvubitch!?

 

Audio

Highway To Hell

037_acdc_highway-to-hellTRACK #37:

Highway To Hell by AC/DC

It’s time for another Devilish Track, however this particular tune tows a fine line.

It’s featured in the trailer of, so is sort of a de facto title track for 1991’s Highway To Hell. However, simply naming your movie after a song and blasting it exclusively in your trailer doesn’t make that song a title track. I may love My Boyfriend’s Back, but you won’t find the song by The Angel’s here on the Shindig.

No, Highway To Hell is shindigging for a few reasons; namely – I like AC/DC, it’s a good party tune, and there was a horror film named after it. Plus, this bogus Devilish category I concocted to justify Number of The Beast (and Raining Blood, and See You In Hell) And well, that’s good enough for me.

If you’re tuning into this strange, Steve Johnson FX’d horror-comedy, look for a young Ben Stiller in a small role as the cook at Pluto’s, Lita Ford as a hitchhiker, and Gilbert Gottfried as Hitler! Yeah, it’s a weird movie.

 

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See You In Hell

018_grim-reaper_see-you-in-hell-1984TRACK #18:

See You In Hell by Grim Reaper

Well, we’re almost 20 songs into the Shindig, and we’ve yet to supply any songs in the Devilish category.

What can i say? Its my least favorite category, as I don’t tend to think of the Devil or Hell as particularly Halloweeny. Yeah, the two go hand and hand I suppose, but there’s a shit load of songs talkin’ bout the Devil, and you can’t play ’em all on Halloween.

But, I have a soft spot for this song, and it’s band, Grim Reaper. Plus, I just like hearing it, and Halloween’s as good an excuse as any to get it into a rotation.

Perhaps the most ridiculous song you can imagine, sung by the most ridiculous group of dudes you can imagine, See You In Hell features one of the most repetitious choruses you’re liable to hear.

In fact, the phrase “See You In Hell” appears in the song a total of 38 times in a matter of 4 minutes. That’s an average of  a “See You In Hell” every 6 and a half seconds. That’s pretty incredible. It’s probably a world record.

Ushered in with a little help from a Devilish Ned Flanders and a desperately hungry Homer Simpson, I’ll see you in hell, my friends.