In 1985, this guy named Lovebug Starski (best known for, well this song) decided it’d be a good idea if he just recorded some random track about Amityville. Not for any Amityville movie mind you, but rather during a 5 year lull in the franchise (3D having been released in ‘83, and Curse not for another 4 years.)
Hell, he didn’t even make it in reference to the movies really, but just cause he thought it’d be fun I guess and maybe even a hit.
And he was right! This sucker broke the Billboard Top 20 in ‘86, which means that, for a period of time in America, people were legitimately rocking out to this song. Which is totally understandable. This song is awesome and weird as shit.
Starski uses the real Amityville legend (I guess?) as a sort of jumping off point for some crazy-ass song about a vaguely Haunted House where nothing much happens, but everybody visits.
A Karloff-esque butler greets Starski upon his arrival, then later Dracula shows up for no good reason and raps. Now, that alone is plenty of reason alone for Amityville to make the cut for every Halloween party playlist ever created.
And as if that wasn’t bizarre enough though, just for the hell of it, Captain Kirk, Scotty and Spock arrive at one point to talk about Starski over the spooky beat. I’m sorry, what? Why? This song is fucking nuts.
Apparently, looking at the 45 sleeve above, you’ll note the record came complete with a “Free Black Hole,” ya know, for all the “time-shift special appearances.” I guess at least they tried to justify this nonsense with some kind of acknowledgement. Not sure if that makes it more or less weird, though.
So take a drive out to Amityville. You know, the house on the hill. You just make a left, then you make a right and……Amityville!
The last time I checked this was a fucking shindig.
But what is a shindig, exactly?
Well, Merriam-Webster defines shindig as follows:
ˈSHinˌdiɡ/ noun informal
a social gathering with dancing
a usually large or lavish party
Google definitions had this to add:
a large, lively party, especially one celebrating something.
Now, if you listen to any of the turkeys over at Urban Dictionary, they’d all have you believe a shindig is a small affair, consisting of anywhere from 5 to 20 people. One bozo even suggests it can contain no more than 12!
That’s why Webster’s is Webster’s and these idiot kids are logged into Urban Dictionary from their mom’s laptop.
No one better try curtailing our shindig, particularly not because some dildo in the cafeteria uses it improperly. No, we’re going definitive with our socially lavish and lively gathering that’s celebrating something.
And around here, that something is Halloween, which encompasses jack-o-Lanterns, trick or tricking and and all sorts of spooky shit of a generalized nature. That definitely includes Monsters.
From Hanna-Barbera’s 1965 record of the same name, Monster Shindig looks to muscle in on Boris Pickett’s racket by throwing their characters Super-Snooper and Blabber Mouse into the mix, stumbling upon just this type of haunted jamboree.
The cat and mouse team doesn’t show up in the song however, leaving this bizarro tune free to roam around the streets on Halloween night.
So, let’s have a party…big big big and kick-off the second half of our playlist right, with another kind of shindig, performed here by Danny Hutton, who some of you may know as one third of Three Dog Night.
Since we all know and have just addressed with whom you’d 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:
Is it about a horror movie?
Check, it’s about the goddamn Monster Squad.
Ah, yes, but is it in the movie?
In it? Motherfucker, it’s the Title Track. Triple check that shit.
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.
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 “The Gillman” Woodruff Jr. Coincidence? I like to think not.
This version of the song 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. Who the fuck is the Gillman? Why are they calling The Creature from the Black Lagoon “The Gillman?” And 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.
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.
Johnny Alucard pouring blood all over Hammer Vixen Caroline Munro. While perhaps best know for her Bond Girl performance in The Spy Who Loved Me, she’ll always be Victoria Phibes in my book, even if she is uncredited.
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 a 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.)