Is it the ultimate Halloween song? Well, in certain circles, I’m sure it is. While The Shindig isn’t quite sold on its top billing, there are a few things we are sure of:
It’s one hell of a Halloween jam.
It’s been on The Shindig since its very first 700mg CD incarnation.
It belongs on every Halloween party playlist ever created. Period. I don’t even care if you don’t like The Misfits. Include it.
It’s easily one of the 5 greatest Halloween songs ever recorded.
Danzig’s trip down memory lane hits all the high points of Halloween; pumpkin faces, brown leaves, kids trick or treating in costumes, candy apples and razor blades. Plus some other stuff about dead cats and burning bodies hanging from poles.
Now, while I’ve certainly never encountered such as this on any Hallow’s Eve I’ve ever lived through, that’s not to say they aren’t Halloween staples, especially not for Glenn Danzig. Guy remembers Halloween a little different than you and me. Or guy just parties a little harder. Or hell, maybe that’s the sort of thing that happened on October 31st in Lodi New Jersey during the 60’s, I dunno. Whatever the reason, it’s a pretty Halloweeny ass image none-the-less.
So, let us enter the triple digits, and kick off this, a most grand and seasonal block of Halloween Shindig with The Misfits and Halloween.
The most famous and reproduced image from the Misfits/Vampira summit on April 17, 1982. It should be noted that even though Arthur Googy quit the band earlier in the week the drummer did fulfill the rest of his obligations for the Walk Among Us tour (which ended the same day Lodi’s finest met tv’s spookiest). Alas, Arthur was in no mood for Kodak moments such as this. L-R: Jerry Only, Vampira, Doyle giving the Jersey fist-pump, Glenn Danzig. Photographer unknown.
The Misfits meet Vampira, April 17, 1982, at Vinyl Fetish in Los Angeles. Touched by their musical tribute, the reclusive horror hostess stepped out of the shadows to thank the band at this meet and greet. Notably absent from these shots is Arthur Googy; the drummer quit the Misfits two days earlier following a donnybrook with Glenn Danzig over a McDonald’s cheeseburger. First photo, L-R: Doyle, Vampira, Jerry Only, Danzig; foreground head unknown. Second photo, L-R: Jerry, Vampira, Doyle, Danzig. These images were both printed in the Summer 1993 issue of Ugly Things and came from Jerry Only’s personal collection. Photographer unknown.
If John Zacherle is the grandaddy of Horror Hosts, then Maila Nurmi is their mother goddess.
Back in 1954, The Vampira Show was the first program to feature a spooky host introducing (and mocking) old B-movies.
Though only on the air for about a year, Vampira’s mark on horror culture can still be felt today, particularly tooling around Tumblr, where her image is ever present.
And why not? As Mr. Danzig so succinctly puts it:
Two inch nails
with a pale white feline face
inclination eyebrows to there
Mistress to the horror kid
Vampira is the embodiment of the classic horror image. Young fangirl still want to be her, and young fanboys still want to be with her. And though nothing but a few old kinescopes exist of the short-lived program, Maila Nurmi’s legacy will forever live on with the genre.
Fittingly led in by Martin Landu’s oscar-bearing Bela Lugosi, exulting Ms. Nurmi’s appealing qualities to Johnny Depp’s irritated Ed Wood.
Go try on a sweater then, Nerd-o. Me and Bela here will just sit back with some morphine and enjoy the show.
“Blasphemy!” Yeah, I might just say that too, cause I know what you’re thinkin’, “Newfits? For real? You haven’t even posted any actual Misfits songs yet, and you’re coming with some Newfits bullshit?”
All I can say to that is, I like the actual Misfits more, so they’re buried deeper in the playlist, for when everyone’s good and sauced up and the stragglers have had time to settle in. And don’t worry, there’s no shortage of classic Misfits tracks on Halloween Shindig.
Say what you want about this secondary incarnation of the Misfits, they had some good tunes. Tunes that are kind of hard for a Halloween playlist to straight up ignore. Tunes like today’s track for instance, entitled Scream!
Despite the misleading name, the song is actually an ode to William Castle’s wonderful 1959 classic The Tingler, about a terrible creature living inside all of you, which feeds on fear, and grows up your spine and into your brain! A creature that can only be stopped by the sound of screaming!
It’s a great premise, and it makes for one hell of a bizarre and imaginative film. Castle, master of the in-theater gimmick, made it even more fun by rigging some of the seats with vibrators to give certain audience members a special jolt at the right moment. 3D? Fuck all that shit, this is Percepto!
The lead-in for this is none other than Williams Castle’s own introduction to the film. Oh, and that’s Bart screaming at the end from Treehouse of Horror IV’s “Nightmare on Evergreen Terrace” segment. Enjoy!