Freddy Krueger: What can be said about the quintessential 80’s man-specter that hasn’t been said a thousands different times by a thousand different nerds? Who am I to pretend like I’ve got some groundbreaking shit to drop on you? I’m no one, and I don’t, so I won’t. I’m simply another nerd with a foolishly myopic blog, so I’ll just stick to the script.
Freddy (whether I’ve said this before or not I can’t recall) is the reigning champ of horror tunes. He owns the 80’s pop-music-via-monster-icon scene. The guy even cut his own album. He’s all over it.
Jason comes close, but the Friday people didn’t fully climb aboard this particular train until part 6, and they never really bought a ticket. Freddy was shoveling coal in it’s boiler room.
And from jump too, as even his first outing got its own little referentially inclusive tune in the form of 213’sNightmare.
Well, who the fuck is 213? Apparently they’re no ones, as no one seems to have any information on these guys. Well, aside from the painfully obviously “they were some local LA band that provided this track” or the goofier and obviously nonsensical “they were Johnny Deep’s band” theory.
Whoever they were, they’ll go down in the Shindig’s book as they guys who churned out that thoroughly apropos end credit song from the original Nightmare On Elm Street, and baby, that’s enough.
So, up yours with a twirling lawnmower,…whatever the hell that even means.
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 TheDevil’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!
What better place to bring our Haunted House Rockin’ block to an end than here, at the Berber House with Hauntedween, a Haunted House Halloween Title Track?
While not a real haunted house, The Berber House is just a festive Haunted House, or rather a Haunt, which has hitherto but unrepresented in our block.
A staple of the season since well before I was brought to this plane of existence, The Haunted House is as much a part of Halloween as Trick-or-Treating, Jack-O-Lanterns and slutty costumes.
High school kids in rubber masks weave through a thick mist of dangling limbs and fake fog looking for their next mark.
Disorienting lights strobe to the beat of pneumatic pistons firing foam jump scares.
You can hear a chainsaw perpetually chugging, but you can’t see much of anything at all.
Grown adults tip-toe around corners in the dark, weary of things they know aren’t really out to get them.
The nervous shriek, the tough guys almost instictively punch and the weirdos laugh uneasily.
Some are good and some are terrible, but they all have that same smell, that same vibe, the same excitement, and you should always treat yourself to at least one visit a season.
Hauntedween is a low budget affair filled with that same sort of passionate home-town charm and love for the holiday you find in local Haunted Houses, and it features a killer lying in wait at just such a local Haunt. You can read The Shindig’s write-up here!
This Title Track (which it is gracious enough to give us) plays over a montage of the Sigma Phi frat boys rebuilding the old local Haunt in preparation for a holiday fundraiser to save their fraternity!
It may be awkward to say, and it may not make one bit of sense, but here it is all the same…it’s Hauntedween!
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 Houseis 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.
Since everyone got so pissed off this summer about the Ghostbusters remake, and even more pissed off about the new song by Fall Out Boy ft. Missy Elliot (definitely not featured on the Shindig), I thought we’d take a look at another Ghostbusters Theme reiteration that surely pissed off purists in its day.
I’ve said it before and I’ll probably say it again, but when it comes to Monster Raps, no movie’s got that shit on lock like Ghostbusters 2.
A prime example of this is Run D.M.C.’sGhostbusters, which (as sacrilegious as it may sound) I actually enjoy a little more than Ray Parker Jr.’s seminal theme.
Don’t get me wrong, Ray’s original Title Track is an unrivaled classic, both for Halloween playlists and just generally speaking. It also serves as the basis for Reverend Run and Co.’s sonic sequel. This jam however is way less played-out, awesomely 8o’s in its own distinct way and just plain old fashioned ridiculous in the best way possible.
Sampled up with tons of clips of the boys bustin’ and schillin’.
So it’s 1987 and you’re Kevin Tenney and you just made a crazy Halloween movie about kids getting possessed in an old abandoned funeral home.
It’s all edited; its fun, it’s funny, the gore looks great, Linnea looks great, Amelia looks great, the pacing is down, everything us shaping up to be a fine horror romp.
But something’s missing. Where’s the music?
What you need is an end credit tune that says everything you want to say in a decidedly late 80’s hard rock fashion. What are you to do?
You hire your fucking brother Dennis Michael Tenney, that’s what you do. Then you tell him “knock it outta the park bro,” because “everything’s riding on you.”
And then he gives you The Beast Inside...
…and it clears the fucking bases.
Composer of the main theme and the rest of the music from Night of the Demons that isn’t Bauhaus’ Stigmata Martyr, Dennis Michael Tenney knows his way around a hard rocking 80’s power ballad, and The Beast Inside is no exception.
It’s got the slow melodic verse followed by the chugging chorus. It’s got a weird demon voice saying “The Beast!” just before the solo tears in from nowhere. And it’s got the strangely vague yet vaguely epic lyrics.
What the hell is Dennis talking about here?
It plays more toward the figurative side of it’s double entendre that’s for sure, making a metaphor out of it’s title for the beast inside of all mankind. Then it throws in a bunch of vague cold-war anxiety just to let you know it’s being written in the mid-80’s. But if we don’t analyze it too much (which honestly, we shouldn’t even be doing) it makes for a pretty rocking coda to a movie about demon possession.
And it’s all lead in by a Halloween prick getting his comeuppance via a slice of ironic justice served up by his dear, doting wife. That’ll teach ya to shove razor blades in apples, ya old blowhole.
At #133 here’s Shindig All-Star Dennis Michael Tenney with….The Beast Inside!
If you’re an Elvira fan like me, than you’re no doubt at least tangentially aware of her Halloween albums.
There are a number of them, the bulk of which feature the mistress herself singing on her own original tracks. They’re pretty great.
What you may notice however, is that while these Halloween albums feature lots of allusions to the holiday, Elvira herself only participates in songs tangentially related to Halloween itself. What gives?
If you’re like me and you administer a Halloween themed music blog, you may have even dug deep enough to find the many references to an actual Halloween song she sings called Trick or Treat. There’s even a couple of clips on YouTube of her performing the track. So where’s the damn song?
Who knows exactly, as it seems it was never officially released on any of her albums. However, The Shindig dug deeper still and purchased an episode of The Dr. Demento Show from October of 1983 that featured Cassandra Peterson as co-host.
As you’ll hear in the clip, The Doc mentions Elvira’s forthcoming album will be including original tunes, one of which they preview on the show, our white buffalo Trick or Treat. Why this never came to fruition is a Halloween legend of limited and miopic interest.
Let’s just 80’s metal it right into Halloween. Whaddya say, Weeners?
Much like Track 110 (Halloween by Halloween) here’s another titular band-anthem from a different band named after our haunted holiday.
That fact that 2 bands like that exist is a little bizarre. What’s next, Samhain by Samhain?
Well it’s not the next song, does that count? But yeah, that exists too and is represented on The Shindig. Maybe we should make room for another category “bands just named after this fucking holiday.”
You only get this type of shit with Halloween. Don’t see too many bands running around named “Christmas” or “Yom Kippur” (both of which actually exist, for those of you playing at home.)
But I digress.
Atlanta-based thrash-metal pioneers Hallows Eve even have a similar tale to the aforementioned Halloween. Releasing some hard hitting early albums but never really gaining much notoriety, they dismantled due to heavy lineup changes only to reemerged after years of inactivity.
I became familiar with them (perhaps like many horror fans) through the inclusion of their song D.I.E. on the Black Roses soundtrack. Thankfully these guys produced a Band-Anthem and sealed their Shindig fate.
Can we take a moment here to talk about this album cover for a sec? Look at that fucking thing. It’s incredible. It looks like you just started a metal band with those 2 burnouts from Mr. Finn’s Chemistry class then asked that hesher kid with the peach fuzz mustache to draw you this shit in a notebook at lunch. And then he turned around handed you the coolest fucking drawing you’d ever seen in your life.
“Hallows Eve bro. Look at that shit.”
In an apparently unrelated aside, I’ll say that Brits don’t care much for Halloween. It’s not really a big deal over there – don’t really give shit, don’t see the fuss.
However, they due refer to it as “All Hallo’s.” So what better samples to integrate than these from Hammer’s Horror swan song To the Devil a Daughter.
Since it takes place around All Hallo’s, we get some nice satany Hallows Eve banter.
Coming off their debut album Tales of Terror, here’s Hallows Eve with Hallows Eve.
And just remember, 98% of so-called Satanists are nothing but pathetic freaks who get their kicks out of dancing naked in freezing church yards and use The Devil as an excuse for getting some sex.
I wanted to keep the Demons train rolling and mash-up Boddy Rhodes’ Hank from Demons 2but that soundtrack kinda sucks. Save for Rainby the Cult and some fun score music, it’s a pretty lame horror soundtrack and is almost completely useless to The Shindig.
“Take this! I’ll hang onto this!”
They opted to go all new wave gothy with the sequel and while I love The Cult (perhaps the only rock outfit on there), I tried it out and Rain just isn’t ballsy enough for all of Bobby’s shouting.
You know what is?
They got their balls to the wall, as it happens. So I decided to cheat a little.
Bobby Rhodes is just too good to leave in the lurch because of an inferior soundtrack and the original Demons has too good of a soundtrack not to double dip.
So we’re gonna bust out a Demons double shot for ya. Here’s Accept’sFast As a Shark from Demons 1 sampled out with tons of from shit from Hank in Demons 2.
Horseshoes and hand-grenades as far as The Shindig is concerned.
Perhaps better suited to a giallo than a supernatural tale of possession, Fast As a Shark is still a pretty awesome track for any horror movie, full stop. Delivering its somewhat moot warning while letting you know just how royally fucked you are. Holy shit.
And to cap it all off they’re just putting you on blast:
“Now it’s your time.
A loser will die.”
Gee, thanks for the vote of confidence Accept.
As for Demons 2, it’s pretty much the same damn movie, only everyone’s stuck in an apartment complex and the creatures emerge from a TV broadcast instead of a film.
There’s more characters, spreading around the action a little more but dragging the pace down a bit. Obviously, Bobby Rhodes is back, this time in the form of physical trainer Hank. He’s a more stand-up cat and a much better leader, otherwise he might as well just be Tony The Pimp in sweatpants.
There’s even another group of time-sensitive teens driving around trying to get to the main location. Yeah, it’s pretty much the same movie. Except, ya know, for its shittier, non-metal soundtrack.
It’s also little sillier around the edges with a few children, including a very young Asia Argento. One of these little fuckers actually turns into a demon, which itself is pretty cool. That is until this winged gremlin-like ghoulie-thing tears out of his stomach. Again, kinda cool when it happens, but then it starts chasing the pregnant woman all around. That gets a bit clowny.
The additional characters make the chaos a bit little less focused. There’s the couple stuck in the elevator, the lady with her demon dog, Sally and her birthday partiers all dealing with different levels of demonoid phenomenon.
Meanwhile, Hank and some of his gym-short meat-heads are holding it down in the parking garage, flipping cars, tossin’ molotovs, busting up demons with axes and gunning down possessed fools left and right.
As horror sequels go, it’s not bad. It sticks to the formula pretty stringently, offering up the same basic premise while upping the ante just enough. And like most sequels, it fails to outdo its predecessor. But honestly, if they keep calling forth demons and letting Bobby Rhodes miraculous return to battle ’em back, The Shindig it’d be all over it. Unfortunately the Demons saga gets all fuckered after part 2.
Lamberto directed The Ogre in 1988, which was widely released as Dèmoni 3. It is not. Similarly, Umberto Lenzi directed Dèmoni 3 (aka Black Demons) in ’91. This is also not Demons 3.
Officially, Demons 3 is Michele Soavi’s 1989 movie The Church(aka Cathedral of Demons or Demon Cathedral) which, while pretty badass, doesn’t necessarily feel like a Demons movie either. Though after a sinister crypt it opened, the titular church does seal itself shut much like in the earlier Demons outings.
But, we fans still get all the Bobby Rhodes-Demon-action we can from the original double-header. So come on Weeners, MOVE IT! MOVE IT!
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.