Audio

The Black Widow

082_alice-cooper_welcome_to_my_nightmareTRACK# 82:

The Black Widow by Alice Cooper

Vincent Price is awesome. I’m not really sure how else to put it. I could use words like “extraordinary,” or “singular,” or even “eminent,” but they all just sound like “awesome” to me.

Another, even more appropriate word, might be “iconic.” Having starred in over 40 genre pictures, Mr. Price, though not exclusive to horror (having appeared in almost 200 film and television productions) has left his indelible mark on the world of the macabre.

Simply anchoring some of my all-time favorite horror films, including The House on Haunted Hill, The Masque of the Red Death, and The Abominable Dr. Phibes, Vincent Price already equals horror. And that’s not even mentioning The Tingler, The Raven, A Comedy of TerrorsLast Man on Earth, House of Wax, The Pit and the Pendulum, Witchfinder General or The Fly. You get the idea.

Even outside the sphere of horror, Price still owns my loyalty, adding his distinctive flare to Egghead, one of my favorite villains from one of my favorite shows ever, the old Batman series from 1965.

Again, that’s not even to speak of his radio work, The 13 Ghosts of Scooby Doo, his Sears-Roebuck sponsored Fine Art Collection, The Great Mouse Detective, Dead Heat, Edward Scissorhands, and this absolutely insane album of him talking about witchcraft and the demons.

I’ll type that again just in case you breezed passed it: Vincent Price recorded a 90 minute spoken word album all about witchcraft and it’s fucking incredible.

His credits even include a stint on Hollywood Squares. Seriously?

Seriously.

So iconic is Vincent that he appears on the Shindig at least 3 times without any intervention from my sampling hand. Bands who wanted to sound spooky tapped Vincent for that little extra something sinister. Never a bad decision.

The first example of this is from none other than Alice Cooper, no stranger to the sinister himself. Price leads in Track 82, The Black Widow from Cooper’s 1975 album Welcome to My Nightmare.

As if that wasn’t enough, Price also starred in the corresponding television special which followed the album entitled Alice Cooper: The Nightmare, where he reprises this monologue, in perfect Price fashion, almost identically.

Vincent Price may have passed, but among horror fans he will live on forever, ritualistically resurrected with each push of the play button. And as for the Shindig, his extraordinarily singular and eminent voice can be heard all over it.

 

Audio

Witchfinder General

034_witchfinder-general_death-penaltyTRACK #34:

Witchfinder General by Witchfinder General

Sometimes bands name songs after horror movies. Sometimes bands even name whole albums after horror movies. And sometimes they go full-bore and just name the whole goddamn band after a horror movie.

Such is the case with British doomsmith’s Witchfinder General.

What’s more, they even have a band anthem. That’s a triple threat.

Led in and peppered with samples from the band’s 1968 namesake starring Vincent Price.

If you’ve never heard of the film, perhaps you’re familiar with The Conqueror Worm, as it was billed in America. Huhwhaa?

The unnecessary title change was in an effort to sell the movie as another in the line of Corman/Price/Poe hits, which it most certainly was not.

It is however an interesting (albeit a little slow) abuse of power tale with a pretty creepy and understated performance from Price and lots of great shots of the English countryside. If you’re down with movies like Mark of the Devil, The Blood on Satan’s Claw (considered by Tigon to be it’s successor) or even The Devils, then Witchfinder General might just have exactly what you’re looking for.

 

Audio

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.

 

Audio

Scream!

008_famous-monstersTRACK #8:

Scream! by The Misfits

“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!