Audio

Trick or Treat

TRACK #164:

Trick or Treat by Witchfynde

Witchfynde eh? What’s their deal?

Another British band singing about Halloween? What gives, Ed? You said the Brits don’t give a toss for All Hallo’s.

Well, I don’t get the impression that they do. I’ve never claimed to be the authority on any matter, not even Halloween Horror Music, and I’ve written far too many words concerning that subject.

Whether that impression is true or not is neither here nor there when it comes to this ‘digger, because it’s a clear case of a band disguising a song as a Halloween song.

Witchfynde’s Trick or Treat details the dealings of a two-faced sort of character that has much but always wants more. Eventually, not being able to satiate his desires, he takes to B&E, a bit of murder, and gets himself tossed in the clink. Not exactly a love song, but definitely not specifically about Halloween.

Still, it’s a pretty groovin’ tune from a weird, occulty band called Witchfynde where the lyrics “Trick or Treat” get repeated a number of times, so we’re lightin’ it up.

Throw in a little festive atmosphere from the Tales From the Darkside episode entitled Halloween Candy, and you’ve got yourself a perfect number for an Oct. 20th’s evenings.

 

Audio

Trick or Treat

TRACK #163: 

Trick or Treat by Otis Redding

Similar to Chuck’s tune, Otis Redding’s Trick or Treat isn’t necessarily about Halloween either. It is more related though, if only because Otis actually uses the word “Halloween.” That’s a bonus.

Despite his utilization of the name, he mostly seems concerned that this floozy is playing games with his emotions. First she’s hot on him, then maybe she gets a little chilly.

Either way, Otis just wants to know what the score is, cause he ain’t about to wait until Halloween to find out he ain’t gettin’ a Treat, which I can only assume is some sort of sexual favor.

What does any of this even have to do with Halloween? Nothing really, I suppose. Then why use Halloween at all? It’s a good question. He gets to incorporate the phrase trick or treat, but I don’t see that as a huge selling point from a song writing perspective.

Here, it implies that it’s a treat if the girl loves him, and a trick is she only likes him. That’s pretty odd though, to consider being “liked” a trick. I get what Otis is saying, but it does seem a little strange to perceive the state of being “liked” as mere trickery.

I’d rather be liked than disliked, or straight up hated on, but hey, that’s just me.

At any rate here’s another Trick or Treat song with dubious usage of Halloween, albeit from one of the greats, Mr. Otis Redding.

 

Audio

Trick or Treat


TRACK #162:

Trick or Treat by Chuck Berry

So, Chuck Berry pretty much invented Rock ‘N Roll, right? Well, at least how we might conceptualize it now anyway? That rhythm and blues styled, riff-based, axe-out-front, backbeat driven, power-stance Rock ‘N Roll? The kind that soothes Bob Seger’s soul? Yeah, I think that’s pretty widely agreed upon.

You know what else Chuck Berry did? He wrote a song about Halloween.

Well, kinda.

See, this tune makes no real overt reference to the holiday itself or its traditions. It is, however, called Trick or Treat and that phrase is repeated quite a number of times.

So, when the true King of Rock ‘N Roll straps one on and starts wailing “Trick or Treat, Baby,” The Shindig isn’t about to split hairs.

You know that new Halloween sound you been looking for? Well, listen to this!

 

Audio

Trick or Treat (For Halloween)

TRACK #161:

Trick or Treat (For Halloween) Al Hoffman, Jerry Livingston and Mack David

Though Siouxsie Sioux’s song starts this block off rather nicely, let’s fully embrace the Trick or Treat vibe with this tune from Disney’s classic 1952 short Trick or Treat starring Donald Duck.

Full of great vintage Halloween imagery, the short features Huey, Dewey and Louie approaching their uncle’s house for a bit of Trick or Treat. But Donald’s an asshole and he promptly puts fireworks in their bags. His own Nephews? What a prick.

No matter, as the boys soon find a Witch and now the trick’s on Donald as she conjures a potion which transforms just about everything into a nightmarish object to torment Donald.

Based around this typically Disney-styled tune, the short is a great October viewing for any fans of either Disney or the season.

Twick ow Tweat!

 

Audio

Halloween

TRACK #160:

Halloween by Siouxsie and The Banshees

The British don’t really give a shit about Halloween. At least not according to me and this blog on the occasions where we’ve previously claimed as such.

We’ve based this idea almost exclusively on To The Devil a Daughter and The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane. Additionally, my wife has corroborated this somewhat, having spent some time in England and found their enthusiasm lacking.

Strange then that innovative British Post-Punkers and Goth pioneers Siouxsie and the Banshees have a song titled Halloween. Or maybe not, given their whole gothy aesthetic.

To be fair, their song isn’t a parade of Milky Ways, Don Post masks and burning orange gourds, though.

No, Siouxsie Sioux’s track is a more atmospheric affair that seems to deal with a loss of childhood innocence.

Doubling fitting then that we bookend it with samples from the aforementioned Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane, where American creeper Martin Sheen sleazes all over British Jodi Foster on the Eve of All Saints in a decidedly less-than-innocent fashion.

He also provides us with a pretty solid and concise description of what Halloween represents stateside:

“Oh, it’s a big day here when all the kids get dressed up in scary costumes and masks and go around to all the houses. When you answer the door the shout ‘trick or treat’ and you’re suppose to act scared, and if you don’t give them a treat, they’ll pull some dirty trick on you.”

Yep, that’s pretty much what we got going on over here.

 

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Stygmata Martyr

TRACK #159:

Stygmata Martyr by Bauhaus

From the original Night of the Demons comes a song not actually performed by Dennis Michael Tenney. How about that?

Effectively used in a effectively creepy scene shortly after Angela’s possession where she treats Sal (and us) with some interpretive dance to Bauhaus’ haunted hit.

The radio flips on mysteriously, the strobe flickers ominously, and Sal looks on disconcertingly while Angela writhes and gyrates to the post-punk gothic sounds.

Snap. In a movie where Linnea Quigley isn’t shy about her body in the slightest, the fact that Angela can be as equally distracting in a feat unto itself.

Apparently actress Amelia Kinkade (who looks pretty damn fantastic twirling around in her gothic get-up) was actually a dancer and choreographed all the moves herself.

She’s also in Roadhouse, which is pretty fantastic too. Additionally fantastic is her appearance in My Best Friend’s A Vampire.

Is there anything Angela can’t do?

She reprises a seductive dance routine in Night of the Demons 2, which is also worth checking out, despite being inferior to the original in most ways.

What the 2 have going for them each, however, is that they are both incredibly Halloweeny and make for great late-October viewing.

“You’re a sweet lookin’ babe Suzanne, but you and you’re friend Ang are just a little too weird-o for me.”

 

 

Audio

Poison Heart

TRACK #158

Poison Heart by The Ramones

Odds are you’re not reading this. It’s not exactly rush hour over here at The Shindig. I’m the site administrator. I see the numbers and I wouldn’t call them encouraging.

If you do happen to be reading this though, odds are you don’t really like Pet Sematary 2. That’s just simple math. The number of people who actually like that movie divided by the number of daily visitors this site gets makes it practically fucking impossible for you to be a fan.

You may use such tempered words as “tolerable,” “serviceable,” or perhaps even “forgettable,” to describe your feelings toward it, but I’ll wager “good” probably won’t be among the ones you choose.

Cause let’s face it, it just wasn’t that great of an idea, at least not artistically. Financially, sure, in that they turned 8 million dollars into 17 million at the box office alone. I doubt anyone involved considered that a failure in any monetary sense.

As a movie to just watch (either then or 25 years after the fact) it just doesn’t do enough of anything particularly well to be all that entertaining or to justify its own existence beyond being a sound financial investment.

There are 3 positive things I can say about Pet Sematary 2 however.

  1. It’s a Halloween movie, complete with costumes and trick-or-treating, a Halloween party at the Pet Sematary and a satisfying autumnal-leafy-vibe.
  2. Clancy Brown is well cast and fun to watch. He’s fittingly menacing as the main antagonist and he definitely does all the heavy lifting here.
  3. Someone thought it would be cool if they had The Ramones provided the end credit track again.

And it was. I hope that person got at least a nice piece of that 17 million domestic gross.

Lead-in by the Friday 2-styled, sequel-requisite “tell the story of the previous installment as a spooky campfire story” move,  here’s The Ramones returning to the Micmac cemetery with Poison Heart.

PS: that voice you’re hearing is from young actor Jared Rushton, whom some of you may remember as Tom Hanks’ buddy in Big. However, astute Halloweeners may recognize and even younger Jared from Lady In White, where he locked Frankie Scarlatti in the cloak room on Halloween. Yep, Jared is a 2-time Halloween prick and honorary Shindig All-Star. Good work Jared, your agent was pretty keen. Send him a fruit basket.

 

Audio

Get Dead

TRACK #157: 

Get Dead by Shari Belafonte 

From 1985’s made-for-TV Halloween bonanza The Midnight Hour comes this creepy curio with so much mid-80’s budget-pop pizazz it even features a Soundwave-styled vocorder performance. Radical!

Harry Belafonte’s daughter Shari (pops wasn’t big on creativity, I guess) stars in the film and sings this tune, perhaps fashioned after the recent mega-hit Thriller.

In fact, the whole project seems to be an attempt to cash-in on Michael’s occult success; semi-spooky, family friendly, monster-mash madness with a throwback, 50’s drive-in flare. And this tune, an ensemble dance number staged at a Halloween party, appears to be the piece de resistance.

Though clearly made for TV and a little toothless, The Midnight Hour is a pretty enjoyable and festive addition to anyone’s October line-up. It’s even a fair bit more creepy than something you’d imagine was just made for TV.

You’ll get some fun guest appearances too, from the likes of Spaceball’s King Roland, Clarence Boddicker, that one guy from 21 Jumpstreet, UHF’s R.J. Fletcher, Yori from Tron and The Reading Rainbow Dude who wore that bitchin’ visor on Star Trek. Studded.

Plus there’s tons of Halloween ambiance, creepy Thriller-Lite graveyard scenes, a lot of cool make-ups and FX, a bunch of fun Halloween costumes, more monsters than you can shake a stick at and this kickin’ ‘digger. What more could you want from an October evening’s Televison adventure?

I’m dead, you’re dying. Everybody should try it…

Get Dead!

 

Audio

Take the Time to Dream

TRACK #156:

Take the Time to Dream by FM

A lot of people dislike Friday the 13th Part 7: The New Blood. I’m not one of them, but they exist and  I can’t say I don’t blame them.

Its heavily censored kills feel like highway robbery, it has one most disappointing endings in the series, the teenage fodder on display isn’t particularly interesting and the film just feels tired. Psychic girl unwittingly resurrects Jason? C’mon…

However, 7 has a lot going for it. I think of it as Jason’s last hoorah, for it’s the last time he’s in his element doing what he does best, before he takes off to Manhattan, other peoples bodies, Hell, Space, Elm Street, and ultimately Remakewood. Say what you want about 7, it never gets this good (or as true to itself) again.

But it is stretching its limits, as the whole thing finally succumbs to the Elm Street Effect and goes full-on supernatural.

The psychic angle, while a bit much, offers some interest though. Mainly, it puts a new spin on a formula that had already well worn out its welcome, having seen probably it’s best reworking in Jason Lives. It also finally gives Jason a formidable opponent, something really unseen up to this point in the series, silly as that opponent might be.

However, New Blood’s biggest plus come in the form of Jason himself, namely the addition of literal new blood, Kane Hodder, and the make-up work of John Bulcher. 

Jason never looked this good before, or after. This is it. This is the most badass Jason around. With his spine-exposed and masked destroyed, he’s constantly dripping water and stalking around with a menace unmatched. And lets face it, that’s what we’re all here to see.

The soundtrack is coming up pretty short here too, in my opinion. Mostly just handed over to prog-wavers FM out of what feel like laziness, the songs never play much prominence, or hit any high notes. Even the score here feels wrong.

However, I’ve chosen one of those FM tracks for the Shindig, mostly so I can rant a little about 7 and post some gifs. Besides, that opening narration is too cool not too use somewhere.

And as if the psychic wasn’t Elm Street enough for you, this song’s all about dreaming. Sure, it’s a more figurative kind of dreaming, but I still I think it’s safe to say that by 1987, Freddy was winning the fight.

Happy Friday The 13th!

Audio

Nightmare

TRACK #155:

Nightmare by 213

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’s Nightmare.

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.