In recent years, horror flicks and metal have enjoyed a loving relationship. Metalheads love horror, and the feeling is mutual. (Where did we put that copy of The Blair Witch 2 soundtrack?) Obviously many metal musicians truly enjoy sci-fi, monster and horror films (with guys like Rob Zombie, The Misfits, and Alice Cooper crossing between the two worlds). But scary can come in many musical forms -- creepy bluegrass, terrifying rap, murky electronic soundscapes.
With Halloween just around the corner, Up On The Sun has gathered a couple horror and thriller films that forgo the usual "evil clowns hacking up bodies to thrash metal," or "double-bass backs dueling guitars while half-naked girls run mindlessly through the forest from Jason" scenes that have become commonplace. Here are a couple flicks were the soundtrack ranges from pop to Southern Rock, but the results are always scary.
Texas Chainsaw Massacre(1974)
The original Texas Chainsaw soundtrack was compiled of seven original songs by different Texas artists and an original background track by Tobe Hooper and Wayne Bell. There was never an official release of the soundtrack, and there's much information about the bands that played the songs that accompany the ever-reproduced horror flick. "Fool For a Blonde" has an infectious hook that makes it one of the most remembered songs from the film, and "Waco" and "Glad Hand" were by Timberline Rose, a folksy blues band from the 1960s and '70s.
The Devil's Rejects
This Rob Zombie-directed film is a personal favorite when it comes to modern horror films. Not only because he has some rocking albums--and an insanely badass wife--but because Devil's Rejects layers old-school influences from movies like Texas Chainsaw and The Shining, is stripped of heavy effects, and comes off as a retro piece of lost art from the '70s. It's also revered by Roger Ebert and Stephen King, who declare that the film's ultimate goal is to entertain, not disgust, and the characters actually are presented as personalities with motive, history, and emotional connections to each other.
Zombie's use of Southern rock adds to an already gritty film, with such classics as Buck Owen's "Satan's Gotta Get Along Without Me," Allman Brothers' "Midnight Rider," "It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels" by Kitty Wells, "I Can't Quit You Baby" by Otis Rush, and Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Free Bird," which plays over the blood-soaked finale when the villains go out in a blaze of glory.
The Lost Boys
Yeah yeah, I know The Lost Boys is possibly pushing it as a horror film, but for all its '80s cheese, the film features a fantastic collection of tracks. Echo & the Bunnymen's cover of the Doors' classic "People Are Strange" opens up the film, but other track stand-outs include "Lost in the Shadows" by Lou Gramm, the famed lead singer of Foreigner, a cover of The Call's "I Still Believe" by Tim Capello, and Gerard McMahon's "Cry Little Sister." To top it off, Thomas Newman's original eerie orchestra and organ score set up a new vibe for the vampire genre (he later went on to do scores for "American Beauty" and "The Shawshank Redemption").
While this soundtrack may not have familiar tracks and a lot of vocal influence, it's perfect for the Euro-art aesthetic of the film (and anyone into that Gothic vibe as well): erotic, funky and helter skelter. Director Jesus Franco's surrealistic reworking of Bram Stoker's short story "Dracula's Guest" delivers hallucinatory erotic imagery and a sexy performance by Soledad Miranda as vampiric Princess Nadine Korody who seduces an American woman. Who doesn't like vampire girl-on-human girl action, set to some haunting, slow jams?
Natural Born Killers
Director Oliver Stone and Trent Reznor produced the soundtrack together, and reportedly watched he film more than 50 times to "get in the mood." They wanted to get Snoop Dogg involved, but at that time he was on trial for murder...which would've made for a good pairing, actually. The psychedelic style spanning black and white, animation and a wide range of camera angles and filters hands the movie a constant frenzied feeling.
Throughout these gory scenes of the sadistic Romeo & Juliet meets Bonnie and Clyde tale you'll find tracks by Patti Smith, Bob Dylan, Nine Inch Nails, Patsy Cline, Dr. Dre and Cowboy Junkies--and even a track called "Route 666" by BB Tone Brian Berdan, featuring Robert Downey Jr.
2004's Dawn of the Dead
After Zack Snyder sets the tone for the entire movie with the brilliant, frantic opening sequence, he follows it with a brilliant montage that delivers context and back story, set to the tones of Johnny Cash's "When the Man Comes Around," and such later tracks as Bobby McFerrin's "Don't Worry, Be Happy," Jim Carroll's "People Who Died," and the two unique versions of Disturbed's "Down with the Sickness."
This 2000 cult psycho thriller combines horror, satire and several underlying themes in order to present the naïve, consumerist void of society on a dark and humorous level. Originally a book published in 1991 that focused on the yuppie culture of the '80s, the soundtrack does a great job at embodying the era and popular culture with a score by John Cale and such artists as David Bowie, The Cure, and New Order, and popular classics "Hip to Be Square" by Huey Lewis and the News and "You Spend Me Round (Like A Record)" by Dead or Alive.