I'm rather pleased with how this mix turned out, even more so because I had a such hard time at first making myself arrange the proposed tracks into a final mix-it's always a bit of a jigsaw but it feels great when the pieces finally fall into place. And I'm delivering it to you dear readers a week before All Hallows' Eve, giving you a fair amount of time to download and utilize as you will. As one judge said to another be just, and if you can't be just, be arbitrary.
I've used the Hammer Film Production opening background from Brides of Dracula as the cover pic for this mix for two reasons- obviously it looks great, lovely font, also my Halloween viewing this year consists mainly of classic Hammer Horror films from the late 1950's through the 1960's. If you dig atmospheric horror films that tend towards classic gothic iconography and suspense as opposed to slasher and gore films then Hammer is a great resource.
In this same vein but a bit more arty are the early films of Mario Bava, which compose the second main staple of my Halloween diet this year. As a bonus Bava's film tend to feature beautiful 1960's European females. So it's a definite win win, and the color palette on both Hammer and Bava's films, especially Bava, is a pleasure to look at, they look amazing! A few notes and additional movie recommendations in the annotated track listing below.
1. Sleepy Hollow- The Last Word- A little scratchy from old vinyl, but a great track. Seems to be referencing Van Morrison's phrasing on "Gloria" in the opening lines and the singer as a whole is going for Van in his vocals.
3. My Dear Watson- Thee Headcoats- "Better stay in doors, keep off the moors... there's a hellhound on the loose, that's what I deduce!" Rather.
4. It's Monster Surfing Time- The Deadly Ones- Surf music, sci-fi and monsters are a great combo.
5. Werewolves of London- The Flamin' Groovies- "He's the hairy handed gent who ran amok in Kent." Warren Zevon of course penned this classic (with Wachtel and Marinell) and the original version is good too, it's the second video below. But I love what the Groovies do with this, which is mainly add those revolving slightly Byrdsian guitar figures, the original being piano driven. But really you can't go wrong with a song that starts with a line like "I saw a werewolf with a chinese menu in his hand, walking through the streets of Soho in the rain". Genius.
6. I Was A Teenage Werewolf- The Cramps- It's hard to get away from the Cramps and the Misfits when putting together these mixes. I tried to concentrate mainly on 1950's and 60's music in this mix but both of these bands were informed and influenced largely by the horror and sci-fi monster films of the 1950's and 60's so it all works out. The video is a live outtake from Urgh a Music War. A Mid-West monster with braces on his fangs! "I have puberty rites, and I have puberty wrongs"- that line always makes me laugh. Demon possession or transforming into a monster as a metaphor for growing pains/entering puberty remains startlingly appropriate. Keep this in mind the next time you watch the Exorcist.
7. Alligator Wine- Screaming Jay Hawkins- Mr. Hawkins reveals one of his once secret recipes.
8. Halloween II- The Misfits- Last Halloween mix I made back in 2011 I included Halloween by the Misfits, so here's Halloween II.
9. Karen- Half Japanese- A creepy little tune most likely inspired by the film When A Stranger Calls from 1979 which is one of many films based on the urban legend of the babysitter and the man upstairs.
10. Part IV- Bobby Beausoleil- Part of the soundtrack for Kenneth Anger's film Lucifer Rising, composed by Bobby Beausoleil while serving time for murder.
11. Terror Couple Kill Colonel- Bauhaus- One of my favorite Bauhaus tracks, their best stuff had a filmic quality that was very appealing. I love the telegraph mimicking guitar at the end of the track. Second video below is their appearance in the early 80's vampire film The Hunger starring David Bowie and Catherine Deneuve. A stylish film with a great cast, stylish in that 1983 manner, sure it's a bit silly but that goes with the territory. Interesting note- Ann Magnuson later of Bongwater has it off with Bowie at the beginning of the film, several years later she would record a humorous song with Bongwater called "David Bowie Wants Ideas".
12. I Am- Roky Erickson- Roky's mind seems like a scary place.
13. Night of the Vampire-The Moontrekkers- Another choice Joe Meek production!
14. Rockin' in the Graveyard- Jackie Morningstar- Rockabilly and monster horror seems like a no-brainer combination. Betcha dollars to donuts many of the rockabilly cats were regular readers of EC Comics.
15. Till The Following Night- Screamin' Lord Sutch- Lots of windy sound effects on these tracks.
16. Feast of the Mau Mau- Screamin' Jay Hawkins- The video below contains a different earlier version of this tune, I prefer the one in my mix. Screamin' Jay giving you some of that inside soul here. "How they talk man?"
17. Voodoo Voodoo- LaVern Baker- LaVern having troubles with the juju.
18. The Werewolf- Alan Vega, Alex Chilton and Ben Vaughn- This 1996 collaboration is still relatively new to me, but this track was a cinch for the mix. Unfortunately no ones uploaded it to youtube, so here's what the cover of the record looks like.
19. I Walked with a Zombie- Roky Erickson- The 1943 film by Jacque Tourneur and Val Lewton is a solid atmospheric film well worth your attention, as are most of Lewton's productions.
20. Mad Monster Party- Maury Laws & Ethel Ennis- This is the theme song to the awesome late 60's animated (animagic/stop motion) collaboration between Rankin/Bass, Jack Davis and Harvey Kurtzman. The equally stellar soundtrack was composed by Maury Laws.
21. The Whip- The Frantics- For those sadistically or masochistically inclined or just plain kinky, there's a Mario Bava film from 1963 called The Whip and the Body. It stars Christopher Lee, which makes it feel like some kind of unholy collaboration between Hammer Horror (in whose films Lee often starred) and Bava. Lee's character has a sadistic relationship with his sister in law, he dies and his ghost comes back to continue the whipping. I guess some kinds of love never die! Crazy stuff.
22. Teenagers from Mars- The Misfits- Probably inspired in part from Teenagers From Outer Space.
23. Plan 9 Channel 7- The Damned- The Damned video and the trailer from the songs inspiration follow.
24. The Devil's Rumble- Davie Allan & the Arrows- It's from a biker film, but sounds menacing and appropriate here. And the title works.
25. Surfin' Dead- The Cramps- This was recorded for Dan O'Bannon's mid 1980's re-imagining of the Night of the Living Dead series- The Return of the Living Dead. A very funny film with a punk, or what passed for it by the mid-80's, soundtrack and some goofy clownish "punk" characters starring. Dan has done a lot of entertaining work from his stories for Heavy Metal magazine, to writing Dark Star, two segments of the Heavy Metal movie and Alien to his writing and direction of this modern classic.
26. Toby Dammit- Nino Rota- From Fellini's contribution to the compilation film of Poe inspired shorts Spirits of the Dead. An excerpt and the trailer for the film follow. Some find this film boring, Fellini's contribution is the best, but I enjoy all three stories to varying degrees. I recommend it for those who have patience and enjoy European films (Bardot, Delon, and Terence Stamp, and the Fonda kids!) from the 1960's and or for Poe fans.
|The Devil as a little girl in Toby Dammit|
27. Race with the Devil- Gene Vincent- Gene with Cliff Gallup a winning combination, even against the devil.