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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Terrifying Tunes

"A storm is coming...
A storm that will swallow the children
And I will deliver them from the kingdom of pain
I will deliver the children back the their doorsteps
And send the monsters back to the underground
I'll send them back to a place where no-one else can see them
Except for me
Because I... am Donnie Darko." 

My last post was all about the scary movies that we associate with Halloween.  Today, I will explore the sounds of Halloween and provide a playlist that will haunt your dreams for eternity.  Mwhahah!  Ot something like that.  

I did not say anything about the great movie, Donnie Darko (2001).  It was directed by Richard Kelly and features the music of composer Michael Andrews.  The hit rehash of Tears for Fears' 'Mad World' was done by singer Gary Jules.  The film, in large part to the music and plot now has a cult following.  For awhile, you could go online to and figure out plot points not in the movie and make sense out of this strange but fascinating film.  The movie stars Drew Barrymore, Jake and Maggie Gyllenhaal (who play siblings), Jena Malone, Patrick Swayze, Noah Wyle, If you have not seen it, the movie is about a boy, Donnie (played  by Jake Gyllenhaal) who sleepwalks and sees an imaginary rabbit (supposedly from the future) who tells him about the end of the world.  Is Donnie crazy or does his world make some sense?  What exactly is going on?  The movie centers around the bizarre and paranormal idea of time travel and alternate realities.  

I will not give away anything but just tell you that this movie is incredible. My friend Matt is frightened to death of the rabbit, Frank.  I, however, think it makes an ingenious Halloween costume.  There is a sequel to this movie S. Darko (2009) set around Donnie's sister (played by Daveigh Chase (Samara from The Ring).  Seth Rogan is also in the film; he plays a bully named Ricky.  Another interesting tidbit is that Katharine Ross plays Dr. Lillian Thurman, Donnie's psychiatrist.  Ross played Joanna Eberhart in the 1975 (original and better) version of The Stepford Wives, Ira Levin's 1972 book of the same name.  And Ira Levin also wrote Rosemary's Baby.  So there are a lot of intrinsic connections within Donnie Darko's cast.  I love this film and would show it for 24 hours on TBS, like they do with A Christmas Story (1983) from Christmas Eve through Christmas Day.   

The soundtrack for Donnie Darko is also haunting and perfect to listen to around this time of year.  Most of the music is eerie and somber.  It perfectly reflects the grey, cold weather.  The movie takes place during 1988 so it has songs of the period like: 'Under the Milky Way' by The Church, 'Love Will Tear Us Apart' by Joy Division, 'Notorious' by Duran Duran, 'The Killing Moon' by Echo and the Bunnymen, 'Head Over Heals' by Tears for Fears, and 'Never Tear Us Apart' by INXS (in the director's cut only) to replace the beginning sequence song 'The Killing Moon' (which is moved to another scene).  That's how much I love this movie; I can tell you the differences between the director's cut and regular version.  I LOVE this movie!  

With that aside, I will give you an unlikely soundtrack for Halloween.  Yes, there are songs like 'Monster Mash' (1962), 'Thriller' (1983), and 'Time Warp' (1975).  I will try to find off the beaten path songs which include alternate versions of hit Halloween tunes or possibly tunes you haven't heard before.  So beware, you're in for a scare. Mwhahahah!  

video for Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' from 1983
I had to get it out of the way.  Everyone expects this, right!?

Halloween Terrifying Tunes ReMix

1) 'Joan Crawford' by Blue Öyster Cult (1981)

2) 'Bela Lugosi's Dead' by Bauhaus (1979)

3) 'Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)' by David Bowie (1980)

4) 'The Human Fly' by The Cramps (1978)

5) 'Teenagers from Mars' by The Misfits (1978)
PS: Static Age is my favorite Misfits' album!

6) 'Sleepwalk' by Ultravox (1980)

7) 'Institution Walls' by B-Movie (1981)

8) 'Radioactivity' by Kraftwerk (1976)

9) 'Over at the Frankenstein Place' (from RHPS) by Richard O'Brien (acoustic version)

10) 'Season of the Witch' by Vanilla Fudge (1968)

11) Lullaby from Rosemary's Baby by Mia Farrow (1968)

12) Vincent Price reciting Edgar Allan Poe's 'The Raven'
Deep Purple recently released a song titled, 'Vincent Price'.  I'm not crazy about this song but I love Deep Purple (their older stuff) and, though cheesy, this song is great for Halloween!  I'm not including it in my line-up though.  

13) 'No Quarter' by Led Zeppelin (1973)

14) 'This is Halloween' by Marilyn Manson (2008)
Marilyn Manson's songs 'I Put a Spell on You' and 'Sweet Dreams are also great for Halloween!

15) 'Children of the Grave' by White Zombie (1994, cover of Black Sabbath's song)

16) 'Am I Evil?' by Metallica (1988, cover of Diamond Head's song)

17) 'Heaven and Hell' by Black Sabbath (1980)

18) 'Sabra Cadabra' by Black Sabbath (1985)

19) 'The Killing Moon' by Echo and the Bunnymen (1984)

20) 'Under the Milky Way' by The Church

21) 'Cannibal Roses' by Siouxsie Sioux and the Banshees (1982)

22) 'Asleep' by The Smiths (1987)

23) 'October' by U2 (1981)

24) 'I Put a Spell on You' by Screamin' Jay Hawkins (1956)

25) 'At the House of Frankenstein' by Big Bee Kornegay (1958)

26) 'Frankie Frankenstein' by Buffalo Bop (1931)

27) 'The Monster Hop' by Bret Convy 
There's another song of the same name by Jimmy Dee worth checking out.

28) 'Zombified' bySouthern Culture on the Skids (1998)
They have another great song called 'Werewolf'.

29) 'Bad Moon Rising' by Creedence Clearwater Revival (1969)

30) 'Little Red Riding Hood' by Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs (1966)

31) 'In Particular' by Blonde Redhead (2000)

Full Album Recs: 

*And I recommend listening to, buying, or downloading the following five albums:

a) Sonic Youth, Bad Moon Rising (1985)  

b) The Enid, Something Wicked This Way Comes (1982)

c) 'The Six Wives of Henry VIII' by Rick Wakeman

d) Halloween soundtrack (1978)- this is an excerpt

e) Rocky Horror Picture Show by Polyphonic Spree (you can get it as an import from the UK-Ebay it)

So there you have it ghouls and goblins.  A soundtrack that doesn't include the usual suspects.  Well, some of the tunes are familiar but I tried to mix it up a little bit.  Songs that are haunting, creepy, and/or eerie but do not pertain to Halloween directly.  I hope you enjoy it.  And as I mentioned, you can listen, download, or buy any of the songs/albums (they're all on Itunes).  Happy Haunting!

Bewitched and Bewildered,


I didn't include 'Monster Mash' from 1962 because I despise that song and it's on EVERY Halloween soundtrack available.  I'm sure Bobby Pickett was just as annoyed by this song which is probably heavily discussed in his book, Monster Mash: Half Dead in Hollywood (2005).  I feel bad that though he wrote other songs, this is what defined him.  Though I'm sure it made him buckets of money.  He could use all of his cash to pay for a good shrink.  Sadly, Pickett died in 2007 and I would bet his grave reads, 'He did the mash'.  Oy vey!

The Beach Boys covering 'Monster Mash' (1964)

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