Early last summer, I published some photos of Brookfield Zoo’s 2012 ”X-Treme Bugs” exhibit (see HERE). Sadly, this special exhibit has swarmed and gone but not before giving guests one last look during their “Creatures of the Night” event. Here are some pictures that will surely appeal those of us who grew up devoted to those giant atomic bug movies that were so popular back in the ’50s.
Here are some examples…
Last month we reported the Halloween activities at the two zoos in which The Daves are volunteer docents; Chicago’s Brookfield Zoo and Rhode Island’s Roger Williams Park (in a story you can revisit HERE)! Both zoo’s served up a fantastic seasonal event that is something ALL local readers should plan on attending next year. Brookfield Zoo gets a special nod from horror fans for delving into the darker side of Halloween and proving (by its huge turn out) that us adult horror fans are a financial force to be reckoned with. “Creatures of the Night” proved a devilishly good time with lots of great activities such as this “Pumpkin Execution” – courtesy of a device created by the zoo’s exhibits department and utilizing materials laying around the zoo. While orange and black are most commonly associated with the holiday’s colors, Brookfield Zoo made it even more spectacular by going “Green.”
By Dr. Gangrene…
The 8th annual Dr. Gangrene’s Horror Hootenanny was held Saturday October 8th 2011 at THE MUSE in Nashville, TN. This year’s event was a huge success, and a ton of fun. The Daves asked me to give a report on this year’s event, which I was happy to do!
One thing the Daves have always had fun doing is interviewing as many of the great horror hosts as we can. The interviews have all been very popular on Terror From Beyond The Daves and we always try to ask questions that you don’t normally see in interviews. This time out, we present the one and only Roxsy Tyler, from Roxsy Tyler’s Carnival Of Horrors!
DAVID A: Were you a fan of horror movies growing up? If yes, what are some of your favorites?
ROXSY: Yes, I think 50 percent of the movies I watched as a child were all horror movies. I loved the HALLOWEEN movies, I couldn’t get enough of the NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET series, TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, CHILD’S PLAY, and when I got a little bit older a lot of Bela Lugosi and Vincent Price films were added to the my mix of horror interest. My parents absolutely did not monitor the things I watched on television. They didn’t believe in doing that.
DAVID A: Did you have a local horror host when you were growing up? If yes, who was it?
ROXSY: I did, but I knew nothing about her at the time because I was a baby in diapers. We had Stella, the Maneater from Manayunk. I met Stella at MonsterMania in Cherry Hill, NJ last March and she’s one of the most wonderful people I ever had the pleasure of talking to. Her and Hives have been really supportive of me and my show. I want her to come back to TV so I can make up for lost time and actually watch her. Very wonderful woman and from what I have seen of her show Saturday Night Dead she was really talented and still is.
DAVID A: What made you become a horror host? Is it something you always wanted to do?
ROXSY: I actually decided at four years old that I wanted to be a writer. I went to three different writing schools, I published a book at 19, and I always intended to stay on course with that. I mean, you guys here at the Daves site know that because you let me write for your site sometimes (thank you!). I never intended to be a horror host. I flew out to Iowa to spend time and create some fun with Midnite Mausoleum and it took off from there. People started suggesting that I do my own show and I had the resources to do it so I gave it a try. Now it’s a big part of my life and it’s fun!
DAVID A: How did you come up with the character of Roxsy Tyler?
ROXSY: She’s been in my head since I was a little girl and then I wrote the three stories about her in my book. She’s a combination of my love of carnivals, top hats, rock and roll, super heroes and super villains. I combined every little thing I liked and Roxsy Tyler formed from it. Roxsy Tyler’s actual look is a different story. I’m a huge Aerosmith fan. In fact, I’m a third generation Aerosmith fan. I named my character after Steven Tyler and Aerosmith did a music video called “Sunshine” where Steven Tyler is dressed as the Mad Hatter. It’s a really cool video. Some people might think it’s weird but I think everything about that music video is so beautiful, including Steven Tyler’s clothes! I saw him in that video and said, “I really want to dress like that!” Other than that, I think of Roxsy as comparable to that clown at the dunk tank. The clown will antagonize you until you hit the bullseye and falls into the water. I wanted Roxsy to be that fun antagonist.
DAVID A: Using a carnival theme for the background of your show is pretty original. What made you decide to go with that?
ROXSY: My love of carnivals and my wanting something from my stories to carry on into the show. My second Roxsy Tyler story I wrote is called “House of Mirrors” and it takes place entirely at a carnival. Amongst the readers that second story was the favorite and it was my favorite as well. A carnival is the perfect combination of fun and fear. Some people are afraid of clowns whereas others find them joyful. Some people are scared of fast rides and upside down rides while others find thrill in them. The carnival is the perfect combo of fun and fear. I wanted that as a premise for my show.
DAVID A: If someone was unaware of ROXSY TYLER’S CARNIVAL OF HORRORS, what episode would you recommend as an introduction to your show?
ROXSY: Wow! What a great question! I would suggest starting with our very first episode but I think to get the best feel for our show the second episode is where you should start. We hosted BLUEBEARD and had a serial strangler on the carnival grounds whom we couldn’t identify. The writing was funny, the performances we gave were all top notch, it was the episode I had the most fun doing. I would even suggest for Carnival of Horrors fans who never saw our first four episodes to watch them. We had Tom Detrik and Bonnie Loev as part of our cast playing clowns. Tom and Bonnie are professional actors and they are actors that I very much look up to. Watch episode two and you’ll see why. For two people just doing it for fun they really brought it.
DAVID A: You have branched out into other acting avenues as of late, including Thomas Berdinski’s GIANT RUBBER MONSTER MOVIE, BOOLEY and the yet-to-be-released DEER CROSSING. Can we expect to see you in other similar projects in the future? If yes, is there anything you can share with us?
ROXSY: I really love acting. I really do. I hope to get more opportunities to be in more films. I’ll also be meeting up with the Zombie Hunters again to work on Season two of Zombie Hunters: City of the Dead with them. My character’s name is Cassandra Marx and they have me playing this character in my Roxsy Tyler garb which I think is very cool. I can’t say enough good things about those guys. I have a lot of love the group of people who make Zombie hunters possible. I’m also going to have a lead role next year in a movie called “White Balance”. I’ll be playing a demon. I’m very excited about it. If anyone else wants me in their movie… I’m available! Or I will make myself available! My entire cast love being involved in making movies.
DAVID A: Can you describe BOOLEY for us?
ROXSY: The story for BOOLEY is very fun. It stars Tom Detrik (who I previously mentioned played a clown on my show) as Angus Booley. He’s a normal guy who’s being pushed around in his life: He just got laid off, he suspects his wife (Raine Brown) is cheating on him, and his daughter is following in his passive footsteps as she is getting bullied by the most popular girl in school. He finds salvation in this motivational DVD but he starts taking its teachings way too far and starts killing people. The film is a very low budget. We had less resources than we do now but it’s a very entertaining film and the performances are great. I play Rose Booley, Angus’s daughter and I’m being bullied by Gina Lynn who’s actually an adult film star. Just to tell you right now… I’m not really acting in that film. I didn’t have to. I was Rose Booley back when I went to school. That’s why I don’t understand why some people who reviewed the film bashed my acting. The jokes on them because I wasn’t acting at all. It’s a fun film and you can really relate to Angus Booley. He’s doing what we only imagine we could do when life gets tough on us.
DAVID A: While filming DEER CROSSING, you got to work with Ernie Hudson (of THE CROW and GHOSTBUSTERS). What was that like?
ROXSY: Oh man. Michael Madsen was supposed to play Ernie’s role in DEER CROSSING but Madsen disappeared and didn’t honor his commitment to the film. We were supposed to go on Radio shows with him that weekend and appear with him at the MonsterMania convention. Mr. Potent asked me who we could approach about playing the part that would be at MonsterMania. I immediately said Ernie Hudson. He accepted the role that weekend because he liked the script and we shot his scenes a week later. I was really nervous before Ernie came into the picture and then when he did I was very excited. THE CROW is one of my all-time favorite films and I grew up on GHOSTBUSTERS. I introduced myself to him after he expressed interest in doing the film and to my surprise I was shaking the entire time because I was so star-struck. Ernie Hudson is a great, down to earth guy. He’s extremely comfortable to be around. He does not at all act like he’s Hollywood and at the same time he’s extremely professional. I got to share screen time with someone I’ve admired since I was a child. To have that happen so early in my acting career is just amazing.
DAVID A: Who are some of your favorite horror hosts of today?
ROXSY: There’s so many I like. I love Midnite Mausoleum. I think Penny Dreadful is the best thing since sliced bread. Victor Von Scary I really admire and enjoy watching. The hosts I boast about the most are the guys in Atomic Age Cinema. I wish they put out a lot more stuff because I can’t get enough of them. Their show is hilarious! I haven’t really come across a horror host I don’t like. I like and respect all of them. They’re my peers through and through. One of my goals is to work with the Bone Jangler. I think that would be epic and the guy is so damn smooth how can you not want to work with him?
DAVID A: I remember first seeing your character in pictures with Marlena Midnite from MIDNITE MAUSOLEUM. Were you on an actual episode? How did that come about and can we expect to see other host cross-overs with you in the future?
ROXSY: I was in episode #116 I believe it was. We hosted Carnival of Souls. I had been friends with Blake Powell for many years before he started producing the show with Marlena Midnite. Blake’s read my book and he was familiar with the Roxsy Tyler stories. I said to him one day that it would be funny to see Roxsy Tyler on the show and he thought that wasn’t a bad idea. So, I flew out to Iowa and I did the show. Plus, I finally got to meet Blake in person. Before that we were only myspace buddies. It was very cool. I think we all worked together very well. Blake, Marlena, and Robyn were all very good to me and I have much love and respect for them. Of course none of us, including myself, expected that I would start doing my own show. It’s really cool that a door opened for me when I least expected it to and it’s way cool to see how successful Midnite Mausoleum is getting as time goes on. I do have a crossover show coming up with Victor Von Scary from Fright Night Cinema. It should be out by early October.
DAVID A: It was great to finally meet you this past March at HorrorHound in Indianapolis. Do you have more convention appearances scheduled where fans can meet you?
ROXSY: None unfortunately. I’m so busy with the filming of Deer Crossing ad everything else that I don’t think I’ll be around until MonsterMania next March. I do love conventions though. If I had the time and money I would visit every horror convention in the country.
DAVID A: Since most modern horror hosts are limited to showing public domain films, is there on non PD film you would absolutely love to show on CARNIVAL OF HORRORS?
ROXSY: There’s so many I would love to host! TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, THEATRE OF BLOOD, and I don’t know if it was considered a horror but I would love to host ERNEST SCARED STUPID!
I would like to thank Roxsy Tyler for taking time to participate in this interview. The Daves would also like to thank her for being a guest blogger here! Here most recent piece was “Three Horror Hosts and a Zombie Hunter Invade New Potent Media Flick!” and it can be seen HERE! Prior to that she contributed with “Roxsy’s Recap Of Monster Mania 17″. Check out part 1 HERE and part 2 HERE!
If you would like to check out Roxsy Tyler online there are many ways you can! Check her out on Facebook HERE! You can watch her videos via Vimeo HERE and their YouTube channel is HERE! The main website is HERE and their Livestream channel is HERE! You can watch episodes of Carnival Of Horrors HERE!
Welcome to part 2 of my overview of Halloween-themed novelty songs. If you missed part 1 you can see it HERE. Before I get down to my recommendations let me warn you about buying cd’s like this. When you see Halloween cd’s in stores ALWAYS look to make sure that the songs are by “original artists”. Many times these cd’s available in major retailers such as Wal-Mart and Target feature popular Halloween songs but done by people you have never heard of. If they don’t list the MONSTER MASH as being sung by Bobby “Boris” Pickett then guess what, it’s not! Even if it says by “various artists” it is probably done by artists you have never heard of. That’s the reason so many of these cd’s cost so little. All of the cd’s I present here feature songs by the original artists, unless noted otherwise.
First up is an interesting little cd called HALLOWEEN’S GRAVEST HITS, released in 2009 on Capital Records. This cd not only features a really cool looking cover but it also features a nice selection of Halloween party tunes AND sound effects! There are a total of 30 tracks, 12 of which are songs. One complaint about this disc is that MONSTER MASH is by Don Hinson and the Rigarmorticians and not Bobby Pickett. One nice rarity on this collection though is THE LURCH, featuring Ted Cassidy who actually played Lurch in THE ADDAMS FAMILY television show. Now before you purchase this cd, please keep this in mind! On Amazon they have this disc for sale as an MP3 expanded version, which features 46 tracks and only a few of them are sound effects! Some songs of note are SCARY MONSTERS (AND SUPER CREEPS) by David Bowie and D.O.A. by Bloodrock. I wish I had known about this MP3 release before buying the standard cd!
This cd is not a Halloween cd but it does feature one song of interest, “MONSTER RAP” by Bobby “Boris” Pickett. This song is an updated version of the MONSTER MASH and is a must have in any collection! Thankfully this cd is relatively cheap because it is the only good song on this compilation!
Another must-have in any Halloween music collection is this EP by the Dickies to their song “KILLER KLOWNS FROM OUTER SPACE”, from the 1988 cult classic film of the same name! New copies of this disc are insanely priced but used copies are very reasonable!
Next up is NEW WAVE HALLOWEEN (1998) on Rhino Records. This fun cd features 15 tracks, including 6 titled HALLOWEEN! Some great songs on this disc include “THE TIME WARP” from the Rocky Horror Picture Show, “PET SEMATARY” by The Ramones, “THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON” by Dave Edmunds and “CREATURE WITH THE ATOM BRAIN” by Roky Erickson & The Aliens. Rhino always seems to put out the best compilations discs…they are always cheap, offer a nice variety and they always feature original artists!
HALLOWEEN HOOTENANNY is an interesting collection put out by Zombie A Go-Go Records (Geffen Records). This 1998 release features 19 tracks, 3 of which are by legendary horror host Zacherley. It’s not often you see his songs on compilation discs! The songs are “HALLOWEEN HOOTENANNY”, “SINISTER PURPOSE” (with Southern Culture On The Skids) and “HAPPY HALLOWEEN”. If you are a fan of Rob Zombie, he also has a song on this disc called “HALLOWEEN (SHE GET SO MEAN)”. The overall appearance of the disc and the artwork are very similar to Rob Zombie’s own releases, making this a very fun package to go through (in fact all of the artwork is by Rob Zombie!). The remaining tracks are songs not found on any other compilations (that I have found anyway) so I highly recommend this disc.
This 2007 Wanda Records compilation, entitled HALLOWEEN FRIGHT NITE, is another disc that I highly recommend. The cover features a picture of The Munsters, with Lily, Herman and Marilyn having other faces then the original cast (only Grampa and Eddie feature Al Lewis and Butch Patrick). This disc features 27 tracks and as far as I can tell they are all by original artists. The only track I question is “THE MUNSTER’S THEME” as the artist is listed as “unknown” though it does sound like the actual theme, and not a re-record by someone else. This collection also features songs not found on any other compilations (an added bonus). Some of my favorite tracks include “THE NIGHT BEFORE HALLOWEEN” (a Halloween parody of “THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS”) by Bill Buchanan. Little Anthony and the Imperials sing a fun song called “TRICK OR TREAT” and Jessie Lee Turner has a song called “THE LITTLE SPACE GIRL”. One song that was always a favorite of mine from the Dr. Demento Show is “HALLOWEEN” by Heywood Banks (and it is included here). Another fun song is “TEENAGE BRAIN SURGEON” by The Mad Doctor Cappy’O and the last track is “SPOOKTACULAR FINALE” by Spike Jones And Friends. Buy this disc today!!!
A nice companion collection to HALLOWEEN FRIGHT NITE, also on Wanda Records, is the 2006 release called BOMP IN THE NIGHT. This disc features 30 tracks, again many not found anywhere else. The title track, “BOMP IN THE NIGHT” by Bruce And The Heartbreaks, is a catchy little tune and the Beatles parody “I WANT TO BITE YOUR HAND” by Gene Moss is a must have for any Halloween novelty song collection! Other great songs include “MONSTER SHINDIG” by Danny Hutton, “MONSTER HOP” by Bert Convy, “DRACULA DRAG” by Jekyll & Hyde, “MIDNIGHT MONSTERS HOP” by Jack And Jim, “IGOR’S PARTY” by Tony And The Monstrosities, “HOUSE OF HORRORS” by Merv Griffin and an interesting rendition of The Munsters theme called “MOCKINGBIRD HEIGHTS” (with an introduction by Grampa Munster himself, Al Lewis) by Henry J. Fregosi And The Transylvanians.
If you are just starting out with your Halloween music collection then this set is a great way to start! 100 HITS: HALLOWEEN (2009) is put out by Demon Music Group Ltd. It features 4 cd’s of music and a DVD that is a “scary sing-a-long karaoke party”. Though the DVD is poorly put together and doesn’t use original tracks, the other 4 cd’s more than make up for it! You cannot go wrong with this collection, hands down! Disc 1, 2 and 3 all feature classic tunes, most by the original artists, and some not appearing on any other compilations. Disc 4 features themes from many of your favorite horror movies…though these are not original recordings they are still nicely done and recommended. Here is the complete track listing for this amazing set:
DISC 1: 1. Ray Parker Jr. Ghostbusters 2. Bobby “Boris” Pickett & The Crypt-Kickers Monster Mash 3. Lovebug Starski Amityville (The House On The Hill) 4. Steve Miller Band Abracadabra 5. Blue Oyster Cult (Don’t Fear) The Reaper 6. Edgar Winter Group Frankenstein 7. Electric Light Orchestra Evil Woman 8. Alice Cooper Feed My Frankenstein 9. Beatfreakz Somebody’s Watching Me 10. Bloc Party Hunting For Witches 11. Japan Halloween 12. A Flock Of Seagulls Nightmares 13. Santana Black Magic Woman 14. Andy Williams Spooky 15. Screamin’ Jay Hawkins I Put A Spell On You 16. Johnny Cash Ghost Riders In The Sky 17. Marty Robbins Devil Woman 18. Kris Kristofferson To Beat The Devil 19. The Guess Who Clap For The Wolfman 20. Patti Smith Group Ghost Dance
DISC 2: 1. DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince A Nightmare On My Street 2. Run DMC Raising Hell 3. Bow Wow Wow I Want Candy 4. Damian The Time Warp 5. The Grid Swamp Thing 6. Steps Better The Devil You Know 7. Super Furry Animals Demons 8. Alice Cooper Poison 9. Judas Priest Deal With The Devil 10. Sweet Hellraiser 11. The Cult Lil’ Devil 12. Gun Race With The Devil 13. Redbone The Witch Queen Of New Orleans 14. Kula Shaker Grateful When You’re Dead 15. Landscape Norman Bates 16. Crash Test Dummies The Ballad Of Peter Pumpkinhead 17. The Charlie Daniels Band The Devil Went Down To Georgia 18. Jumpin’ Gene Simmons Haunted House 19. Beth Orton Devil Song 20. Robert Johnson Me And The Devil Blues
DISC 3: 1. Halloween 2. A Nightmare On Elm Street 3. The Exorcist – Tubular Bells 4. The Shining 5. The Thing 6. The Omen – Ave Satani 7. The Fog 8. Poltergeist 9. Psycho 10. Nosferatu Overture – Omens Of Nosferatu 11. Bram Stoker’s Dracula 12. Village Of The Damned – March Of The Children 13. Sleepy Hollow 14. The Addams Family 15. The Munsters 16. The Outer Limits 17. The Twilight Zone 18. The X Files 19. Twin Peaks 20. Tales Of The Unexpected
DISC 4: 1. David Seville Witch Doctor 2. Sheb Wooley The Purple People Eater 3. Gene Vincent Race With The Devil 4. Frank Sinatra Witchcraft 5. Chet Baker Quartet Old Devil Moon 6. The Clovers Devil Or Angel 7. Howlin’ Wolf Evil (Is Going On) 8. Roy Orbison Devil Doll 9. Thelonious Monk Quartet Misteriosa 10. LaVerne Baker Voodoo, Voodoo 11. Dinah Washington Mean And Evil Blues 12. Carmen Cavallaro (Enlloro) Voodoo Moon 13. Sarah Vaughan With Hal Mooney And His Orchestra Bewitched 14. Tony Martin With George Siravo And His Orchestra It’s Magic 15. Sister Rosetta Tharpe The Devil Has Thrown Him Down 16. Pete Johnson Death Ray Boogie 17. Otis Spann I’d Rather Be The Devil 18. Louis Jordan And His Tympani Five Up Jumped The Devil In A White Nightgown 19. Frankie Laine With Carl Fischer And His Orchestra Satan Wears A Satin Gown 20. Glenn Miller And His Orchestra Featuring Marion Hutton Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead
Another must have complilation is a neat import cd called MOSTLY GHSOTLY: MORE HORROR FOR HALLOWEEN. This collection came out in 2010 on the Ace Records label. There are 24 tracks in all and if you can find it, the $18 retail price is well worth it! Though some of the tracks can be found on other compilations, there are enough songs here not found elsewhere to make it worthwhile! Here is the complete track listing: (1) “DRACULA’S THEME” – The Ghouls (2) “TIL’ THE FOLLOWING NIGHT” – Screaming Lord Sutch & The Savages (3) “DO THE ZOMBIE” – The Symbols (4) “HAUNTED HOUSE” – Jumpin’ Gene Simmons (5) “DINNER WITH DRAC” – Zacherley (6) “THE GOO GOO MUCK” – Ronnie Cook And The Gaylads (7) “THE MAD SCIENTIST” – Zanies (8) “THE CAVE” – Chuck Holden (9) “SPOOKY MOVIES” – Roy Clark (10) “THEY’RE HERE” – Boots Walker (11) “BLACK AND HAIRY” – Screaming Lord Sutch (12) “THE HEARSE” - Terry Teen (13) “TERRIBLE IVAN” – Art Roberts (14) “NIGHT OF THE VAMPIRE” – The Moon Trekkers (15) “THE MUMMY” – The Naturals (16) I WAS A TEENAGE CREATURE” – Lord Luther (17) “THE CAVE” – Gary “Spider” Webb (18) “THE CAT” – Rod Willis (19) “ZOMBI” – The Monotones (20) “ALLIGATOR WINE” – Screamin’ Jay Hawkins (21) “MORGUS THE MAGNIFICENT” – Morgus & The Three Ghouls (22) “SLEEPY HOLLOW” – The Last Word (23) “ROCKIN’ ZOMBIE” – The Crewnecks (24) “I WANT TO BITE YOUR HAND” – Gene Moss & The Monsters.
A great collection to seek out is THE ZOMBIE HORROR CD COLLECTION. At first glance you may think that this cd is made up of themes from various zombie movies but it is actually a great collection of songs with a zombie theme. There are 30 tracks in all and the $13 retail price makes this quite the deal! This cd came out in October of 2010 on the Chrome Dreams label. The track listing is as follows: 1. “Zombie” – Harlem Wildcats 2.”Abercrombie Had A Zombie” – Fats Waller 3. “Zombie Lou” – Johnson Brothers 4. “Casting A Spell” – Johnson Brothers 5. “Zombi” – The Monotones 6. “Voodoo Women” – Smiley Smith 7. “Rockin’ The Graveyard” – Jackie Morningstar 8. “Midnight Monsters Hop” – Jack & Jim 9. “Wombie Zombie” – Billy Taylor 10. “Zombie Jamboree” – King Flash & The Calypso Carnival 11. “Vampira” – Bobby Bare 12. “Frankenstein’s Den” – The Hollywood Flames 13. “Rockin’ Zombie” – The Crew Necks 14. “Rock N Bones” – Elroy Dietzel 15. “Little Demon” – Screamin’ Jay Hawkins 16. “I Dig You Baby” – Bob McFadden & Dor 17. “Screamin’ Ball (At Dracula Hall)” – The Duponts 18.”Voodoo Man” – The Del-Vikings 19. “Purple People Eater Meets The Witch Doctor” – The Big Bopper 20. “Monster Party” – Bill Doggett 21. “Legend Of Sleepy Hollow” – The Monotones 22. “Hoodoo Women” – Johnnie Temple 23. “Hoodoo Lady Blues” – Arthur Crudup 24. “Hoo-Doo-Say” – Sly Fox 25. “Voodoo” – Chaino 26. “Frankenstein’s Party” – The Swingin’ Phillies 27. “The Night Prowler” – Billy Gayle 28. “Monster Hop” – Bert Convy 29. “The Monster” – Bobby Please & The Pleasers 30. “The Graveyard” – Leroy Bowman
COMING UP NEXT: PART 3 FEATURING THE COOL GHOUL ZACHERLEY AND SOME MORE GREAT IMPORTS!!!
With the end of Labor Day weekend also unofficially signifies the end of summer (even if the calendar says otherwise). This is actually my favorite time of year. The cooler nights, shorter days and Halloween decorations galore in every store. Yes…Halloween is my favorite holiday, even at my age. Growing up has many fond memories for me, especially at Halloween…carving pumpkins, dressing up as one of my favorite monsters, trick or treating and even listening to the Dr. Demento Show with his annual Halloween special. It’s a real shame that kids these days make little effort to keep the Halloween traditions alive (perhaps they should watch the movie TRICK ‘R TREAT to see what can happen!). Kids rarely dress up as scary things anymore. Witches, vampires and ghosts are a thing of the past, replaced with super-heroes, princesses and whatever top 40 music star is popular that year (or my favorite costume, wearing army fatigues and painting your face black…ooooh scaary! Could you tell that I was just extremely sarcastic?). Also missing these days is the Dr. Demento Show, at least in my area. According to the good doctor’s website he is in fact still broadcasting every week, just in more of a limited capacity. It’s too bad that Sirius/XM wouldn’t pick up his weekly show.
For those of you of a more recent generation who may not know, Dr. Demento is a radio DJ who has a weekly program devoted to novelty songs (like what you would hear from “Weird Al” Yankovic). Annually he would do a one or two-week tribute to Halloween, depending on what day of the week Halloween actually fell on. The songs he would play were priceless, and very often hard to find. Thankfully over the years I have been able to track down many of these songs on album and cd so I now have an extensive library of Halloween-themed novelty songs. If you are planning a Halloween bash this year (or just like to listen to weird music) then these cd’s and lp’s are a must have for your music collection!
First up is an actual Dr. Demento Halloween release, called SPOOKY TUNES & SCARY MELODIES. This disc, put out by Rhino Records, came out in 1994 and features 9 relatively easy-to-find Halloween party songs, all featured at one time or another on Dr. Demento’s show. This is the track listing: 1. “WEREWOLVES OF LONDON” – Warren Zevon 2. “A NIGHTMARE ON MY STREET” – D.J. Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince 3. “THE HAUNTED HOUSE OF ROCK” – Whodini 4. “ATTACK OF THE FIFTY FOOT WOMAN” – Tubes 5. “CASTIN’ MY SPELL” – The Johnny Otis Show 6. “HALLOWEEN SPOOKS” – Lambert, Hendricks & Ross 7. “BO MEETS THE MONSTER” – Bo Diddley 8. “MY SON, THE VAMPIRE” – Allan Sherman 9. “NATURE TRAIL TO HELL” – “Weird Al” Yankovic
This cd is a great disc to start with as it contains a good assortment of good songs. “A NIGHTMARE ON MY STREET” is probably one of the harder to find songs since at the time of its release D.J. Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince were sued by New Line Cinema for using the theme from their very popular movie A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET without permission.
Elvira is basically synonymous with Halloween and she is no stranger to releasing her own brand of humor into song. In addition to three official cd releases and two LP releases (see below) you can also download ELVIRA’S GRAVEST HITS off of iTunes. It is pretty much a “best of” compilation of her three cd releases, featuring all of the songs that she sung herself, plus some other great musical additions to your Halloween music collection. The track listing is as follows: (1) “ELVIRA’S THEME” (to my knowledge this has never been available other than on the LP ELVIRA’S VINYL MACABRE), (2) “ONCE BITTEN, TWICE SHY” by Lori Chacko, (3) “3D TV” (previously only available on an EP by the same name) by Elvira, (4) “FULL MOON” by Elvira, (5) “MONSTA’ RAP” by Elvira, (6) “ZOMBIE STOMP” by Elvira, (7) “HAUNTED HOUSE” by Elvira, (8) “HERE COMES THE BRIDE” by Elvira, (9) “HERE I AM” by Elvira, (10) “LE MUSIC HALL” by Elvira, (11) “ZOMBIE KILLER” by Leslie And The Lys, (12) “MISTRESS OF THE DARK” by Ghoultown and (13) “ONCE BITTEN, TWICE SHY” by Lori Chacko. This compilation is interesting because it includes music from Elvira’s 1987 film ELVIRA, MISTRESS OF THE DARK, most of which include voice-over work by Elvira herself. The only thing that would’ve made this collection perfect was if it had included the song “TRICK OR TREAT” that she did in the 80′s…I have only heard this song on The Dr. Demento Show and it is one of her best!
This long out-of-print LP, ELVIRA’S VINYL MACABRE, was actually one of the first Halloween-themed albums I ever bought (and I really wish they would release it on cd). It is a great collection and features intro’s and outro’s at the beginning and end of each side of the record by Elvira herself! Here is the track listing: (1) “INTRO” by Elvira, (2) “MONSTER MASH” by Bobby “Boris” Pickett, (3) “HAUNTED HOUSE” by Jumpin’ Gene Simmons, (4) “THE MUNSTERS” by The Comateens, (5) “HORROR MOVIES” by The Bollock Brothers, (6) “PURPLE PEOPLE EATER” by Sheb Wooley, (7)” IT’S HALLOWEEN” by The Shaggs, (8) “END OF SIDE ONE” by Elvira, (9) “BEGINNING OF SIDE TWO” by Elvira, (10) “TWILIGHT ZONE” by Neil Norman & His Cosmic Organ, (11) “THE VEGAS VAMPIRE” by Jim Parker, (12) “OUT OF LIMITS” by The Challengers, (13) “HORROR MOVIES” by Dickie Goodman, (14) “DRAC’S BACK” by Red Lipstique, (15) “OUTRO” by Elvira. Even though the album cover says it is Volume 1, there were no subsequent releases unfortunately.
Rhino Records released ELVIRA’S HAUNTED HITS in 1999. This cd, shorter than the lp release by a few songs, features 17 songs including one by the Mistress of the Dark herself! Some of the highlights on this collection feature “THE MONSTER MASH” by Bobby “Boris” Pickett (a must have for any Halloween party), “GHOSTBUSTERS” by Ray Parker Jr., “THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON”, a hard-to-find song by Dave Edmunds, “DEAD MAN’S PARTY” by Oingo Boingo and Elvira’s song “FULL MOON”. Speaking of Elvira, she has since had two more cd releases, both also on the Rhino label. First up is ELVIRA PRESENTS MONSTER HITS!
This cd, from 1994, features two songs by Elvira (as well as five others). There is also an intro and outro by Elvira. My favorite song on this cd by far is Elvira’s “MONSTA’ RAP”. I wish I could include a snippet here but that infringes on copyright. Let me just say that it’s a must hear song and you will quickly find yourself singing it also! Other songs on the disc include “LITTLE DEMON” by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, “FEED MY FRANKENSTEIN” by Alice Cooper, “MONSTER MASH” by Bobby “Boris” Pickett, “A NIGHTMARE ON MY STREET” by D.J. Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, “THE ADDAMS FAMILY” by Joey Gaynor and the 2nd Elvira track “HERE COMES THE BRIDE (THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN)” This cd is worth buying just for the two Elvira tracks!
The next release in this Elvira series is ELVIRA PRESENTS: REVENGE OF MONSTER HITS (1995). This disc also features two brand new songs by Elvira (“HAUNTED HOUSE” and a catchy little tune called “ZOMBIE STOMP”) as well as 5 other songs and new intros and outros. Besides the Elvira songs (worth the price of admission alone) three songs that stand out in rarity are “IT’S YOUR VOODOO WORKING” by Charles Sheffield, “MONSTERS’ HOLIDAY” (a monster Christmas song by Bobby “Boris” Pickett) and “WEIRD SCIENCE” by Oingo Boingo.
Since we are on the subject of Rhino Records, there are two more releases that should be noted:
HALLOWEEN HITS (1991) offers 10 songs, most of which can be found on other compilations. Two songs of note are “ATTACK OF THE KILLER TOMATOES” by Lewis Lee and “MARTIAN HOP” by The Ran-Dells. BILLBOARD PRESENTS FAMILY SCARYTIME CLASSICS (1996) features 10 memorable songs from film and television. The tracks on this disc are “THE ADDAMS FAMILY: MAIN THEME” by Vic Mizzy and His Orchestra, “ATTACK OF THE KILLER TOMATOES” by Lewis Lee, “(THEME FROM) THE MUNSTERS” by Billy Strange, His Guitar and Orchestra, “THE HEADLESS HORSEMAN” by Kay Star, “THE BLOB” by The Five Blobs, “DARK SHADOWS THEME” by The Robert Cobert Orchestra, “BEWITCHED” by Peggy Lee, “CASPER, THE FRIENDLY GHOST” by The Peter Pan Players and Orchestra, “THIS IS HALLOWEEN” from the soundtrack of TIM BURTON’S A NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS and “TWILIGHT ZONE” by John Williams and the Boston Pops Orchestra.
Another fun and recommended cd is called GHASTLY GROOVES (1994) and it features 12 songs, many of which have not been released on other compilations but are great additions to your Halloween music collection. Some of my favorite songs off of this cd are “SEASON OF THE WITCH” by Donovan, “NOSFERATU” by Blue Oyster Cult and “NIGHT OF THE VAMPIRE” by Roky Erickson.
HAUNTED MOTEL (1989) is a rare and out of print treasure released by a company called Boffo Records. None of these songs can be found on any other compilation and some of them are just…well, a lot of fun. Songs of note are “I DON’T BELIEVE IN GHOSTS” by Tyri Schiek, “MY BABY LOVES MONSTER MOVIES” by The R.S. Fieldtrip, the title track “HAUNTED MOTEL” by Suzy Elkins and my favorite, “WERECOW” by Flippy T. Fishead with The Mighty Ground Beeves. It took me 15 years to find a copy of the cd but it was worth the wait!
Another gem worth seeking out is MONSTER ROCK ‘N ROLL SHOW (1990) on DCC Compact Classics, Inc. discs. This compilation features 29 tracks, half of which are the audio of actual monster movie trailers. This is one of those discs that can be played from start to finish and you will enjoy every minute of it. Though some of the songs on here can be found on other compilations (like “MONSTER MASH” by Bobby “Boris” Picket and “THE PURPLE PEOPLE EATER” by Sheb Wooley), this disc also features some nice rarities! Among them are “MIDNIGHT STROLL” by The Revels, “WEREWOLF” by The Five Man Electrical Band, “THE GREEN SLIME” by The Green Slime (the main theme from the 1969 film), “LIL’ RED RIDING HOOD” by Sam The Sham And The Pharoahs, and my favorite, “MORGUS THE MAGNIFICENT” by Morgus And The Ghouls (a song about one of my favorite horror hosts).
A song of interest I found thanks to the Dr. Demento song is called “I’M A VAMPIRE” by Future Bible Heroes on their 2002 cd ETERNAL YOUTH. I would recommend downloading the single off of either iTunes or Amazon.
One last disc of mention is called WAVE GOODBYE TO THE 80′S (1995). This compilation is put out by a company called Risky Business, who also released the cd GHASTLY GROOVES covered earlier. Though this is basically just a compilation of popular pop songs from the 80′s, it does feature one rarity that stands out called “BATES MOTEL” by The Hitmen. This disc is worth buying just for this song!
Shortly after the 4th of July, I stopped over at our local TARGET store and was annoyed to see that they’d already begun their “Back to School” sales. Although I understand the motivation of businesses for engaging in this long-standing practice of “pushing the holidays,” it still doesn’t prevent me from routinely rolling my eyes and getting irked by it. “Back to School” in July? Sheesh, let the poor kids enjoy their summer!
Behind the large bins of notebooks, pens, and Elmer’s Glue (all supplies that will be as scarce as water in a desert a few short weeks from now) was a few items indicating yet another holiday was in the department store wings. Unlike the advent of a new school year or even Christmas, however, I greeted this occasion more as a welcomed friend along with the knowledge that a monster & horror fan’s favorite season is just around the corner.If you are reading this blog, its a good bet that you will agree that Halloween is one of the BEST holidays along with all the wonderful Fall festivities associated with it!
Although this has ALWAYS been my favorite season, it has become even more enhanced after I became friends with the other Dave – David Albaugh. I was thrilled to discover that David not only has the same eclectic and bizarre taste in music as I do (we both love parodies, no doubt the result of growing up with the Son of Svengoolie), he also had a much more extensive collection of Halloween and novelty songs. Now, thanks to him, I have new Halloween hits to add to my playlist such as “Werecow,” Dr Demento’s Halloween specials, and a whole lot more!
We also love collecting horror movie soundtracks…
This past FRIGHT NIGHT FILM FESTIVAL saw a reunion of one of my favorite movies – DARK NIGHT OF SCARECROW. The DNOTS celebrities were not located with the main group of guests and could be found in back of the main convention hall. They were the main purpose of my making the trek down to Kentucky and, after I arrived, sought them out first and foremost!
The writer of DARK NIGHT OF THE SCARECROW, J.D. Feigelson gave me a warm greeting along with a nice surprise! On the table in front of him were some copies of the recently released DARK NIGHT OF THE SCARECROW motion picture soundtrack! As mentioned in a recent piece, although this was a made-for-TV movie, it was written and filmed as if it was a big screen production. The same approach can be said of its music! Although his first venture into scary films, composer Glenn Paxton manages to create one of the creepiest scores of all time. At the FRIGHT NIGHT Q&A panel, Feigelson even went as far as to say it is the second scariest soundtrack he’s ever heard! After listening to it back home during our own “dark nights,” both Daves would agree – its AWESOME!
Take a listen yourself….
It is definitely creepy and will, no doubt, get lots of play in my household this Halloween season! I was listening to it while working at my desk at home and was afraid to look out my window for fear of seeing an ominous scarecrow sitting in my yard. Any fan of DARK NIGHT OF THE SCARECROW knows that this is a sure sign of impending DOOM!
I happily shipped a copy off to David, for once being able to add something to his collection as he has generously done so many times for mine. He couldn’t have been happier! “This is one of those soundtracks that stays with you, much like the soundtracks from PSYCHO or JAWS.” said David. “Though I’ve only seen this incredible movie three times in my life, as soon as I listened to the soundtrack images of the film filled my head prompting me to want to see it again. Since I also do an annual yard haunt at Halloween, I will be incorporating this awesome CD to my haunts soundtrack as well!”
Fans of the film should also note that this soundtrack not only covers the movie as it was seen as TV but also has extra music that never made it into the final print. This insures that any horror “completest” is guaranteed to walk away happy!
This soundtrack can be downloaded via itunes or purchased via AMAZON. Hurry up and add the DARK NIGHT OF THE SCARECROW soundtrack to your horror music collection today! Its a great Fall score and perfect for Halloween!
Which, I’m sure you’ll agree, is one season that’s never too early to prepare for!
Dave F. & David A.
There was no question that the big draw for the 2011 FRIGHT NIGHT FILM FEST was John Carpenter. If you’re a horror fan, the prospect of meeting a legend such as this is one few could pass up. After all, this is the man who grabbed a few friends and made a low budget/independent film, not knowing all the while that it would become one of the grandaddy horror films of all time ( HALLOWEEN) and a cultural phenomena. Far from a “one shot wonder,” Carpenter would also give us ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK, THE THING, and one of my all-time favorites – THE FOG. Like his fellow Master of Horror, Dario Argento, his best work appears to be far behind but is still one of the best film resume’s around.
Carpenter came across, in my opinion, as cold but, regardless of whether or not he shows the same level of warmth and devotion to his fans that one would experience with, say, George Romero, its still an honor just being in his presence. The first meeting I had with him was last Friday. I had a VIP pass which enabled me to jump to the head of the line to meet him. In truth, his line moved rather quickly whether you had this pass or not. I suppose that’s one of the advantages of him not being so personable. I was literally whisked to his table where I brought out my posters of THE FOG and HALLOWEEN to be signed while also grabbing an 8×10 for my co-blogger, David.
What was a major event in my life as a horror fan went so quickly I might of missed it had I had time to blink. He grabbed the posters and noticed the other personalized signatures. “What’s your name, Dave?” signs posters and 8×10,” Thanks, Dave! Who’s next?” We fans were clearly on a conveyor belt awaiting our John Carpenter “stamp” (autograph) before being sent off to market. Of course I have no regrets in doing so as I’m sure none of the other fans did either. For most of us, that John Carpenter “seal of approval” is pretty darn special. We now have the luxury of going back and telling all our friends and relatives for the rest of our lives that we communed (be it ever so brief) with the legendary John Carpenter. Not altogether bad for $30 autograph vouchers and a 5 second encounter when you really think about it.
Carpenter was, in many ways, similar to meeting Ace Frehley a few weeks back (see that story HERE). Again, you’re meeting a legend and should never waste time worrying about whether or not you’re getting your money’s worth. It simply is what it is and you walk away with the “experience” of being in their presence.
Photos with Carpenter were not unlike those done with Frehley either. You pay an additional $30 to get one and they use their own camera (always guaranteed to be out of focus). Unlike Frehley, a photo voucher came with a time stamp. I bought mine on Friday and was told to return the next day at 6:15pm to line up at a photo station. I zoomed over after attending what was, for me, the highlight of the weekend – the DARK NIGHT OF THE SCARECROW panel (which I’ll be covering soon).
Once again, I was quickly brought before Carpenter who looked at my shirt and said, “Terror from Beyond the Daves? What is that?” When I told him, he said, “Sounds great, look over at the camera!” As they snapped the photo I did mention (through grinning teeth) that I enjoyed his commentary on a German documentary about monsters (MONSTERLAND) that I was able to view at a past G-Fest. In it, Carpenter stated that the HOSTEL movies were little more than US propaganda to further perpetuate the post 9-11 feelings in this country that they should fear being outside of the United States. I thought that was an interesting take and told him so. “Thanks!” he said….as I was escorted out the door.
One thing that was better than the Frehley situation was that, a couple hours later, you could pick up an 8×10 copy of the picture rather than have to download it a couple days later. This gave me the opportunity to return to Carpenter on Sunday and have it signed.
Probably the most disturbing aspect of the Carpenter situation was at his Q&A panel which I will give an overview of soon. Carpenter comes across as a cantankerous old coot who looks at his movies as just another “day at the office” as opposed to the works of art we fans (and film history) believe them to be. I didn’t get the feeling that this was simply modesty (again see George Romero who thanks you for standing in line to see him while apologizing because he doesn’t feel he’s worth the trouble) but just overall disdain. It was almost like going to a comedy show where the comedian walks out and rips on members of the audience – while receiving plenty of laughs and applause. In that, I will let you be the judge.
All in all the experience mirrored much of the atmosphere that was ever present at FRIGHT NIGHT. That we horror fans were all spending money to attend a show
….where the joke was clearly on us.