It's Halloween which means its time for trick or treat. I'm not big on horror. Never been my thing. Today is Halloween though, so it seems fitting to have a salute to horror! I'll start by talking about the scariest movie I ever saw - Resident Evil. The weird thing is, watching it wasn't that scary. There was action and gore and monsters and such but what was scary was after the movie was over. I pondered death and mortality for a while after seeing that movie, you would think seeing The Seventh Seal would do this, but it was Resident Evil. Go figure. Anyway, here's my Top 10 favorite horror music videos:
10. Michael Sembello - Maniac (1983)
Flashdance! Be afraid. Be very afraid. Just joking, I don't mind Flashdance. This song by Michael Sembello was originally written with slasher film lyrics that were changed for the Jennifer Beals classic. I'd love to hear those original lyrics. Unrelated to this subject, in high school I wore a grey long sleeve shirt to a pickup game of football in the park. A tackler grabbed the collar of my shirt and ripped the shirt down to the arm leaving it my bare shoulder hanging open. On the walk home, I had to hear people say "Hey Flashdance!" The horror...the horror.
9. Talking Heads -Psycho Killer (1977)
Going to get a little brainy and throw out some Talking Heads and not the Reanimator type either. Everything sounds better to a Talking Heads beat, even as David Byrne quavers out "Psycho Killer / Ba Ba BA Ba Ba BA Ba BA Ba" to a steady but relentless thumping beat.
8. Dokken - Dream Warriors (1987)
The Freddy Krueger series was starting to get a little toothless by the time Dokken recorded "Dream Warriors" for A Nightmare on Elm Street 3. The first movie I considered to be one of the best fright flicks of the decade. By the third go around, the sleep killer needed a little boost and Dokken was there to rock out in the church set where the finale takes place. One, two Dokken's after you. Three, four better shut the door. Guitarist George Lynch gets like the best entrance in the video. Cool Skull and Bones guitar too.
7. Nine Inch Nails - Closer (1994)
Disturbing, grainy, scratchy - and then there's the video. The clip opens with a heart strapped to a chair pulsing out steam and then proceeds to throw mechanized pig heads, Saw like torture chambers and hints at S&M. There's an edited for TV version linked here because I thought that would be enough for this post. Bugs, raw meat and reptiles - oh my!
6. Ozzy Osbourne - Bark at the Moon (1983)
Ozzy played up the more cartoonish aspects of his "occult" image after leaving Black Sabbath. In '83 he went whole hog by turning into a sort of werewolf for the album cover and video of Bark at the Moon. There's a little Jeckyl and Hyde thrown in too. Backed by new guitarist Jake E Lee, Ozzy alternates between his most cleancut look and the hairy monster. But the thing I really take away from this video - Extreme Closeup! BwaHaHa!!
5. Rihanna - Disturbia (2008)
The Pop sensation went spooky with her recent smash hit, the director utilizing all of those modern horror effects of insect like body movements and a parade of freaks surrounding her. She even does those pupil-less contact lenses to give her eyes a blank white look. Like when Captain Kirk had to face off against Lt. Commander Gary Mitchell who had achieved God like powers in Star Trek. The rest has elements of Michael Jackson's "Thriller" and that movie Jacob's Ladder where peoples heads would move in a big blur.
4. Metallica - One (1988)
The Metal warriors had cred galore when they issued this all time classic video taking scenes from the film Johnny Got His Gun and whittling it down to a few minutes that may make it more powerful than the whole film. The thought of being entirely cut off from contact or communications with others but still conscious and alive - that's scary.
3. Marilyn Manson - The Beautiful People (1996)
Flagrantly shoving the grotesque in people's faces is what Marilyn Manson specialized in. This song I associate more with Wrestling than horror (it was the theme song to WWE's Smackdown for a while). The video has troubling wraith like visuals delivered in an almost dreamlike trance. It would probably be scarier but I'm watching Smackdown at the same time so it's making me think of the Undertaker's Casket Match more than anything else.
2. Michael Jackson - Thriller (1982)
How could this not make the list? It just seems wrong not to name it, a milestone in Pop culture. Though I think recent history has shown the Gloved One is scarier in real life than on film.
1. Level 42 - "Something About You" (1986)
Is there anything more frightening than an ugly clown that suddenly confronts you to mess with your life? If you're me, then the answer is No and so the video for this mid-80's mellow classic is the most haunting thing I've seen in music. The image of the lead singer in stark white visual effect laughing in the hallway as the camera runs away is burned in my brain. Yeah dude, there's something about you that scares the hell out of me.
Level 42 "Something About You"