How Horror Influences Music
"Children Of The Night, What Music They Make" - Dracula, 1931
Horror movies have always had their slimy tentacles in music. Mostly in aggressive, harder music; to be sure. But don't they just go hand-in-hand? And aren't a lot of slasher movies packed with soundtracks featuring Heavy Metal? 1985's Demons is a prime example (though the soundtrack there was more cloying than anything).
From the late Sixties, horror movies and music have started to mix so well, sometimes it's hard to tell them apart.
Most people would credit Alice Cooper for starting the revolution. He of black make-up, dismembered doll heads and a stage show that at one time included a guillotine. He who constantly wrote horror movie lyric songs such as "I Love The Dead". He who even wrote a song special for Jason Lives:Friday The 13th Part VI.
Then you have the fringe acts. Gwar, Marilyn Manson, etc. These are acts that in some way work horror into their music, appearance and stage show.
Gwar are a prime example of horror and music colliding in an orgasmic cocktail. A bunch of art school drop-outs who decided to write perverse lyrics and dress-up in grotesque costumes. And it must work because it's seven albums later, many videos that are packed with gore competent enough to be in a horror film and lyrics that skirt the offensive and violent.
Marilyn Manson has long been accused of being a Alice Cooper clone. And that's true to some extent. Of course, he's more extreme than Alice and he's way more of a whore. He's in it for the money, but he's also out to shock parents everywhere. Mixing names of beauty and hate (Marilyn Monroe, Charles Manson), wearing shocking outfits and singing all about the praises of Satan and abuse; he's a nightmare all right (and no he's not the kid from Mr. Belvedere).
The latest band to embrace horror is Slipknot. They are a hardcore mix of samples, screaming vocals and heavy guitar. They hide their faces under a variety of disturbing masks (most of which play on people's neurotic fears - such as an evil clown). They sing of depression, of revenge and of hate. They're not happy campers.
And how does music influence horror? Take a look at such loser movies as Black Roses and Hard Rock Zombies. Check out the countless films with cameos from bands (want to see The Offspring get killed? Rent Idle Hands). Notice that many independent films are using outdated Metal songs on their soundtrack.
Horror and music - they mix.