Post by: Jessica
Over the last few months I have addressed some heavy topics in a few of my blog posts; however, for this month it is going to contain lighter fare, especially after November’s month focused on the Rape/Revenge genre. Not only is it the holiday season, where everyone’s spirits are lighter and cheerier than normal, but Kelly and I have chosen to look at some 80s horror movies. Our focus will be on the Nightmare on Elm Street series with the puns of Krueger matched up against the indomitable spirits of our Final Girls Nancy, Kristin, and Alice.
There are many elements that horror fans love about the films released in the 1980s; from the practical effects, plot lines, dialogue, characters, villains and cheesy aesthetics. But one of the things I love time and time again in a good 80s horror film is the music! In general, 80s pop music is my guilty pleasure when I want a break from the heavy riffs and vocals of a good metal band. Sometimes, I like to dive deeper and look for those playlists that feature heavily on 80s horror movie soundtracks. I also enjoy when I am watching a movie and hear a song that just seems to be out in left field like “The Darkest Side of the Night” by Metropolis for Friday the 13th: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989). It’s such a smooth 80s jam to listen to while imaging Jason taking on the street punks of New York. And come on! Everyone gets super pumped up when they hear “I Still Believe” by Tim Cappello in The Lost Boys (1987). That saxophone playing dancing hunk in purple tights is a sight to remember while watching Star attract her prey in Michael leading the audience to be introduced to David and his vampiric crew. Or at times when that perfect song is chosen like “Give it Up” during the scene in Fright Night (1985) when Gerry is dancing with Amy at the dance club. Damn!
That is what I love about my experience with 80s horror movies, I just can’t help but get so pumped up by the music and I am fascinated by the music chosen to accompany a particular scene. Whether it be an actual song or just a score, the music really adds to the movie to help make it a memorable experience and at times elevate that film to cult status. Honestly, I love the film Witchboard (1986) and one of the reasons why I enjoy it so much is because of the song “Bump in the Night” by Steely Breeze. It is such a typical 80s pop song accompanying a film about a killer ghost looking to possess a woman through the use of an Ouija board…. How does that work? I don’t know but I absolutely love it.
A good movie soundtrack accompanying a solid or even cheesy horror film is what really makes the whole film experience for me. Scores are really amazing and just provide such a unique atmosphere to a film. The moment you hear the opening score to Return of the Living Dead, you know what type of film you are getting yourself into - punk rock and zombies! As well, you can always tell when you are watching a John Carpenter film based on the music, as he is known for composing incredible scores for films such as The Thing, Prince of Darkness, Halloween and more.
We have been given some great horror movie soundtracks throughout the decades, from the 1970s to the 2000s. I am a fan of all these decades of music in horror cinema but I always turn to the 80s to get pumped up and just reflect on some great memories of watching the films associated. See below a list of some of my favourite 80s horror movie tunes:
80s Horror Playlist:
Spinster #1’s favorites:
Armies of the Night, Rock Myself to Sleep, You Can’t Hide from the Beast Inside - Fright Night Soundtrack
Nightmare - Tuesday Night - NOES Part 4
Tonight (We’ll make love until we die) - SSQ - Return of the Living Dead
ReAnimator Opening theme - Richard Band
Opening Theme Song to Night of the Demons.
Stigmata - Bauhaus - Night of the Demons
Bump in the Night - Steely Breeze - Witchboard
Dream Warriors - Dokeen - NOES Part 3
Flesh to Flesh - Joe Lamont - Return of the Living Dead 2
Cry Little Sister - Lost Boys Theme
Return of the Living Dead Opening Theme
Spinster #2’s favorites:
Pet Sematary - Ramones (Pet Sematary)
He’s Back (The Man Behind the Mask) - Alice Cooper (Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives)
Partytime - 45 Grave (Return of the Living Dead)
Lost in the Shadows (The Lost Boys) - Lou Gramm (The Lost Boys)
Rock Until You Drop - Michael Sembello (The Monster Squad)
The Monster Squad - The Monster Squad (“The Monster Squad” performed by a band calling themselves “The Monster Squad” rapping about the kids that call themselves “The Monster Squad” in the movie The Monster Squad - BEST.EVER)
City of the Living Dead theme – Fabio Frizzi (City of the Living Dead)
Freddy Krueger nursing rhyme
You can check out a curated list by both myself and Spinster #2 of our favorite 80s horror music on Youtube and Spotify!