Video Nasties Make Audio Lovlies

video nastiesI’ve been thinking a lot lately about certain things in my childhood that influenced my tastes as an adult.  My parents making homemade pizza on Saturday nights definitely followed me up to adulthood(except we usually have pizza during the week).  Growing up listening to music all the time.  There was always a record spinning when I was kid.  If we were in the car there was an 8-track in the deck;  then later it was cassettes.  We always have music spinning in our house.  The kids know this.  They know not to ask if they can watch TV when dad has music going.  You know what that answer is Suspiria-735794going to be, kiddos.  Another thing was horror movies.  I grew up on horror.  Renting copies of Dawn of the Dead, Fright Night, House By The Cemetary, Halloween, The Fog and Suspiria.  Now I watched all kinds of horror.  From American slasher junk, to science fiction, to good old fashioned ghost stories.  But the movies that I kept going back to, and the movies that I still love and watch even today, are the Italian horror films of the 70s and 80s.  In particular, Dario Argento and Lucio Fulci.  Now, John Carpenter is not Italian, but I always put him in the same category as those Italian purveyors of weird and gore.  His films seemed to follow that feeling of suspense and tension that Argento and Fulci did.  There was no great acting, or intellectual ideas, or complex story arcs.  Much like today’s Nicholas Winding Refn, their films grabbed you on a more visceral level.  Style over substance?  No, not necessarily.  I think there’s plenty of substance in Refn’s work, and there was a whole lot of substance in the work of Carpenter and Argento.  Fulci?  Well, I think the guy had some deep seeded issues with women -and the world in general- but that’s for another blog post.  The one thing they all had in common was a soundtrack that helped drive the dread, as it were.  The house by the cemetarysynths of Goblin, Walter Rizzati, Fabio Frizzi, and John Carpenter himself gave these horror classics the dread and pulse needed to push them beyond just a gore fest(which at the time these certainly were).  I hear these soundtracks and I can’t help but go back to being a kid and staying up late in the summer and watching these movies.  Trips to Disney or Kings Island?  Nah, I’ll just hang out till the crack of dawn with my buddies Argento, Romero, Carpenter, and Fulci.  “Ooh, a 7 inch splinter of wood is going into her eye!!  Man, this music is cool.”  These movies affected me, but not in the terrible way you think they would.  The music created for these films…that’s what affected me.  I find myself getting all nostalgic when listening to Boards of Canada, Com Truise, and the Drive Soundtrack. It’s those synths, and those electronic drums.  It’s that warm, VHS analog quality of the music that makes me think of being a kid.  Being up late in the summer, getting the crap scared out of me and loving every minute of it.

Death Waltz Recording Company has invaded my subconscious and has delved into my childhood memories and found what I’d want more than anything:  to own some of these wonderful soundtracks of vinyl.  They recently reissued John Carpenter’s The Fog on 180 gram double vinyl.  Clear vinyl to boot, with gatefold sleeve and cool pics from the film.  Well, I started digging through their site and nearly squealed when I saw everything they have.  House By The Cemetary, Zombi 2, Halloween, They Live, Escape From New York…all on beautiful colored vinyl and all imprinted with what made me queasy, excited, and thrilled as a kid.

Fathers Day is coming this weekend.  Hmm…


18 Replies to “Video Nasties Make Audio Lovlies”

    1. Suspiria is like high art in comparison to what they pass off as horror nowadays.

      We could pull from my Criterion Collection instead. The Seventh Seal, Cries and Whispers….how about some Kurosawa?


      1. Such sophisticated taste! Actually, somewhere along the way in life, I lost my ability to easily detach from movies and just appreciate the artistry. Now, edgy movies get under my skin far too easily. I almost need the knowledge of a pat Hollywood ending just to ride out the middle of movies. Listening from nearby? More doable, somehow.

        Just my own accumulated scars or badge of uniqueness!


  1. Really good post. Funny I’ve become much less of a movie buff as I’ve got older, too many competing demands on my time probably. Damn kids/Internet/reading/bodily functions/Skyrim/music/rugby/fresh air/exercise !!


  2. I have a misguided stereotype of people that like horror movies and am always surprised to learn that someone that doesn’t fit my stereotype enjoys them. You had mentioned earlier this year seeing some horror flick re-make or re-release or something but that you’re something of an aficionado didn’t really resonate with me.

    (Reading several days of posts is kind of overwhelming. This post stands in stark contrast to your Father’s Day, Anniversary, and music posts. My head is starting to spin. … uh oh, Exorcist flashback.)


    1. Lots of folks think of vacations at Disney World, camping, and boating on the lakes when they think of their childhood and summer break nostalgically. I do think of my grandma and grandpa’s lake house when I think of growing up; mostly though I think of horror films, staying up late at night, and taking walks after midnight discussing the creepy things watched with my best friend.

      The ritual of going to Video World and rummaging through the boxes on the wall, searching for that perfect rental or two. Picking up a pizza at Pizza Hut and getting home so we could have the crap scared out of us.

      I’m glad I could go against the horror fan stereotype. I’m particular in what I’ll watch. There’s so much trash out there. Misogynistic garbage that I will never watch. And I think your stereotype rings more true than not. I pride myself in being the odd one of the bunch.


      1. I don’t like it that I even have a stereotype– boxes are usually a bad thing to put people in– but yes, there is a lot of misogynistic garbage and I’ve had to spend more time than I wanted to around a couple people (roommates when I was a teenager) that watched it.

        You are attuned to what the music adds to it, which certainly adds dimension and depth to the genre. They were just a**hats. (by all means edit that out)


      2. Some people try to keep everything clean to prevent their blog from being filtered out of certain search results. Or something like that.


      3. I don’t understand all of that mature filter whatnot. I’ve just noticed that some bloggers trying to sell their books are careful about that.


      4. I’m not too worried about “asshat” affecting the sales of my new book, “How To Not Give A Shit In 5 Easy Steps”. In fact, that may help.


      5. Would you please include a photograph of you performing the interpretive dance version of the 5 steps?

        On second thought, that would be awkward since I haven’t even attended one of your seminars or seen you dance the 5 steps.


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