by Adam Riske
Title: “The Perfect Drug”
Artist: Nine Inch Nails
From: Lost Highway
From a soundtrack full of great songs, “The Perfect Drug” is the pinnacle. This song is so good it makes me want to walk scarily around Six Flags with a cane and a top hat even when it’s not Fright Fest. You know what would be cool? If this music video was life and going to work every day was a 4-minute music video. I would have had so much trouble shooting this video because I’m afraid of birds. They’re so fucking weird. Just ask Tippi.
From: An American Werewolf in Paris
Right off the jump, this video is solid because it reminds me of how wonderful the CGI is in An American Werewolf in Paris (it’s not wonderful) and shows me that Gavin Rossdale is all “I’d order something off the menu if I only knew how to read.” Then Julie Delpy (drawing the short straw) shows up before Gavin eats, so it becomes Before Lunch. The rest of the video is evidence that none of these people know what it’s like to be at a carnival. I kinda want to watch An American Werewolf in Paris now. Vince Vieluf is in it. Where’s Vince Vieluf these days? Do you think he ever cooked dinner for someone and was like “Vieluf Parmesan coming right up!” Did any of you make a bet with your friends that Vince Vieluf was going to be bigger than Vince Vaughn? There’s still time!
Title: “Got You (Where I Want You)”
Artist: The Flys
From: Disturbing Behavior
“Katie Holmes is attractive so let’s write a song about it.” – Chris Klein, Tom Cruise, Jamie Foxx, Me, You, Everyone You Know, The Flys in 1998. Wait, did she just murder those two guys at the 1:13 mark? This song was also well known for being used in the Fossil “Got To (Wear A Watch Dude)” promotion some years later.
Title: “Cemetery Gates”
From: Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight
I didn’t need further convincing that this song rules, but starting a song with a Crypt Keeper laugh is always a good start. Back around the time Demon Knight was released, I used to make fun of horror movie soundtracks because I was convinced it wasn’t about the artists’ music as much as them having a hardcore band name you could put on the front of the CD. I have since changed and now I adore this music (e.g. I own the Demon Knight soundtrack). I love the part at 1:37 in this video where the guitar slaying is timed perfectly with Billy Zane punching through that sheriff’s head. That’s metal as shit, yo! I also like starting at 3:12 when all the Pantera demons are breaking through the blood seals Bill Sadler put down. And the video is bookended with a great ending all its own. Old Man McCoy in Ed Wood would love it (“I want the video to end with a big explosion!”). P.S. Do you all remember the “Crypt Jam?” The Crypt Keeper raps while wearing a White Sox hat. It was a time where all my worlds were colliding!
Title: “Do the Right Thing”
Artist: Redhead Kingpin & The F.B.I.
From: The People Under the Stairs
Why is this song not in Do the Right Thing (1989)? Anyways, happy to have you in The People Under the Stairs, even if you are no “Crypt Jam.” I like the part at 0:11 when it does that super ‘90s “Ah, yeah.” Can’t get enough of that. I need to consult my resident rap expert Chaybee on this one. “Ay, yeah.” Were Redhead Kingpin & The F.B.I. a thing? This song sounds way more Strictly Business than The People Under the Stairs. “Ah, yeah.” Is “doing the right thing” in this context just not keeping people under your stairs? Is this song super repetitive? “Ah, yeah.”
Title: “Tales from the Hood”
From: Tales from the Hood
While this doesn’t reach the heights of Domino’s “Ghetto Jam,” which is a classic, “Tales from the Hood” is pleasant enough. Did you know I have an LP single of this song because Patrick found it while we were at a record store before we saw John Carpenter in concert (humblebrag)? That’s a friend right there. I also bought a John Travolta album that day. The Tales from the Hood soundtrack is good. This is the 4th best song on it. The chorus of this song could almost be my recommendation of the movie if I played around with the lyrics: “I know it sounds bad. But it’s so good. This is Tales. (Hands over a copy) Tales from the Hood.” I have yet to spin the John Travolta album.
Title: “I’m Awake Now”
Artist: Goo Goo Dolls
From: Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare (it wasn’t)
Back before people knew Goo Goo Dolls weren’t metal as fuck, they had a song (an awesome one) in Freddy’s Dead. Have you ever checked out Goo Goo’s soundtrack game? It’s strong. We’re talking “Long Way Down” from Twister, “Iris” from City of Angels (swoon), “I’m Still Here (Jim’s Theme)” from Treasure Planet (not a dry eye). The list goes on. The Goo Goo Dolls look like they’re digging Freddy’s Dead until Freddy chases them out of the theater because he’s kind of a dick.
Artist: Michael Jackson
I’m including this video because it played in theaters before Thinner back in 1996! Full disclosure: I’m watching "Ghosts" for the first time as I write this, though I have it on a bootleg DVD with Moonwalker, Thriller and Captain EO, which might make it the greatest single piece of media known to man. "Ghosts" reminds me a lot of a Halloween Doritos commercial. This video needs Billy Butcherson. I’ll give "Ghosts" a pass. The chorus is decent, the dancing rules, the makeup effects are fun. It feels like if Casper were rated PG-13.
What are some songs from ‘90s horror movies you want to give a shout out? Happy Scary Movie Month, everyone! Lots more good stuff coming your way!