Sunday 14 June 2015

Horror Core: Great Genre Film Themes

I've written about music before. Not that I'm at all qualified to do so, but still. And now here's more on the subject. Specifically about theme songs for genre films. Which I've also posted about in the past. Sort of. But this time I'm talking song songs, like with lyrics and stuff.

It's not so unusual for a movie to have a theme song--in fact, it's often expected. More so if a singer is cast in the film. Witness Men in Black or Battleship. Or Dark Floors, the Lordi movie. Heck, Bobby Brown laid down a track for Ghostbusters 2 and he was hardly in it. And then there are the genre films that have no good reason for a theme song, but still one exists. For reasons that escape most of us, someone decided these movies needed a theme tune, something to sum up, in verse, the films' themes and/or plot. I've scoured my memory, my friends' memories, and the Internet to bring you a few choice selections.

Shocker as heard in Shocker

Shocker is not a great film, by any standard. But it's still kinda fun to watch, even if Wes Craven was just plagiarizing himself for most of it. A lot of work went into the soundtrack, and a super-group of sorts was assembled to produce and sing the theme song. The Dudes of Wrath include members from KISS, Whitesnake, Motley Crue, and Van Halen.

Green Slime as heard in The Green Slime

I haven't actually seen this stinker from 1968, but I'm told that those who have remember it for its theme song. Or from the first ever MST3K. Anyway, The Green Slime boasts a rocking theme that includes both a sitar and a theremin. Written by award-winning composer Charles Fox, and sung by Richard Dalvey, who pioneered surf music. (Special thanks to Andrew Barr)

Zombeavers as heard in Zombeavers

If you haven't seen Zombeavers, you should. Also, the song is full of spoilers. Sung by crooner Nick Amado, and written by Jon and Al Kaplan, the Zombeavers theme is exactly what you'd expect from the guys who brought us The Thing musical. Incidentally, the guys who wrote the movie's theme also wrote the movie.

Looker as heard in Looker

Looker isn't a bad movie, even though critics didn't like it very much back in 1981. Written and directed by Michael Crichton, the movie touches on themes of beauty and perfection and the plot could totally be remade today. Complementing the film is its theme song sung by Sue Sadd and the Next, which was later covered by Kim Carnes. Looker has an entire soundtrack album that recorded but never released. (Special Thanks to Don Guarisco)

Dream Warriors as heard in A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors

The Nightmare on Elm Street franchise is a fascinating study. No less interesting is the third movie's theme song by Dokken. This rock power anthem probably wasn't the band's crowning achievement, but it was remixed and released on what became their best-selling album. Rumor has it the band's internal conflict helped fuel their sound. Whatever the case, Dream Warriors is so awesome that it defeats Freddy himself.

Burn as heard in The Crow

The Crow is legendary for a lot of reasons, its soundtrack being one of them. The movie is full of '90s rock and metal, and the soundtrack sold over four million copies. Initially, no label would produce it until Trent Reznor got on board. The soundtrack is crammed full of new songs and covers, but Burn by The Cure became the movie's theme. It's haunting and gothy, capturing the essence of the film.

No comments: