Scared And Stoked: A Very HCK! Halloween 2013

30 Oct

I’ve spent the last two weeks working on the fall mixtape and forgot completely about doing anything for All Hallows Eve.

So rather than just putting up a bunch of ill prepared songs to take or leave, here are some of the raddest movies and music I love about the most righteous time of year to be both scared and stoked.

[zip link to songs at the bottom]

Here are links to previous years Halloween posts:

A Very Gory Halloween (2012)

My Bodies A Zombie For You (2011)

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The Sadist (1963)

Directed by James Landis

The Sadist

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If there is one horror film I would recommend to anyone it is The Sadist. Leaning heavily upon Hitchcock groundwork James Landis created a creepy black-and-white definition of terror. Teen heartthrob Archie Hall Jr (Eegah, Wild Guitar) proves for the first time that he really can act. This movie exemplifies the power of casting archetypes rather than actors in horror films.

The story is basically a group of teachers on a weekend trip to catch a baseball game having to stop at a salvage-yard to fix their ailing car only to run into Charles Tibbs (Hall Jr.) and his girlfriend Judy (Marilyn Manning whose role defines sexual!!!) as they are making their way across the country on a killing spree.

Essentially The Sadist is a sixties Natural Born Killers that is edgy and unforgiving and proves that scaring the hell out of people doesn’t need to rely on gore and sketchy camera work.  Although never credited I believe this movie is an interpretation of Charles Starkweather‘s brutal killing spree in 1957 where he and his fourteen year old girlfriend killed 11 people.

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Negativland – Helter Stupid – mp3 

Helter Stupid-Optimized

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My buddy Jimmy put this record in my hands as I was leaving his party the other night and it has blown my mind! So much background goes into this that I hope I can keep from straying too far.

First off, I’m obsessed with video mixtapes; the TV Carnage series (especially Casual Fridays) are the most coveted films in my collection. There’s a passion, love, and intelligence present in a well made mixtape, I dig them on an unusually deep level, plus they are great to get ripped to and feel numbed by the absolute ridiculousness that goes relatively unnoticed around us.

Essentially what needs to be known about Negativland is this; their fourth album Escape From Noise was their first released on SST Records  (Minutemen, Black Flag, Dinosaur Jr. etc…). Having just signed with SST and with increasing sales as a positive omen the band headed out on their first extensive tour. Unfortunately the dudes were less than knowledgeable when it came to budgeting and surviving on the poverty-line, within days they went broke and rather than cancelling outright they put out a press release stating that the FBI had forced them to cancel the tour citing that their song “Christianity Is Stupid” was the cause of the terrible David Brom slaying in Minnesota which was gripping the country at the time. At Sixteen-years-old Brom murdered both of his parents as well as his thirteen year old sister and eleven year old brother. The media ran with it in true Fox News fashion and within days Negativland was the topic of conversation rather than David Brom, after all it is sure as hell easier to make a scapegoat out of California punks than turn a teenage kid into an evil monster, people just don’t want to believe it, this is a solid  look at societal cognitive dissonance as well as Attribution Theory, something I think about far more often than I probably should.

The most important thing to keep in mind about this hoax is not that some band duped the entire country into believing that Brom killed his family after listening to their song, what’s important to remember is just how blood thirsty society was in the mid/late 80’s to demonize music as being the soul corrupter of their children. Never was it acceptable to say that a certain person was messed up because, well, messed up people exist or that it was bad parenting or it was the communities they were rebelling against which pushed them to commit atrocities, instead it had to be the music and movies and video games, the abstract forms of escape teenagers used as a safe haven from the disgust they felt towards their surroundings. Sound familiar? I doubt we’ll ever stop holding Salem witch trials.

Basically “Helter Stupid” is Negativland‘s documentation and artistic interpretation of the ridiculousness that occurred in the wake of their hoax. Worth noting is that much of what is done on this track is created by hand cutting tape and splicing it together in the same way which critics have noted for being the backbone to Mission Of Burma‘s brilliance.

This is one of the best songs to include on any mix to be played in the background of a Halloween party.
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Trick Or Treat (1986)

Directed by Charles Martin Smith

“No wimps…. no false metal”

Trick Or Treat

Trick Or Treat is somewhat of a visual response to the same media scapegoating which Negativland exposed, only instead of using irony the approach is more of a “what if they are right.” As far as 80’s horror films go this one has it all; a killer bro-metal soundtrack, ridiculous premise to demonic possession, plot holes which don’t even pretend to fill themselves, non-stop one-liners, as well as featuring cameo’s from both Gene Simmons (as a radio dj) and Ozzy Osbourne (as a tv evangelist) who both were politically attacked for supposedly corrupting the otherwise moral goodness of the American youth.

The storyline is basically that some rock god from a small town Sammi Curr (Tony Fields) dies mysteriously after completing what was intentionally his final album. Obsessed fan and  troubled high-school student Eddie (Marc Price) randomly ends up with the only copy of the album in existence and upon playing it backwards releases the spirit of Sammi whose album will cause anyone who hears it to die (is Eddie immune/chosen, are all of Sammi’s fans?). The local DJ has been instructed by Sammi before his death to play it at midnight on Halloween (I thought there was only one copy in existence?), Eddie is the only one who can stop him before the entire world (or whoever is within the, what, fifteen mile radius a small town radio station had in 1986) falls victim to the heaviest of metal. Very similar in feel as 976-EVIL without Robert Englund‘s surprisingly solid cinematography but much more enjoyable in general….. this is a must see with friends.

Most notable scene (37:30 below) is how while listening to the song in the backseat some chick ends up wildly turned-on, naked, and then dead, not real sure what the green smoke/aura is since it is never used again. This movie is basically a metaphor for how I envision mixtapes. I had a chance to watch this with friends at the Drafthouse with an opening from one of the staples to my childhood Joe Bob Briggs, it was gnarly to say the least.

 

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Pagan Invasion Volume 1: Trick Or Treat

Pagan Invasion

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I’m nowhere near as confident this one will hit home with you in the same way as it does me. I found this video at random while driving from Indiana to Texas. Many times I’ve had this on in the background of hangouts and it is one of the most hilarious things to have playing to fill silences and lulls in conversations. Chuck Smith is so damn hilarious and the “actual footage” clips are disgustingly generic.

People have seen this and truly believed it as if it were The Gospel of Paul, at least Chuck and Carol do…. and that’s where my love grows. Now before anyone starts railing on me about validity of claims, I’m not saying that things in this movie are either truthful or not, in this context I couldn’t care less about that, what I’m saying is how they are presented is incredibly entertaining….. like experiencing a car crash that you get to watch on repeat for forty-nine minutes sort of entertaining.


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Psych Burn (1968)

Directed by J.X. Williams

Psyche Burn

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This short came into fruition through director J.X. WIlliams realization that the ABC psych-rock variety show Love-In-Tonite had financial backers who lacked ambition, style, and vision and wanted only something watered down and mass appealing. This is what was shown to the board as the pilot,, keep in mind we’re talking about 1968 so to say it wasn’t received lightly is an understatement.

Two years later Williams created a short called The Virgin Sacrifice which is on my top 25 favorite horror films list which is equally off-putting as it is disturbing despite its mere nine minute length.


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The Freeway Maniac (1989)

Directed by Paul Winters

FreewayManiac_1545-Optimized-1

The back of this video states that it is similar to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Halloween, and The Hills Have Eyes. By “similar” I believe they meant a completely generic rip off…. And we get to bask in it!

Directed by Paul Winters and staring Loren Winters (no relation…  just kidding I believe it’s his wife), this is a completely illogical unrealistic poorly acted piece of garbage which sits comfortably on my top five favorite terrible film list. I’ve seen it at least 10 times and have been giddy every single sitting.

Basically a boy kills his mother and her boyfriend (this follows one of the greatest fully clothed sex scenes we’re likely to ever see), gets sent to a mental hospital, does some killing in the years in-between that are merely referenced, and in very WWF King Of The Ring fashion escapes. At the same time an aspiring actress (Winters) catches her boyfriend in bed with another women and decides to take off into the California countryside in her convertible which, as with all expensive cars are ought to do, breaks down in the middle of nowhere. This leads to an awkward near rape by a filling station attendant whose behavior is less than gentlemanly.

This is where the plot thickens and the paths of our dame and psycho cross, he tries to kill her, she hides under plywood which he chops at with an axe, he falls in love, she stabs him with a screwdriver, he gets shot by a handgun, gets hit by a car, escapes the hospital, tracks down the actress on the set of her first feature film she has now just begun working on (a star trek sort of sci-fi film with a dwindling budget and (sexually) creepy director which involves both aliens, zombies, and full body leotards), the maniac then blows a car up, attacks people with a chainsaw, disguises himself as a zombie, disguises himself as an alien, all of which can only lead to one thing…. an end all battle full of emergency flares and overly lit smoke giving way to a glorious five minute long steady cam shot of a rock leaving you with this feeling that you shouldn’t be so confused, I mean it all makes logical linear sense, yet you can’t stop asking why. Why the hell was this movie made? For us, you and I, friends of questionable tastes that’s who.

DO NOT watch this movie with anyone who has below a third grade attention span or feels that quiet scenes in a movie justify kicking off a thirty minute conversation about absofuckinglutely nothing. Calm down and take it all in, those quiet parts are numbing for a reason.

Freeway Maniac

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Here  are a few songs to add to your Halloween playlists worth digging:

Negativland – “Helter Stupid” – mp3
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Amazing Space Frogs – “Necrophillia” – mp3
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24 Hours – “Drop The Bomb” – mp3
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The Louvin Brothers – “Knoxville Girl” – mp3
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Bud Messner And His Sky Line Boys – “I Died All Over You” – mp3
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Ladyface – “Bloodthirsty Cannibal” – mp3
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Jarina De Marco – “Spell On You” – mp3
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The Kitchens – “I Am An A-Bomb” – mp3

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Agnostic Phibes Rhythm And Blood Conspiracy – “Neckin Party” – mp3

Last Caress: A Very HCK! Halloween 2013 – Zip

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All songs and videos are for promotional purposes only. If you or an artist you represent would like content removed email HCK! at Heycoolkid@yahoo.com

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