By Lois Kennedy
Some movies are so awful that watching them is akin to torture. And sometimes you’re rewarded with a cool song that almost makes it worthwhile, as in the examples below.
5. ‘The Forest’: “Theme from the Forest” (by Bear McCreary)
The movie: A woman heads to the Aokigahara Forest in Japan to try to find her sister. Seems that folks tend to kill themselves there, and the place is full of angry spirits. I fudged this one a little; it’s not the best, but it’s not terrible.
The song: A menacing metal beat that leads into children chanting in Japanese and unearthly choral vocalizations.
4. ‘Monster Dog’: “See Me in the Mirror” (by Alice Cooper)
The movie: It’s 1984, and a rock star (Alice Cooper) heads to his hometown to record a music video. Once there, he finds the town has been ravaged by a werewolf. The special effects are excruciating, Cooper’s speaking voice is dubbed, and the dialogue is laughably bad.
The song: The lyrics are quite good for something Cooper cobbled together for a movie he thought would be released only in Spain (thank you, IMDB). But what’s also great is Cooper’s hushed, ominous delivery.
3. ‘Feardotcom’: “Opening” (by Nicholas Pike)
The movie: A detective teams up with a Department of Health agent to investigate a series of deaths seemingly caused by a website. The direction and sets are gorgeous, but the acting could be better (at least as far as fake American accents), and the list of plotholes is about the length of your arm. Most prominent is the way the cursed website is supposed to kill people with their worst fear…but doesn’t. Like a woman who’s so afraid of bugs she jumps out a window.
The song: Nicholas Pike is the master of creepy music; he’s written for ‘Tales from the Crypt’, ‘Masters of Horror’, ‘Fear Itself’, and many of Mick Garris’s Stephen King adaptations. The overall score for the movie is great, but the opening is hauntingly beautiful, with eerie vocalizations, pounding thumps, and a plaintive violin that gradually builds in intensity.
2. ‘Don’t Blink’: “Fire at the Pageant” (by The Felice Brothers)
The movie: A group of friends at a ski lodge begin disappearing one by one. Eventually they figure out that someone vanishes when they close their eyes. Hence the title. It’s not actually terrible, but the song is so great it’s like a prize for sitting through the whole movie.
The song: The narrative follows Harlan’s papa, who returns from the dead, and everyone’s oddly blase reaction. The chorus involves nonsensical counting (“1 2 4 5 6 7 8 9,000) and children shouting. It’s so creepy and weird, and the music video is even weirder.
1. ‘The Bye Bye Man’: “Train Song” (by The Newton Brothers feat. Richard Patrick)
The movie: ‘The Bye Bye Man’ has its moments, but overall it’s not scary, it’s full of plot holes, and the characters are really annoying.
The song: It opens with soulful humming and moves to an emotional delivery of creepy lyrics about a phantom train. The singer sounds like a broken, haunted man.
So next time you’re watching a movie you hate, stick it out. Maybe there’s a gem of a song in there somewhere. Or just turn the shit off, whatever; I’m not the boss of you.