The ’80s and early ’90s were a time of wonder. MTV actually played music videos. Millennials, music videos were a big deal at one point. If you wanted to hear new music, you had to catch it on the radio or on Music Television. And every once in a while, a horror movie with a song featuring prominently on its soundtrack had a tie-in music video. Or, in the case of one of these, big names in the horror game showed up just because they’re awesome. Behold!
5. Twisted Sister: “Be Chrool to Your Scuel” (Tom Savini)
Bobcat Goldthwaite is known in the horror community now for directing ‘Willow Creek’ (and that one episode of ‘Tales from the Crypt’ when he plays a ventriloquist), but back in the ’80s he was a comedian. Here he plays a downtrodden high school teacher who turns into Twisted Sister’s singer Dee Snider. Tom Savini plays a fellow teacher who turns into Alice Cooper. Then the school is overrun by zombie teenagers. Savini did the practical zombie effects, which are pretty gross. In fact, the video was banned from MTV for just that reason.
4. W.A.S.P. : “Scream Until You Like It” (The Ghoulies)
The Ghoulies were an ’80s and early ’90s franchise; they’re little demonic beings that like to munch on people (but not to be confused with Munchies). This song was featured in 1988’s ‘Ghoulies 2’. The video is an amalgamation of movie footage, the band playing, and the Ghoulies puppets themselves interacting with the band. The YouTube reproduction below isn’t the best quality, but the video is damned magical.
3. Motorhead: “Hellraiser” (Pinhead)
This song is an Ozzy Osbourne cover used in ‘Hellraiser III’. Lemmy Kilmister, the late singer of Motorhead, plays cards with Pinhead, interspersed with footage from the movie and the band playing. And yes that’s really Doug Bradly in full Pinhead regalia. Lemmy appears to lose, and sweeps stuff off the table in fury. Now that’s gumption.
2. Alice Cooper: “He’s Back (The Man Behind the Mask)” (Jason Voorhies)
First of all, the song is hilarious. It catches the spirit of slasher movies exactly: “You’re swimming with your girl/ Out on lover’s lake/ And the wind blows cold/ It chills your bones/ But you’re still on the make/ That’s a bad mistake.” And then the video itself is pretty great. The premise is that a bunch of teens are watching ‘Friday the 13 Part VI’ in the theater (which incorporates movie footage, natch), and they’re menaced both by Cooper and Jason himself (who, back in 1986, was played by C.J. Graham).
1. Dokken: “Dream Warriors” (Freddy Krueger and Kristen)
“Dream Warriors”, appropriately enough, was from ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors’. This video, instead of using the obligatory footage from the movie, has an original storyline, featuring both Robert Englund as Freddy and Patricia Arquette as Kristen. Kristen wanders around and interacts with band members; she’s happy to see them, because their song repels Freddy. It’s of course cheesy and over the top, and absolutely fabulous. My favorite scene is when Kristen is marveling at George Lynch’s (who has just broken through a wall) guitar playing skills, and Freddy grabs him from behind and drags him off; Lynch, nonplussed, continues playing. Then there’s the very end of the video, which if you haven’t seen, I won’t spoil for you.
The glory days of MTV and their silly tie-in videos are gone, but they’ll live on in the hearts of ’70s and ’80s babies everywhere.