Smokey-smelling Autumn air excites me; when I got my first wiff a few days ago, it put a big smile on my face. That smell only leads to two things: its now cold enough that someone had a fire going or that leaves are dying off and slowly ascending to the ground.
Fall is on its way with its potato-chip aroma and Halloween is around the corner. I can’t exactly express how much I adore it: I find its an experience that is continually enriching as we get older, and while getting candy is fine and dandy, handing it out can be just as rewarding.
Remember those awesome houses that went all-out and put on quite a spectacle? Smoke machines, a guy in a bad Pinhead costume, “elaborate” sets?
Its your turn now to do the same and hand out not only candy but memories that a child won’t forget. Music is a very important addition to your “Garage Of The Damned” and here are a few unique suggestions on which tunes can really add some chills.
Main Titles – A Nightmare On Elm Street Part 2: Freddy’s Revenge
Should I have to pick only one Elm Street film to watch during an evening, it would be Freddy’s Revenge. Krueger looked his best in this sequel and slashed his way through teens without the signature Elm Street theme at his side. Its overuse in further Nightmare tales makes Part 2’s main title a breath of fresh air.
The Shape Stalks Again – Halloween II
Halloween II expands on the first film’s soundtrack and really adds a level of intensity. Compare “The Shape Stalks Again” to its predecessor “The Shape Stalks Laurie”: Carpenter continually amps up the synth and bass as the song progresses. The pulsating beat goes hand in hand with the final confrontation in the film between good and pure evil.
Chariots Of Pumpkins – Halloween III: Season Of The Witch
For such a poorly received film, the soundtrack can be considered one of the best things to come from it. Though its gained more praise as of recent, Halloween III was a bomb simply because Michael Myers wasn’t present (excluding a cameo on television) but that doesn’t mean the movie is all bad. Chariots of Pumpkins is fantastic and deserves to be blaring off a block or two this Halloween.
Reel 9 – The Fog
This one hits close to home for myself: over several Halloweens, Mr. Spaghetti would play this off a stereo that hid within our dark garage. Though I could simply put every single piece of Carpenter/Howarth’s scores on here, theres a select few that should be in the spotlight for such an occasion; The Fog is no exception. Its sinister and creepy with plenty of powerful, thundering tones to lighter, intensified beats that make your heart race a bit faster. Get a smoke machine and warn trick-or-treaters to stay out of the fog.
Tales From The Darkside Theme
Short but sweet, this tune will raise a few hairs on some of the parents nearby and perhaps trigger a few horrific memories. Its subtle and sounds almost innocent-like with a shock of mystery. If you’re not familiar with Tales From The Darkside, its well worth a look into should you fancy The Twilight Zone or Creepshow.
Danse Macabre – Camille Saint-Saëns
If October’s best holiday (sorry Thanksgiving but you’re cool too) were to get an official anthem, this should be it. As much as the famous John Carpenter theme we all adore obviously would take that title, Danse Macabre is much more dignified and relates to the holiday’s true origins. The song tells the tale of Death raising skeletons from a graveyard to dance for him on Halloween night; quite a treat I suppose.
Papa Shango Theme – WWF
A strange choice but it does the job. Before he was pimping ho’s, Charles Wright wrestled as a voodoo priest who cast spells on his opponents and made them cough up black bile. Once you heard the intro theme, you knew evil was about to enter the ring. Try it for Halloween: nobody will suspect you’re playing an old WWF theme tune.
Somebody’s Watching Me – Rockwell
Oh Thriller: a fortune can be made by getting a nickle every time you hear Vincent Price’s rap coming from somebody’s old boom-box blaring away on their doorstep. What some aren’t aware of was that the Motown produced Somebody’s Watching Me was a retread of Thriller, straight down to a horror-themed music video. The big connection between the two songs are Michael Jackson; he provided backup vocals for Rockwell’s Halloween hit.
Optimus Maximus – Gatekeeper
An odd album of instrumental synth tunes in the style of Carpenter classics like Prince Of Darkness or Escape From New York. The resemblance is noted as being a homage and the entire album of four intense tracks could really up the ante for more candy hunters. There are some kids who just live on fear.. and candy.
Castle Theme – Super Mario World
You will fool most people into thinking this is some obscure Bach piece but the truth is it comes from a 16-bit video game. Bonus points if you hang up Boo ghost cut-outs!