Films are a powerful medium. Not only are they a great conversation starter, they are also the source of inspiration for a lot of creative individuals from writers to budding filmmakers and even musicians. Some musicians admire the movies so much that they’ve gone on to write songs about them, further showcasing the art of cinema through the equally, if not more, influential medium of music.
So it’s here, at HCF, that we have decided to share with you six of the best rock, metal and punk songs on this planet inspired by the type of movies we folks at HorrorCultFilms adore. Once more, I am joined by music guru Rob Ainscough, who professionally teaches guitar lessons in Bolton, to give you the lowdown on the top film-inspired tracks you may not have heard.
Give Me Your Clothes, Your Boots and Your Motorcycle – Austrian Death Machine
Austrian Death Machine hail from San Diego and have released three albums all with the word Brutal in their title and each one packed from beginning to end with songs detailing Arnie’s on-screen antics.
Give Me Your Clothes, Your Boots and Your Motorcycle is ADM’s tribute to The Terminator franchise that saw Arnie repeatedly returning from the future to steal peoples clothes. We cant help but wonder why Arnie didn’t simply sign up to the Sears mail order catalogue and save himself the trip.
Other notable ADM tracks include Get to the Choppa…
Bat Country – Avenged Sevenfold
Back in the early noughties, rock music was getting boring, what with nu metal and the like, but then along came Avenged Sevenfold with their skilfully modern take on classic metal. Bat Country is their homage to Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas which was made into a film by Terry Gilliam and starred Johnny Depp as the drug addled writer.
Young rock fans just getting into Avenged Sevenfold, who had probably never seen the film or even heard of Hunter S. Thompson, would have looked upon the music video that accompanied the track and simply wondered
why the band were armed with fly swatters and the guitarist played a solo in a bath tub with a many tentacled monster. We can only assume fly swatters became the fashion accessory of choice for the decerning emo in every school and college up and down North America.
Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath
It’s an invariably known fact that Black Sabbath named their band after the 1963 film of the same name and so it also went with the title track of their debut album or did it?
An alternative story features Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler who was so obsessed with the occult he painted his flat matt black and hung pictures of the devil in every room. Things started to get strange when Sabbath fountman Ozzy Osbourne lent Geezer a book about the occult containing latin text and macabre pictures.
As the hapless bassist climbed in to bed one night, he placed the book on his bedside table and turned out the lamp only to be woken in the small hours by a dark figure at the end of the bed pointing at him. Upon waking in the morning, the sleep deprived Geezer found the figure gone along with the book and so the lyrics for the song Black Sabbath were duly written.
Others believe, and we at HCF concur, that the figure was simply Ozzy reclaiming the book before it went overdue at the library.
Dr Phibes Rises Again – The Misfits
When satan-worshiping vocalist Glenn Danzig left The Misfits in the 80’s, the remaining members formed Christian metal band (yes, you read it right, Christian metal band) Kryst the Conqueror. Bassist Jerry Only said the bands mission was to produce a rightous message to Misfits fans in direct contrast to the dark material that Danzig was producing in his new outfit Samhain.
Dr Phibes Rises Again was originally written and recorded by Kryst the Conqueror and appeared on their 1990 christmas e.p wonderously featuring Yngwie Malmsteen/Journey vocalist Jeff Scott Soto.
After an out of court settlement with Danzig, the remaining Misfits were finally able to take to the road again with new singer Micheal Graves in 1995 and they re-recorded Dr Phibes Rises Again, the version which we feature here.
We can only assume a dramatisation based on The Misfits early days would smash box office records.
Man On The Edge – Iron Maiden
In the late Eighties/early Nineties, a brilliant rock band prowled the shores of the UK and USA, they hailed from Tamworth, England and were called Wolfsbane. They were fronted by vocalist Blaze Bayley, were best mates with Iron Maiden and it was often said if Bruce Dickinson left Maiden then Blaze would make a great stand in. Rock magazine Kerrang! even ran a comic strip depicting the Wolfsbane singer held captive in a barn somewhere on Maiden bassist Steve Harris’ rambling Buckinghamshire farm for just the very purpose of replacing Bruce Dickinson should he ever leave the nest so to speak. And so it was in the mid Nineties that Bruce flew the coop to pursue a solo career and Bayley filled the gap in the Maiden ranks.
Man On The Edge featured Bayley on vocals and was their tribute to the film Falling Down which starred Michael Douglas as a patriotic white collar worker with mental problems who abandons his car in a traffic jam and proceeds to treck across Los Angeles in an attempt to deliver a birthday present to his estranged daughter whilst causing all manner of havoc at the same time, usually if he’s being over charged for soft drinks or refused an egg muffin at a fast food burger outlet ‘cos they stopped serving the breakfast menu two minutes previously. I think some gang bangers might have got a beating along the way too.
Man On The Edge was a good slice of Maiden pie, so to speak, which always fills a hole like most of their fare, but it can only serve as fries to the burger king triple whopper of a film tribute song that Blaze Bayley’s band Wolfsbane produced in 1990…
Kathy Wilson – Wolfsbane
Kathy Wilson is Wolfsbane’s tribute to 1953 B-movie Invaders From Mars, featuring a panphonic performance from Blaze Bayley as at least four characters from the film but told from the perspective of lead protagonist David, a dynamic metal song arrangement that would make Andrew Lloyd Webber hang up his piano if he played metal, and lead guitar work by the ridiculously underated genius that is Jase Edwards – he even gets his guitar to impersonate someone knocking on a front door at one point.
The best I can do is say go and listen to it and wonder why they didn’t become mega stars. Wolfsbane produced three stunning albums then probably ran out of ideas when record companies were busy looking for the next grunge act and not virtuoso rock gods who wrote genius music.
There are many funny Wolfsbane related stories I coud relay to you, but I am trying keep this family orientated, however be content in the knowledge that they reformed six years ago and their fan club is called Howling Mad Shitheads.