It’s something we intuitively feel anyway, but it’s very much worth pointing out that horror and rock music both have a lot in common. They seem to go together like peanut butter and jelly–at least over the course of the past 50 or so years that the music genre has been with us. They are both rebellious, potentially shocking, challenge the status quo, and are always testing the envelope. Perhaps this is partly why they are so linked, and seem to attract similar fan bases. Anyway, we thought it might be a good idea to rank the most effective/memorable of these “rock `n roll horror movies”. We hope you enjoy. Keep the music blasting, and the blood pouring!
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Not the best movie by any stretch of the imagination, but since this is a movie based completely upon the conceit of a vampire who starts his own successful rock band, it warranted inclusion here. Stuart “Original choice for Aragorn until he walked off the LOTR set like a baby” Townsend makes a convincing rock star, and is not bad as Lestat–but then again, anything beats Tom Cruise.
This film is in no way a great film, but for anyone who enjoys absolutely horrible “so bad its good” B-Movies, Hard Rock Zombies is a must see. Who knew that undead rockers look more like KISS than they do corpses? An awesome rock show, a cameo by Hitler, and the song “Cassie”, which will be stuck in your head for days, are just three of the billion reasons why Hard Rock Zombies rocks.
A very early entry in the subgenre of “rock n’ roll horror”, back when the new music craze was first sweeping the nation, and kids were sock-hoppin’ the night away. What’s so cool about this movie is that its somewhat similar to the rock n’ roll-themed teeny-bopper flicks that were common in the late 1950s–only with a giant tarantula added into the mix.
George A. Romero may have informed us that head-shots would rid us of zombies… but he totally forgot to tell us that high school garage bands covering Pat Benetar could slow the zombie rage! Dance of the Dead has hilarious one-liners, awesome music, buckets of blood, pretty dresses, a smart ass kid with long hair, a redneck high school gym teacher, revenge of the science dissection frogs, undead make-out scenes, and of course ZOMBIES!
Biohazard and The Smithereens are among the bands to grace the soundtrack of this Troma favorite about a bunch of high school students who become all messed up thanks to some irradiated drugs copped from a nuclear plant worker. Drugs, rock `n roll, and even some sex–how could you go wrong?
Not since Richard O’Brien have we been given a horror rock musical as cool and creative as Repo! The Genetic Opera. It’s really hard not to be awesome when you combine rock and roll with horror. Guitar solos from Joan Jett, the siren songs of Sarah Brightman, a nifty little ditty from Paris Hilton, and the borderline orgasmic sound from the Graverobber make this film a must see for every horror fan.
A great horror flick for the brat pack generation, with Keifer and the Coreys running around to some addictive synth-pop and `80s-style rock tunes. The memorable “Lost in the Shadows”, the mesmerizing “Cry Little Sister”, and of course, Echo & The Bunnymen’s cover of The Doors’ “People Are Strange”. One of the first horror movies made with a music video sensibility.
Rob Zombie’s throwback to exploitation films showcases the coolest horror family since the Addams or the Munsters. The Firefly family kill off people looking grungy, swearing like sailors, and with more creativity than the love child of MacGyver and Martha Stewart. I think it’s close to impossible to hear Lynrd Skynrd’s Freebird without having a flashback to the ending sequence.
…and this time, folks, we’ve got ourselves a TIE for the number-one spot…
The film that started a thousand trannies screaming “slut” and “asshole”. Richard O’Brien’s brilliant masterpiece combines horror, science-fiction, romance, sex, and Pennywise the Clown in drag, giving us one of the most impactful films of all time. RHPS is like the Beatles of rock n’ roll horror, it doesn’t matter what generation you’re born into… you just gotta love it.
Yes, we’re copping out. This one has to be considered number one as well. Without doubt, the greatest rock soundtrack of any horror movie, ever. The Cramps, The Damned, 45 Grave and so many others joined together to create the epitome of a bad-ass punk horror soundtrack. It’s such an integral part of the movie itself (which makes it a shame that later DVD versions have tampered with it), and easily one of the most enjoyable soundtracks to listen to on its own merits.
For more news and opinions on the world of horror, including an attack on the After Dark HorrorFest, an interesting tidbit on Patrick Swayze and Zombieland, and review of the arthouse horror flick I Sell the Dead, check out Brian’s daily blog, The Vault of Horror, at thevaultofhorror.net
And for a unique look at the feminine side of fear, including a bold take on Jennifer’s Body and a look at great horror parodies, check Brittney-Jade’s blog, Day of the Woman, at dayofwoman.com