Out now from Witchfinder and Spinefarm Records is Electric Wizard‘s hotly anticipated LP Wizard Bloody Wizard, a new album boasting a sound that harkens back to the dreaded days when ‘heavy’ meant Grand Funk and Black Sabbath, and ‘rock’ meant drugs, groupies, and mountains of amplification.
Bloody Disgusting caught up with Electric Wizard’s Jus Oborn to talk about his horror inspirations, which include these ten films. Here are his favorites:
The Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue
“Probably one of my favourite films ever and a huge influence on the band. Even though it’s an Italian/Spanish co-production it captures the bleak loneliness of the English countryside perfectly. Even anti-hero Georges dodgy Cockney accent…haha.
Also, it’s a very different take on the usual gut-munching zombie flicks, it’s a lot creepier and slow building. I think it makes them a lot scarier…especially the first appearance of the drowned zombie that staggers and lurches onto the screen just when you’ve settled into the slow pace of the opening scenes.
The Devil Rides Out
This is a great ‘heavy metal’ horror film and probably a huge influence on a lot of ‘bedroom’ Satanists. When it was released in 1967 it must have been a great movie to drop acid too…haha. There are so many momentous scenes…the demon forming out of the pentagram with the ‘eyes’, the arrival of the Angel Of Death and the huge black mass scene which culminates in the most convincing depiction of the Baphomet onscreen ever….”The Goat Of Mendes, the Devil himself!”….it’s still amazingly well done and it’s awesome when he flinches in the headlights too. Definitely my favourite Hammer film along with Captain Kronos: vampire hunter.
Erotic Rites Of Frankenstein
You could easily ask me to do my top 10 Jess Franco movies. He’s my favourite film director. It’s pretty impossible to name my favourite film by him but this one is the most demented straight horror film he did. I love this period of his films when he was produced by Robert de Nesle, it seems they were trying to recreate the ‘adults only’ Italian horror comics like “Oltretomba” or “Lo Scheletro”. It’s really an out there film with a chrome Frankenstein and the wizard Cagliostro with his squawking, bloodsucking bird woman creation. The standout scene has Frankenstein’s silver monster whipping Vera Frankenstein and Morpho in a weird spike floored dungeon as the “Bird Woman” squawks and cackles ecstatically.
The Dunwich Horror
I’ve always thought this was a great adaptation and update of the H.P.Lovecraft story. I think the use of psychedelic camera techniques and the 1960’s milieu really work in its favour. The surrealistic tentacled ‘half-brother’ in the attic really works because it is only half seen and then it’s just a flash of psychedelic colours. It adds a real otherworldly feel that seems to really conjure up the cosmic horror vibe Lovecraft was trying to convey. Dean Stockwell as the almost ‘counter-culture’ wizard Whateley is played really well and the drugged out erotic cult scenes are really enhanced by his intensity. I always wished that do-gooders Dr Armitage and Dr Cory were zapped by Yog Sothoth at the end though.
Mark Of the Devil
I kinda dig any witch finding movies, which probably started with a childhood obsession with Michael Reeve’s Witchfinder General. But I think this cash-in version of the story is the best one. It totally presents a long catalog of torture devices which is what you expect and want from these films. Herbert Lom is excellent as the head witchfinder but it’s the evil, disfigured Albino that will have you cheering along to this trashy and nasty classic. I also love how these films really present the whole episode in history as basically an abuse of power and exploitation of the superstitious peasants. I don’t think the world has really changed that much.
Requiem For a Vampire
This is my top Jean Rollin film, though I am a big fan of all his work. I love how baroque and macabre all his films are, they are like horror comics come to life. They are all so visually appealing that the storyline becomes irrelevant as everything induces a very dreamlike state. That said, this one has the most linear narrative of all his films and is probably a good recommendation for the uninitiated, but still contains many fantastically macabre scenes that could easily have been the painted cover of a 1970’s horror comic. The scene with the two girls seeking refuge in the graveyard, discovering the vampire’s tomb and then almost being buried alive is particularly vivid in the memory.
Daughters Of Darkness
I had this movie on an old VHS for many, many years as it used to turn up late on TV every now and again during my childhood. It is such a gloomy and claustrophobic tale that you are always sucked in (and sucked dry) by the best film about the notorious true lifeblood bather Countess Bathory. Delphine Seyrig is absolutely amazing in the lead role and can never be underestimated in the power of this film, she carries the whole macabre atmosphere with her seductive, Transylvanian(?) accent. The creepy deserted hotel and epic camerawork also help instill an otherworldly atmosphere where time no longer exists. And a special mention for the fantastic, modern take on her final inevitable impaling and exposure to the morning sun. Brilliant!
Another old VHS favourite , though an uncut version only turned up on DVD recently. I’m not quite sure why this is my favourite Jose Larraz film because he has done so many better movies: Vampyres, Symptoms etc…but I am always drawn back to this one. I guess its the very vivid and explicit recreation of the black mass that is still the most shocking and compelling part of the film (along with the amazing atonal choral soundtrack from the anonymous library archive of CAM) and the committed performance of exploitation queen , Helga Line (best remembered for her role in Paul Naschy’s Horror Rises From The Tomb).
Blood On Satan’s Claw
The ultimate English ‘rural’ horror film. The whole atmosphere of the movie totally recreates medieval England, the accents are perfect and the houses connected by small wooded pathways seems really authentic, you almost smell it. The story is also memorably grim and uncomfortable, with the evil satan worshipping kids farming Satan’s Skin on their own bodies. But most memorably terrifying of all is the “claw” under the floorboards in the attic…this scene is disturbingly weird and horrific that I still have nightmares about it to this day.
Also, I recently saw this at the cinema which is still the best way to see all these movies but I’m pretty sure Linda Hayden is wearing a fuzzy felt merkin in that other ‘memorable’ scene.
Torture Chamber Of Dr.Sadism
This film is known under a lot of different titles but this one was always the one that caught my attention. It was a title that captured my imagination for years before I actually saw the film but luckily it lives up to it. It has a genuinely surreal and macabre atmosphere again that is enhanced by the visual set piece scenes…the thirteen blood-drained virgins, the labyrinthine Castle Andomai with its Hieronymus Bosch murals, the snakepit and the pendulum, the forest of human limbs etc. How can you not want to watch it immediately? Ok, it’s a little bit corny especially ‘our hero’ Lex Barker but the set design and Harald Reinl’s direction take this to another level. I have probably watched it over a 100 times and I never get bored of it.”
Even though the LP promises ‘hymns to death, drugs, sex and violence’, the overall vibe is a band that is revitalized and ready to kill. The sound is aggressive, stripped back and savage, as if the new line-up has main-lined a fresh level of attitude and ability…
“Y’know, a lot of bad shit has happened to us, but through it all there was the music. We still dig loud heavy music, and the album is not really depressed or angry, it’s arrogant and rebellious. I still believe in rock and roll, and I still believe in killing it onstage and mentally destroying an audience.”
And the band sounds together, really together. The last three years of touring, writing and rehearsing have honed and molded a new sound that truly distills the Electric Wizard brew.
“We’ve been worn out by the modern scene, it’s all about styles and genre. We just wanna make solid heavy music… no rules. We didn’t set out to record a style or a product, we set out to record what we wanted to hear. I want people to know it’s Electric Wizard from the first second, but also to know we’re gonna take them on a trip. Heavy doesn’t just mean tone and bottom end… I think people have become too obsessed with FX and boutique amps. It’s more about playing style, attitude, and song-writing… ya’ know, a lot of our songs have been interpreted as acoustic numbers by various people and they are still heavy and ominous sounding… you can’t dilute true darkness.”
Wizard Bloody Wizard – the ninth Electric Wizard studio album – is out now 2017 via Witchfinder Records and Spinefarm Records.