The 5 Most Metal Horror Movies Of All Time by Mike Hill Of TOMBS
The following is a guest post by Tombs frontman Mike Hill.
Metal and horror have always been connected. Black Sabbath, arguably the first real heavy metal band, got their name from the 1963, Mario Bava-directed horror movie Black Sabbath. Anyone who is a fan of Cannibal Corpse most likely is aware that Vince Locke, the artist who painted their ultra-violent album covers first came to prominence as the illustrator or Dead World, the post-apocalyptic zombie horror comic that pre-dated the Walking Dead by almost two decades.
Below is a guide to what I consider to be essential horror films that fall in line with the tastes of extreme metal fans. It was a real challenge coming up with only five, but here we go!
The influence of HP Lovecraft is deep in metal; obviously Metallica’s “Call of Cthulu” comes to mind but other bands such as Cradle of Filth, Electric Wizard and the mighty Black Sabbath has borrowed from Lovecraft’s rich mythology.
2017’s The Void, written and directed by Jeremy Gillespie and Steven Kostanski, cultivate the same sort of cosmic dread as Lovecraft’s best work. Though The Void wears it’s influences on it’s sleeve, references to The Thing, Halloween and Hellraiser are front and center, the story centers around chaos, inter-dimensional menace and body horror. The Void also has some of the most metal imagery in any horror to come out this year. We have hooded cult figures, alien altars, horrific physical transformations and tons of exploding heads and fire.
When I was a kid in the eighties, I discovered James Cameron’s Terminator movie and thrash metal at around the same time, so for me killer robots and speed metal were more of an emotional connection. Hardware’s creator Richard Stanley freely admits that he was trying to rip off The Terminator in order to raise cash to finish his masterpiece Dust Devil. That’s not to say that Hardware is not a killer movie in it’s own right.
It takes place in the not-too-distant future where most of the planet is radioactive, impoverished and desparate. The opening scene shows Carl McCoy of Fields of the Nephilim wandering through the desert. He finds parts of a robot partially buried in the sand and collects it up to sell for scrap metal. Enter Hard Mo’, played by Dylan McDermott who buys the scrap to give to his artist girlfriend who works the robot parts into a sculpture. The robot, known as M.A.R.K. 13 reactivates and all hell breaks loose.
Aside from being a killer sci-fi / horror flick, the movie also boasts cameos by Iggy Pop, the late-great Lemmy Kilmister as well as the aforementioned Carl McCoy.
Any metal fan who hasn’t seen Hellraiser at this point, should turn in his bullet belt and Venom patch. Clive Barker’s classic is rife with occult symbols, resurrection, sado-masochistic other-dimension, leather clad creeps, a guys with no skin and serial murder. I think I’ve seen this movie about twenty times in my lifetime.
Aside from being the name of a Swedish death metal band, Dellamorte Dellamore was the name of a Michele Soavi’s 1994 zombie movie; a severely edited version of the film called Cemetary Man made the rounds in the US, but be sure to check out the original uncut version.
I never met Pete Steele, but I imagine that he would have liked this movie. The offbeat atmosphere, dark humor, zombie violence and the generous scenes of a naked Anna Falchi make this a truly unique movie that might not be for everybody but should at leas be checked out.
John Carpenter’s 1982 reimagining of 1951’s Thing from another World is another classic. Such metal topcis as global apocalypse, alien invasion and a subtle nod to HP Lovecraft are covered in this movie.
Along with In the Mouth of Madness and Prince of Darkness, Carpenter considered The Thing to be part of his Apocalypse Trilogy. The films are not narratively connected, but all three deal with possible doomsday scenarios.
The Thing has a heavy, claustrophobic vibe, an all-male cast and truly captures that boredom and monotony of a group of men living in close quarters. The absence of women in the cast really ups the anxiety element. In some ways it reminds me of being on tour.