Hi, my name is Scott and I’m a recovering metalhead.
This is where you all say “Hi Scott!”
I spent close to a decade playing in metal bands, but my earliest experiences with the genre were thanks to 80s horror movies. It was a golden age for both heavy metal and over-the-top horror cheese; I credit much of my personal growth to those countless nights watching people with questionable morals bleed out as some Aquanetted guy in pleather pants screeched on about how rock and roll will never die. If you’re like me, horror and heavy metal are two sides of the same coin, so before you scream “Satanic Panic,” let’s burn through a definitive list of the very best heavy metal songs to slay to.
12) Shadow – New Years Evil theme (New Years Evil)
“Call me Eeeeevil!”
New Years Evil is a double-header of ridiculous premise and execution, so it makes sense that a room full of punkers would circlepit into the new year with a hair metal band as a masked killer knocks people off at midnight in each time zone.
11) Thor – We Live to Rock (Rock ‘n’ Roll Nightmare)
Rock ‘n’ Roll Nightmare is a cinematic abomination, but this song kind of rips, so let’s call it even. Plot breakdown: bodybuilder-cum-metalhead fronts a band and fights the Devil, with a serious nod to Krull. Interested? Of course you are.
10) Solid Gold – Blood Tracks (Blood Tracks)
The band Solid Gold (played by an actual band called Easy Action) is shooting a music video in an abandoned warehouse in the mountains. The whole crew gets snowed in and hacked up in clever ways; there’s bonus heavy metal interspersed between the gore. Two of the Easy Action guys quit to join Europe, so I guess they traded up?
9) White Sister – April (You’re No Fool) (Killer Party)
Killer Party gets the award for most false starts ever, and peaks with this musical number in the first 10 minutes. White Sister does their best Y&T impression (who themselves got popular for doing their best Journey impression) in a diner while undead teenagers dance-fight the survivor girl. If you’ve got 10 minutes, watch the beginning of Killer Party. If you’ve got an hour… just watch the first 10 minutes.
8) Sorcery – I’m Back (Rocktober Blood)
Rocktober Blood had one of those VHS covers I couldn’t look away from as a kid. The demon mask and ladybutt must have created some sort of short-circuit in my brain. Drug use, human sacrifice and onstage murder are the orders of the day, though I was severely disappointed that the mask wasn’t the killer’s real face. But who needs demonic possession when metal is enough reason to kill?
7) Spastic Colon – Virgin Girl (Shock Em Dead)
When else but the late 80s could a virtuoso guitarist play the multi-neck-guitar-soloing body double for a nerd who sells his soul to become a rock star? Michael Angelo Batio (of Nitro fame) cashed in all of his chips as the possessed version of a geek-turned-rock-god who forfeits his soul to play high school auditoriums. How pissed would you be if grunge usurped hair metal a couple years after making that kind of deal?
6) Pretty Maids – Night Danger (Demons)
Not quite as memorable as Accept’s “Fast as a Shark,” due to no one tearing up a movie theater on a motorcycle while this one plays, but arguably a more entertaining song in general. Dario Argento may have never written a coherent plot, but at least he padded his movies with loads of metal songs.
5) King Kobra – Paradise/Rock Invasion (Black Roses)
Another possession-metal flick, featuring a demonic hair metal band that enjoys playing small Midwestern towns. Between this and Shock Em Dead, I’m left wondering why, if you’re imbued with the powers of Satan, would you waste your fame on high school auditoriums. There’s also a confusingly erotic scene later on with a demon-headed topless girl, if you’re into that sort of thing.
4) Fastway – Trick or Treat (Trick Or Treat)
If the fear of the Devil’s music was too subtle for you in Rock ‘n’ Roll Nightmare, then Fastway’s title track from 1986’s Trick Or Treat may be more your speed with lyrics like this:
“Rock and roll, rockin’ on a midnight, steal your soul”
Visionary poetry that is sure to reverberate through the centuries. Inscribe it on my tombstone, please.
3) Norden Light – No Escape (Opera)
As mentioned previously, Dario Argento had a serious chub for heavy metal. This track is by far my favorite from any of his films, and it totally rips. Arguably the thrashiest song on this list, though I’m sure my metal preferences are pretty evident by now – too bad that there is no escape!
2) 45 Grave – Partytime (Return of the Living Dead)
The greatest zombie movie ever made (fight me) has one of the best obscure heavy metal tracks playing as the dead rise from their graves. There’s not much to say about Return of the Living Dead or Partytime that hasn’t been said a million times, so I’ll leave it at, “You think this is a fuckin’ costume? This is a way of life!”
1) Dokken – Dream Warriors (Nightmare on Elm Street 3)
Would you expect any other song in the #1 slot? Of course not, since nothing compares to the glory that is Dream Warriors. This is easily the best song to come out of the franchise – sorry Nightmare on My Street.
Bang your head (not too hard, it’s too early for that), crack a beer (or diet soda, gotta watch those calories), and mosh your cubicle (maybe just tap your foot a little). Rock and roll may steal your soul, but sometimes it saves you from burn victim pedo-ghosts.
The metal song that instigates all of the terribleness in The Gate
Laaz Rockit – Leatherface (TCM3)
Iron Maiden – Flash of the Blade (Phenomenon)
Lizzy Borden – Me Against the World (Black Roses)
Alice Cooper – Teenage Frankenstein (not He’s Back, that song is terrible) (Jason Lives: Friday the 13th pt VI)
The Truth – Hidden (The Hidden)
Fair Game – Blind Faith (Bad Channels)
W.A.S.P. – Scream Until You Like It (Ghoulies 2)
Scott is a musician and founder of the 8-Bit Metal project Console Crash as well as the horror inspired 50’s rock band Survivor Girl. He’s also the co-host of the upcoming podcast Horror Movie Night which debuts July 6th on Geekscape.net