“My Boyfriend’s Back” - The Raveonettes
This makes the list partly because The Raveonettes’ version is super-sexy awesome, but mostly because of the silly 1993 teen/horror romantic comedy My Boyfriend’s Back
. Tagline: “A comedy that proves true love never dies.” Yes, this is about a high-school guy who dies trying to impress his lifelong crush. Finally, he wins her affection when he comes back as a zombie. See if you can spot future stars Matthew Fox (Lost
) and Philip Seymour Hoffman (Capote
), who appear in the movie.
Long before Metallica got endlessly lame (post-Black album), they consistently churned out heavy-metal standards. This apocalyptic classic from their 1983 debut Kill ’Em All
is a prime example, fully-equipped with blade-wielding horsemen on “leather steeds,” plus plenty of famine, pestilence, blood, guts, demon swords and death. Not to mention the “judgement hammer.”
“I Put a Spell on You” - Screamin’ Jay Hawkins
As one listen to this—his signature tune—proves, ’50s R&B singer Screamin’ Jay Hawkins sang like a man possessed. By what, I have no idea. One thing’s for sure, though—I would not have wanted to run into this man in a dark alley. At least not without a black-cat bone up my sleeve.
“Thunder Kiss ’65” - White Zombie
Horror-movie guru Rob Zombie named himself and his band after the 1932 Victor Halperin film White Zombie
, starring Béla Lugosi. “Thunder Kiss ’65” is the band’s biggest hit, and still one of my favorite metal tunes of all time, anchored by a super-nasty riff, heaps of shredding guitars, and Zombie’s lyrics, which are pure, deranged poetry (and probably the only lyrics in metal to reference Bob Dylan): “high in hell cheatin’ on a halo
odyssey holocaust heart kick
she come a riding on the world
demon-warp is coming alive in 1965
livin' fast and dying young like endless poetry
my motor-psycho nightmare freak out
my soul salvation liberation on the drive, I got a heart atomic style
blast of silence explodes in my head
step to the moonshine frenzy hail. The Resurrection - what's new pussycat? Can you dig the satisfaction? Well, you can't take it with you, but you can in overdrive.”
"They are Night Zombies!! They Are Neighbors!!" - Sufjan Stevens
Only Sufjan Stevens, the man who wrote a humblingly sympathetic ballad about serial killer John Wayne Gacy Jr., could do the same with a song about the flesh-eating undead. You almost wanna cry for these poor zombies. Bonus points for the haunting string arrangements and ominous glockenspiel.
“Ghost” - Apollo Sunshine
Psych-rock stalwarts Apollo Sunshine recorded this whispered ballad for their self-titled sophomore album. It’s about feeling like you’re barely there at all—that you’re a wanderer so lonely the wind could blow straight through you.
“Black Wind Blowing” - Billy Bragg & Wilco
This song comes from the mid-’90s Mermaid Avenue sessions, a collaboration between Wilco and British folksinger Bragg, during which they set Woody Guthrie lyrics to music. Bragg’s foreboding acoustic-guitar picking and the sad, spent vocal delivery make this the perfect tune to play at dusk on Halloween. You can feel the chill in the air, as the wind rustles through dried-up cotton fields, a harbinger of the coming winter.