15 Iconic Songs You Didn't Know Were Inspired By Spooky Movies (Perfect For Halloween Playlist)
Now it seems like we did all the work for your party night, right?
Many beautiful songs were inspired by the movies. Songwriters offered fans their fresh, melodic takes on the visual stories the movies gave us. The songs made us laugh, cry, memorize the lyrics, and use them in our everyday lives.
But it turns out that some of the most popular songs of our time were actually inspired by scary movies, if not horror and slasher ones. Here are ten of the best examples of collaborative work.
Michael Sembello – Maniac
William Lustig's 1980 film Maniac didn't get much critical acclaim. It seemed to them that the story of an aging maniac cutting up young, stupid women was some kind of pornography.
However, the film's lead actress inspired Sembello to write a song about a cat-killing psychopath. But his producer convinced him to change the premise to something less scary, like a crazy dancer. "She's a maniac, maniac on the floor!" is now the iconic line everybody can sing.
Ramones – Pinhead
The most popular rock group created their 1977 hit song Pinhead right after seeing the nightmare-inducing horror film Freaks. It featured some actual misshapen "pinheads" and there was a phrase that actually foreshadowed the famous "Gabba Gabba Hey" lyrics of the Ramones song.
Talking Heads – Psycho Killer
In the early days of the Talking Heads, David Byrne was sometimes compared to Norman Bates (because of their physical resemblance), the murderer from the legendary movie Psycho. Then Byrne wrote this twisted ballad inspired by the infamous Norman.
Vampire Weekend – Walcott
The band's lead singer, Ezra Koenig, when he was young and a fan of a popular teen vampire movie, once decided to make his own film about Walcott, who had a special mission to tell the whole town that vampires were coming. However, he soon forgot about the movie and gave us the band and the upbeat song to dance to.
Eminem – Buffalo Bill
This is actually a disturbing song if you actually listen to the lyrics and not just move your head to the beats. Eminem took the horrible serial killer from The Silence of the Lambs and made him the lyrical hero of his song. Well, at the time, Eminem even mentioned that he watched too many documentaries about serial killers, so here's your answer.
Deep Purple – Why Didn’t Rosemary?
Another iconic song was born after the band guys watched Roman Polaski film Rosemary's Baby. They even included the line "Why didn't Rosemary ever take the pill?" Well, the question is only fair, considering the fact that she actually gave birth to a devil baby.
Billy Idol – Eyes Without a Face
A 1960 French movie of the same name inspired the band, and this song was born later. In the spooky movie, a man causes a car accident that leaves his daughter faceless, with only working eyes. The twisted plot gave Billy Idol the idea to write their hit.
Alice Cooper – Ballad of Dwight Fry
Cooper described this song as his most disturbing one. It is concentrated on the actor Dwight Frye’s Renfield, from the 1931 horror movie Dracula. As Cooper explained, he was the guy nobody knew about, but he also was the scariest one. The end of the song, however, is iconic – check out for yourself.
Kate Bush – Hounds of Love
One of Kate Bush's all-time favorite movies is a British horror called Night of the Demon. And she used a line that actor Maurice Denham shouted in the movie, "It's in the trees - it's coming!" to start the song, to set the necessary creepy mood. And even the fact that it's actually a love song doesn't stop us from honoring the horror that gave birth to it.
The Clash – The City of the Dead
You won't hear anything about witches and virgins, or even any other creatures from the world of the dead, but the name of the song actually comes from a 1960 horror, The City of the Dead. The film features a student who travels to some other city to research witchcraft, but instead gets captured and is chosen to be the next virgin sacrifice.
Blue Oyster Cult – Nosferatu
The old German horror Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror tells a story about a pale, bat-eared vampire in need of day in a nail salon, who actually is lonely and needs some company. Blue Oyster’s song makes a stand out point from the story trying to sell it as a romantic one for Nosferatu.
Meat Loaf – Bat Out of Hell
Another song inspired by the legendary movie Psycho. However, it wasn't the scene you think of that made the song happen, but the one you probably don't even remember. It was the opening sequence of the film that predetermined the song and the way it started. Jim Steinman, who wrote the song, said that he used the same long shot comes closer trick in the song.
The Cramps – Human Fly
The Cramps are famous for playing crazy gigs in places no one would expect them to end up. For example, they once played a concert in a hospital that housed mostly criminals and insane patients. "Someone told me you people are crazy," Lux Interior told the dedicated crowd, just before starting to sing the Human Fly song, which he wrote after seeing The Fly horror.
Van Halen – House of Pain
It was the movie titled The Island of Lost Souls that inspired Van Helen to write their House of Pain song. There is actually a room named like that, the one where an insane scientist who believes that anesthesia is not necessary makes operations of all sorts on animals. He thinks he is doing it for a good reason – trying to make them evolve faster, but we all understand that in reality he was just torturing and killing poor animals.
Ramones – Chainsaw
In 1974, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was playing at theaters. So on one of their concerts at the time, the rock icons didn’t shy away from their inspiration, opening the song with the sound of a chainsaw, and then singing “She'll never get out of there/Texas Chainsaw Massacre.”