Horror and Rock ´n´ Roll or Horror Rock ´n´ Roll: Rock Music in Horror Films.

By Tim Luna

A little introduction:

Rock songs are present on horror films, whether are really fit or not. It’s all a matter of taste.

So go ahead, Rock on and have fun with this musical journey in horror films.

* To anyone who wants to know more about the history of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Punk, Wave, Rock, Hard Rock and Heavy Metal in movies… Click here

* Special thanks to Migdon Pie for the English translation.

* Very special thanks to Ilse Esthefania for the creation of the YouTube and Spotify playlist (see the links below) and text control.

Check out our YouTube playlist

Listen to our Spotify selection

Para la versión en español, clic aquí









  1. Oingo Boingo/ Danny Elfman – Squeezit the Moocher / Forbidden Zone (USA 1980)

Everything what you want or not want – is delivered by Richard Elfman’s bizarre Forbidden Zone. Sick humor, crazy, funny animations, finely painted sets and his brother Danny Elfman as Satan. The stomping version of Cab Calloway / Irving Mills classic “Minnie the Moucher”, squeezed rock guitar included, is the culmination of a cinematic uniqueness. Sing along and all together.

Song / Movie Scenes




  1. John McDermott – The Ballad of Harry Warden / My Bloody Valentine (CAN 1981)
    One of the best and perhaps the cruelest of all slashers, and it didn’t come from the US! Because good Slasher movies also come from their Canadian neighbors. Over the end credits, John McDermott sings and tells with a beautiful folk rock ballad, the story of Harry Warden, once again. The soothing tunes stand strong in contrast to the previously shown and brings the audience back (emotional) to the coming nightmares, or accompanied on the dark way home.

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  1. Don Felder – Takin ‘A Ride / Heavy Metal (Can 1981)
    A green ’Wicked Something’, a green ball from outer space (a deadly gift from her Father) terrorized his daughter with a collection of gruesome stories. Ivan Ghostbusters Reitman’s produced animated extravaganza, based on stories published by the French comic magazine Métal Hurlant (1974-1987). Heavy Metal is now considered a landmark for animation that was not meant for children. And incidentally presented a lot of rock songs by famous bands of the time (Cheap Trick, Trust, Black Sabbath, Blue Öyster Cult, Riggs, Devo and others). One of the best stories is the segment B 17, a creepy horror story. Musicalized by Don Felder with “Takin ‘A Ride”.

Song / Movie Scenes




  1. Lou Reed – My Name is Mok / Rock & Rule (CAN 1983).
    Rock and Rule, until now has remained as a relatively unknown fantasy-horror animation. A legendary rock musician is looking for a very special voice to awaken a demon of darkness. The film featured some songs by Blondie, Earth, Wind & Fire, Iggy Pop and Cheap Trick, among others. Lou Reed plays and sings the role of evil Mok. And it fits perfectly!

Song / Movie Scenes



  1. 45 Grave – Party Time / Return of the Living Dead (USA 1985)
    Yeah, it’s party time! Do you wanna party? It’s punk rock time! Namely, at the cemetery! When the dead return to the world of the living… they never had a chance! ROTLD featured songs from Rocky Erikson, The Cramps, T.S.O.L., Meteors and The Flesh Eaters. Braaaiiiinnnss!

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  1. Steve Parson & Bable – Howling Club Mix / The Howling 2: …Your Sister is a Werewolf (UK 1985)The Howling 2 was called one of the worst sequels of all time. Yet the film was actually not really a sequel. In contrast with many of nowadays productions (apparently no longer a standard), this TRASH grenade managed something easily. It was entertaining! Who’s never seen the film, check here the original (and uncensored) end-credits. It will leave you a with a good impression of what the film had to offer, so have fun! “By the pale, pale light… pale, pale light of the moon glow…”

Song / End Credits



  1. Simon Boswell & Andi Sex Gang – The Naked and the Dead / Phenomena (Italy, 1985)
    “It all began with Phenomena…” Simon Boswell once said at Morbido Film Fest. For Phenomena (a.k.a. Creepers) he interprets two songs he wrote for Andi Sex Gang (later Sex Gang Children). His first instrumental composition for a film is also found in Phenomena: “The Maggots”. Happy the ones who were able to experience his live concert with The And at Morbido Film Fest 2015 in Puebla!

Song / Videoclip



  1. Accept – Fast as a Shark / Demoni / Demons (Italy 1985)German Power Metal in its purest form: Accept! This track set a new standard in the double-bass drum speed of its time. In Demons, the song is played almost entirely under a wild bloody action scene with a motorbike and a katana blade. The compilation of the film featured bands such as Pretty Maids, Billy Idol, The Adventures, Mötley Crüe and others, as well as a first-class rock score by Claudio Simonetti (Band member of Goblin). A classic! Play it (very) loud!!

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  1. Fastway – Trick or Treat / Trick or Treat (USA 1986)

Trick or Treat is regarded by many fans as the first pure Heavy Metal movie. In the satirical story about Eddie (a Heavy Metal Fan) who is humiliated and maltreated by his classmates. After the accidental death of singer Sammy Curr, an unreleased record of his idol arrives at random on his hands. At home he discovers that when he plays the vinyl backwards, satanic messages can be heard. With these he can contact the dead singer Curr and even awake up his spirit. And Sammy Curr wants to help him from beyond the grave to take revenge on his evil classmates. But the vendetta soon developes into a bloody nightmare… see concert at film. The complete soundtrack is by Fastway, featuring “Fast” Eddie Clark of Motörhead and Pete Way of UFO. In supporting roles, are the witty Gene Simmons as a radio presenter and Ozzy Osborne as a TV preacher who is against Heavy Metal and its satanic lyrics.

Song / Movie Scenes



  1. The Fibonaccis – Terrorvision / Terrorvision (USA / Italy 1986)
    Terrorvision is one of the craziest films produced by Charles Band ever… And that’s saying something. The American art rock band The Fibonaccis contributed five songs to this Sci-Fi / Horror Comedy. In those days, when Charles Band produced his films exclusively with Empire Pictures in Rome, it wasn’t really a successful film. The title song is really catchy and the soundtrack is now a collector’s item. The movie is discovered again and again and in 2013 it was finally released on Blu-Ray. You will be extremely pleased with this movie, if you got (good) bad taste!

Song/ Main Credits



  1. Alice Cooper – Teenage Frankenstein / Jason Lives: Friday the 13th – Pt. 6 (USA 1986)
    Of course, many rock songs were heard in the Friday the 13th series. Alice Cooper was in there repeatedly, with very different qualitative songs, such as “The Man behind the Mask” and “Hard Rock Summer” and “He’s Back”. The best is probably “Teenage Frankenstein” which thematically fits the story in Jason Lives: Friday the 13th – Pt. 6 perfectly.

 Song / Videoclip




  1. Dokken – Dream Warriors / Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (USA 1987)
    Dokken, a band designed to be so beautiful… hard to believe!? Perfect hairstyles, fine tunes, beautiful guitars, full 80s and more Melody-Hard Rock or Glam as Heavy Metal. “Dream Warriors” is not really a bad song for a good third part of the series and a good example of a successful cross-promotion. The best in the music video is the ending, as Freddy Krueger himself keeps closed ears and wakes up screaming in bed: “What a nightmare! Who are those guys? “

Song: Videoclip



  1. Tim Cappello – I still believe / The Lost Boys (USA 1987)
    Tim Cappello is a multi-instrumentalist, singer and actor, known for his ponytail and scandal shrouded for his sexually provocative moves on stage during his concerts. He has played with Peter Gabriel, Tina Turner, Ringo Starr and others, and he also appears in the Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome video clip. In The Lost Boys he plays with his band at the beach with muscles and sax. The song “I still believe” is a cover of the rock band The Call, which composed the song a year earlier. Cappello does a really good job, his main instrument, the saxophone, adds rough and dirty tones to the song. Intense 80s, yesss! Normally I hate saxes. Here is an exception!

Song / Fanclip



  1. Gerard McMann – Cry Little Sister / The Lost Boys (USA 1987)
    Gerard McCohen a.k.a. Gerard MacMann is like Tim Cappello: a multi-instrumentalist, singer, composer and producer. He wrote songs for Chicago, Kiss, Temptations or Roger Daltry. Born in England, immigrated at eleven to the US, he specialized early on film music. Horror movies like Vampirella (1996), The Skulls 3 (2004) or Trick ‘r Treat (2007) were constituted by the songs from his band, G Tom Mac or compositions by him. “Cry Little Sister” is one of the most famous songs in a horror film, with a children’s choir that sends goosebumps to anyone who hears it. One of the best written songs for a movie, especially because it supports wonderfully the atmosphere of the movie. “Thou shall not fall, thou shall not die, thou shall not fear, thou shall not kill…”.

Song / Fanclip



  1. Remnants – Bad Taste / Bad Taste (NZL 1987)
    Bad Taste, a sci-fi – horror – splatter – comedy, filmed over three years on weekends, written, directed, produced, photographed, co-edited and co-starring in two roles as an agent and an alien: Peter Jackson! He did everything, except for the soundtrack, which was recorded by his friends, the leisure group The Remnants. And it’s that band that provide an unusual and psychedelic-tinged rock song… to hum along. “You leave a bad taste in my mouth …”.

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  1. Dickies – Killer Klowns from Outer Space / Killer Klowns from Outer Space (USA 1988)
    Oh yes, the Dickies! Punk Rock with harmonies, oblique vocals and humor from southern California. Unfortunately, only one of the five composed songs from the EP Killer Klowns from Outer Space was used on the movie. Over the years the film earned absolute cult status and the last rumor was a planned series in 2017 with the Killer Klowns. A world without Killer Klowns is just boring. However, whether it works as a series … we will see.

Song / Movie Scenes



  1. Lizzy Borden – Me Against The World / Black Roses (USA 1988)
    Evil demons dressed as a glam metal band, playing a concert and turning all the kids into banging bloodthirsty ghouls! What? Turn up the volume, turn down the lights and turn off your brain! The movie featured songs from Tempest, Hallow’s Eve, the title-giving Black Roses and Lizzy Borden. A goofy but funny stage scene to see and listen to here:

Song / Fanclip




  1. Ramones – Pet Sematary / Pet Sematary (USA 89)
    Yeah, now a classic and the most successful single the Ramones ever had, and also the only radio hit of the band. In the same year, they were nominated for the Razzie Award “Worst Original Song written for a film” Why? Completely incomprehensible. The “prize” that year went to Bruce Dickinson with “Bring your Daughter to the Slaughter” (Nightmare on Elm Street 5: Dream Child). Justly!

Song / Videoclip



  1. Motörhead – Hellraiser / Hellraiser 3: Hell on Earth (USA / CAN 1992)
    “Hellraiser” written by Ozzy Osborne, Lemmy Kilmister and Zakk Wylde. Ozzy Osborne recorded the song in 1991 for his album No More Tears and Mötorhead recorded and distributed the song in 1992 on their album March ör Die. The Mötorhead version was released as a single and used for promotion with a video for Hellraiser 3: Hell on Earth. Lemmy plays cards with Doug Bradley (Pinhead) and wins, which the Cenobite does not like. The soundtrack for the movie featured songs from David Bowie’s Tin Machine, Triumph, Armored Saint, KMFDM and others. R. I. P. Lemmy!

Song / Videoclip



  1. Blue Öyster Cult – The Horsemen Arrive / Bad Channels (USA 1992)
    Blue Öyster Cult songs were and still are represented today in many genre films. In recent times, they’re often included in current TV series and video games. Mostly, their super hit “Don’t fear the Reaper” (1975) has been used, which appeared for the first time in John Carpenter’s Halloween (USA 1978). A complete soundtrack was composed by the band for the oblique Sci-Fi Horror Comedy Bad Channels, which was produced by Charles Band’s Full Moon Entertainment. In addition to some other bands (DMT, Joker, Blind Faith, Sykotik Sinfoney) on the compilation album from the film, they performed two songs as well. One of them is “The Horseman Arrive” with very interesting lyrics! The tagline for the film is something of a cult: In space, no one is safe from Rock ‘n’ roll!




  1. The Cure – Burn / The Crow (USA 1994)

Perhaps the best Comic Adaptation that was made into a film. A Gothic Horror Fantasy, dark, nightmarish, melancholic, stylized, unique, sometimes very violent, but always very beautiful and, especially, not boring! A timeless classic. The soundtrack presents some well-known bands of the 90s, such as Stone Temple Pilots, Violent Femmes, Nine Inch Nails, Rage Against the Machine, Helmet, Pantera and others. The song “Burn” from The Cure, aptly sets the mood for the film, as well as the sadness of the main character, Eric Draven. And somehow, the song fits the tragic real life story of Brandon Lee. The Crow will fly forever. Dedicated to Kary.

Song / Fanclip



  1. Brother Cane – And Fools Shine On / Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (USA 1995)
    Brother Cane was 1990 founded and released three albums in that decade. The song “And Fools Shine On” was featured in the film and was used to promote the movie. The song and the album Seeds reached number one on the US charts. Good song. The band today is as good as forgotten.

Song / Fanclip



  1. Pantera – Cemetary GatesTales from the Crypt: Demon Knight (USA 1995)

Groove Metal from Texas: Pantera! What happened to the band in 2004 at a concert in the US in Columbus, is the true horror story. Nathan Gale, 25, went onstage and shot and killed the guitarist “Dimebag” Dareel Abbott. Gale also killed band’s fan Nathan Bray, club employee Erin Halk and Pantera security official Jeff “Mayhem” Thompson and injured longtime Pantera drum technician John “Kat” Brooks and tour manager Chris Paluska before being shot dead by a police officer. A real sad story. The soundtrack for Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight featured next to the original score of Ed Sheamur plenty of hard noise of bands like Filter, Rollins Band, Gravediggaz, Ministry, Machine Head and Megadeth. The very gory Demon Knight is only recommended if there’s still a horror fan that has not seen this grenade yet.

Song / Videoclip



  1. Gus – Do not fear the ReaperScream (USA 1996)
    Again Blue Öyster Cult! This time, a cover version of the most famous song by the band. Gus Black a.k.a. Anthony Peloza, singer and songwriter from Los Angeles, has done a beautiful and creepy version of the song. The soundtrack compilation for the film had a lot of heavyweights on board (Nick Cave, Sister Machine Gun, Alice Cooper, Bird Train, Moby, among others).

Song / Fanclip



  1. Kula Shaker – Hush / I Know What You Did Last Summer (USA 1997)

The song appears briefly on a car’s radio in the movie, then over the end credits, courtesy of Kula Shaker, the scandalous psychedelic rock band from the Post Britpop Era of the late 90s. Of course, the song is well known to the ears, it was even a super hit of Deep Purple, who famously played the song. But the Deep Purple version was also a cover, since it was originally written by Joe South, an American singer and songwriter for the American pop and Country singer Billy Joe Royal in 1967. He enteredthe American’s charts with the song, but he hasn’t been the only one to record it. The song has been covered repeatedly by different singers of such different bands like Funk Machine (82), Milli Vanilli (88), Killdozer (89) Prime Movers (91) and Gotthard (92). The Electric Amish parodied  the song under the title “Mush” in 1996. Kula Shaker’s version was also used for the trailer to Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014).





  1. Dee Snider – In Conclusion / Strangeland (USA 1998)

Dee Snyder, the leader of Twisted Sister, always wanted to act in a horror movie, but no one let him. So he took a simpler route: he wrote one himself, Strangeland, loosely based on a Twisted Sister song, “Horror-Teria”. Also, he gave himself the starring role. The story of Captain Howdy, a crazed sadist who is into gruesome body modifications, tested in many variants on his young victims. Early torture porn. Strong sick stuff! The soundtrack compilation is one of the best in the biz. And Snyder song equally. Features songs from Megadeth, Anthrax, Sweet Tooth, Soulfly, Temple of the Dog, Coal Chamber and a few others. And stay away from Captain Howdy!!





  1. Tricky – Excess / Thir13en Ghosts (USA / CAN 2001)
    Great song by Tricky, a.k.a. Adrian Nicholas Matthews Thaws, vocalist, composer and producer, early collaborator of Massive Attack and pioneer of Trip Hop influenced by alternative rock and reggae. The song was featured a year later in another horror movie: Queen of the Damned (USA / Australia 2002). The backing vocals are sung by Alanis Morissette.

Song / Videoclip



  1. Johnny Cash – The Man Comes AroundDawn of the Dead (USA 2004) Remake

One of the song most frequently used in modern times in the film business. And unfortunately, too often. From 2003 to today, it’s been eighteen times in films, series or commercials. But to the main credits to Dawn of the Dead, the Johnny Cash song hits like a grenade, because the text and images, as well as the editing, simply go very well together. It was one of the last songs that Cash wrote before his death. From the appearance of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, Cash sings his ominous lyrics, filled with references to the Book of Revelation from the New Testament. Amen and goosebumps.

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  1. Lynyrd Skynyrd – Free Bird / The Devil’s Rejects (USA / Germany 2005)

Enfant terrible, musician and producer Rob Zombie, is also a director of horror movies (albeit totally controversial) that has had some success over the years. Perhaps his best film in his filmography is The Devil’s Rejects, because is the most consistent to his persona: an evil bastard to the horror genre and I meant that positively. The finale of The Devil’s Rejects is filmed and edited like a videoclip, but in this case it fits the film, especially the song “Free Bird” by Lynyrd Skynyrd, one of the most underrated band of its time. In 1977, band members Ronnie Van Zant and Steve Gaines died in a plane crash. The song itself kept being consistently good for many cover versions, played by the likes of Peter Frampton, Molly Hatchet, The Bronx Casket & Co. and Pish. The song was also featured in Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014) during the church fight scene.

Song / Movie Scenes


Bonus tracks


30. Blue Öyster Cult – Don’t fear the ReaperHalloween (USA 1978)

Classic! No comment!

Song / Fanclip


  1. Love and Rockets – So Alive / A Horrorfilm Compilation (2008)

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