Without question, Michael Jackson's "Thriller" is the ultimate horror themed music video. Say what you want about the late Jack-O, the video was right on the money for horror fans. Zombies, werewolves, Vincent Price, John Landis... it was perfect. I guess I could've lived without the zombie dance number, buy, hey, it's a music video, not a horror movie.
So, we all know "Thriller", but what about other horror themed music videos (back when the "M" in MTV stood for "Music")? There were actually quite a few - some predating MTV. There's the obvious early alternative bands like Bauhaus, The Cure and Siouxsie and the Banshees that put out some pretty Gothic looking videos. And of course there's a million heavy metal videos with horror themes (i.e. Dio's "Last in Line"). But it would be too easy to put together a post with obvious choices like Ozzy's "Bark at the Moon" or something from Alice Cooper, Danzig or The Cramps. Let's dig a little deeper.
First up is Walter Egan's "Full Moon Fever" (1983). You remember him from "Magnet and Steel", but here's a video you might've missed. The movie theater + werewolf aspect is very similar to "Thriller", but they came out at about the same time; so, I doubt it was an imitation.
[Note: I didn't want to embed every video, because tons of YouTube videos in a single post can bog even the best computers down. So, for some, I've just provided the link.]
Pet Shop Boys: "Heart" features Sir Ian Mckellen as a vampire!
Heuy Lewis and the News: "Doin' It All for My Baby" - sure it's a lame song, but the video is a nice homage to those good ol' monster movies of yesteryear.
Squirrel Nut Zippers: "Ghost of Stephen Foster" - takes place in a haunted house and made to look like an old Betty Boop cartoon. Incredible.
The Rattles: "The Witch" (1970)
Ray Stevens: "Sittin' Up with the Dead" - Yeah, this is the guy who sang "The Streak"; never really cared for his brand of novelty music. However, I got to give him some credit for having a song and video about the reanimated dead.
Screaming Lord Sutch: "Jack the Ripper"(1963) - a classic.
(Check out the funky 1977 version here)
Greg Kihn Band: "Our Love's in Jeopardy" - zombie wedding with effects by Sid Terror of the band, The Undead.
The Rolling Stones: "Too Much Blood" featuring a clip from Basket Case, and Keith Richards with a chainsaw.
Landscape: "My Name is Norman Bates"
Sheena Easton: "Telephone" featuring Frankenstein
Billy Idol: "Dancin' with Myself" - it's like Fame, only with zombies.
Eddie Money: "I Think I'm in Love" (1982) - Money as a vampire - I love it.