Monster Kitsch

You know the segment of the horror and sci-fi movie spectrum we’re talking about here. The worse they are, the better they are; the lower the budget, the higher the entertainment value. And the more goofy and outlandish the plot, the more there is to love about it. They operate in an entirely different universe than venerated, “legit” horror films like, say, The Exorcist or Rosemary’s Baby. They’re the kind of movies that turn up in the wee hours on TV, or maybe in a cult film festival if you’re lucky.

Some of the songs assembled here pay direct homage to some of those films. For instance, Roky Erickson’s “I Walked With a Zombie,” John Cooper Clarke’s “(I Married a) Monster from Outer Space,” and Screaming Lord Sutch & The Savages’ “Dracula’s Daughter” are all inspired by the films that bear those titles. And after recording “House of 1000 Corpses,” Rob Zombie took matters into his own hands and directed his own movie of the same name.

Then there are the tunes that suggest an alternative history of cheesy horror movies, ones that never actually existed but sound like they should have. Blondie’s “The Attack of the Giant Ants,” The Hollywood Brats’ “Vampire Nazi,” and The Cramps’ “Burn She-Devil, Burn” are creations that originated entirely in the minds of the musicians, but after you hear them it’s hard to resist imagining them coming to life at three in the morning on your TV screen.

It’s the perfect playlist to fire up when All Hallows’ Eve rolls around, but if you’re a lover of B movies and vintage cinematic kitsch, these tunes will do the trick whenever you’ve got the urge to get gloriously tacky on the scary side.