Put on your best spandex, studded leather straps, and break out the hairspray. It’s time for Heavy Metal Horror! Your professors for this episode are Mike and Liz, true metalheads both, as Eric plays the role of the general population of metal familiar, but not metal saturated fandom.
Few things in popular culture as naturally fitting as horror movies and heavy metal music. These truly are two great dark tastes that go great together, like chilis and dark chocolate, soaked in blood. And baked in a hellfire oven, and serve HOT! Turn the volume up to 11!
The ’80s forged the permanently linked bonds with horror, in the conservative Reagan era ethos. For suburban parents across the world, the cultural enemies to their way of life were twofold: heavy metal music and video nasties. And the kids of suburbia, particularly the disaffected children of the era, took that as a cue to indulge heavily in both. The rebellious spirit of the era against the plastic safeness of the times forged a bond of blood with the fans of both.
As dark and serious as the music that inspired the movies were, the movies tended to be a bit on the silly side. Producers were quick to recognize the appeal of both of these genres to teenagers, and the resulting products were a bit on the safe side as the horror movies go. Many of the prominent films of this genre were released to capitalize on the trends just after the peak of slasher films and hair metal. In retrospect, these movies proved to be quite as fearsome as the moral majority may have feared.
But, both of these genres continue on to modern times. As We Summon the Darkness and Deathgasm show, there is a deep love of this marriage from hell that lives on today, in a bit of a nostalgic twist. With the amount of ’80s retrospectives like Stranger Things, It, and all those Ti West movies, it would not surprise us if there comes a great hair metal period piece offering in the near future. Somebody call Kirk Hammett!
Oh, and thank you, Canada, for providing us with so much heavy metal horror!