You can only play “Monster Mash” and “Thriller” so many times at your Halloween party before you scare your guests away, and the last thing you want at your spooky shindig is the same tired playlist overstuffed with the cliche classic horror themes everyone uses. Don’t worry though, Nerdoween is here to help your ghoulish gala rise above the usual macabre musical malaise this year, with a collection of creepy songs from a source you might not have thought to look to–horror comedies. Some of our favorite frighteningly funny movies have fantastic, fiendish soundtracks of their own, so here are 12 songs made up of great title themes and memorable haunting hits to keep your Halloween party rocking this year.
1. An American Werewolf in London – “Traveling to East Proctor/Werewolf Theme”We’re starting with a song from one of the best horror-comedies of all-time, An American Werewolf in London. The film features a great soundtrack of songs with the word “Moon” in them, but we’re going to set the right haunting mood for our party with composer Elmer Bernstein’s super creepy werewolf theme song. No one would go to the moors if they heard this playing.
2. Shaun of the Dead – “The Blue Wrath”It’s no surprise Edgar Wright found the perfect track for the opening title sequence of his zombie comedy classic Shaun of the Dead. I Monster’s unsettling “The Blue Wrath,” with its jaunty beat and inhuman “la la la la” lyrics, is a as catchy as a virus.
3. Tremors – “Titles/Opening Sequence”You could do worse than to just put on the entire Tremors score at your party, but our favorite is composer Ernest Troost’s title track, an unnerving song that builds slowly to a dramatic crescendo. It’s so good your guests would never guess it came from a horror movie that is also hysterical.
4. What We Do in the Shadows – “Youâ€™re Dead”This perfect mockumentary about the banal lives of vampires features a great soundtrack, but we’re obsessed with Norma Tanega’s fantastic pop folk song “You’re Dead.” It’s a fun song that is inherently unnerving thanks to its repeated lyrics that scream Halloween.
5. The Evil Dead – “Ascent & Infection”We’re following up one of our most dance-able selections with one of our scariest, one of the many great, terrifying tracks from composer Joseph Loduca’s score for the cult classic The Evil Dead. You can’t go wrong with any part of this soundtrack, but the long notes in the middle of this scary synth song genuinely leave us on edge, wondering when the nightmare will end.
6. Zombieland – “For Whom The Bell Tolls”Metallica’s “Sandman” might be a classic Halloween track, but there’s a reason Zombieland went with this song from their 1984 album Ride the Lightning. It’s dark, heavy, and everyone knows church bells are inherently scary. It’s no wonder it’s still one of the band’s most popular songs ever.
7. Gremlins – “Too Many Gremlins”Some of these horror-comedy soundtracks, like composer Jerry Goldsmith’s Gremlins soundtrack, are consistently great, which makes it hard to choose just one song from each. We went with “Too Many Gremlins” because of its attention-grabbing start. Plus, even though it is unsettling and weird, it has the perfect energy for a party. It also gets bonus points for its title. The idea of an exhausted character looking at the camera, shrugging their shoulders and sighing, “Too many gremlins” is extremely funny.
8. The Cabin in the Woods – “Last”As with Metallica, you can make an entire kick-ass Halloween playlist from Nine Inch Nail’s songs, so we’re pumped Chris Hemsworth’s meta horror-comedy about a group of friends-turned-test-subjects includes this song. If we were trying to escape a killer cabin in the woods, this song would help us run through a wall.
9. Killer Klowns From Outer Space – “Hidden Klown Ship”Since our last track runs the risk of creating a Halloween mosh pit we want to calm things down a little without turning down the creepiness, and composer John Massari’s scary score for the wonderfully absurd Killer Klowns From Outer Space is perfect for that. We went with “Hidden Klown Ship” because it has an operatic feel to it, like it’s telling its own frightening story.
10. The Frighteners – “Superstar”The Frighteners with Michael J. Fox is an underrated classic, as is Sonic Youth’s slow, methodical, very disturbing cover of the classic song “Superstar.” It’s impossible to listen to this without shuddering. This is what ghosts plays when you visit an abandoned rock venue. This is included on playlists for Halloween parties in Hell.
11. Creepshow – “Welcome to Creepshow (Main Title)”Did you know the word “haunting” was created to describe the sound of a piano? Well it probablyÂ was… But even beyond the off-putting notes of Creepshow‘s main title from John Harrison’s fantastic score are the song’s classic Halloween shrieks and cries. Everything about this upsets us, which is why we love it so much.
12. Planet Terror – “Cherry´s Dance Of Death”Our final track is a bad-ass instrumental number that’s equal parts rock, mariachi, and horror: “Cherry’s Dance of Death” from Grindhouse‘s Planet Terror. Written by director Robert Rodriguez and performed by the Mexican rock band Chingon, it’s the perfect song for both a movie where a woman fights zombies with her machine gun leg and your Halloween party.Even though these movies made us laugh, they also scared the crap out of us, and what could be better than that for rocking out during the creepiest time of the year?But what other songs from horror-comedies should we have included Tell us in the comments below what track you would add to this playlist?
Featured Image: Warner Bros./Universal/New Line