[Mourning Jams] Day 4: “Living Dead Girl”

October 2019 is a celebration of horror and music

This October, Daily Grindhouse is celebrating the collision between music and horror with a series of posts under the banner of Rocktoberfest 2019. There will be daily features, recurring bits, and some special posts around the subject.

Mourning Jams is your daily kick off every morning with a different music video that has some horror elements to it. Crossing genres, decades, and more, it’s a good way to get in the spooky mood this Halloween month.

Robert Zombie has been a fixture in the horror adjacent world long before he began making his hellbilly grime flicks and wading into fanboy debates with franchise reboots. Zombie (born Robert Bartleh Cummings) incorporated a lot of throwback horror imagery and props into his stage work as frontman for the band White Zombie (itself a reference to the 1932 film), and basically just kept that going when he went solo with 1998’s Hellbilly Deluxe. In addition to the spooky elements of his performances, Zombie incorporated lines of dialogue and other sounds from older horror movies directly into his songs. In “Living Dead Girl” alone, there are samples from LADY FRANKENSTEIN, THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT, and DAUGHTERS OF DARKNESS.

But for the video, directed by Bobby Zombs himself (and Mourning Jams All Star Joseph Kahn), the musician goes even further back to evoke the German expressionism (and basic story) of 1920’s THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI, with use of intertitles, irises, grainy footage and awkward cuts. It’s a fun juxtaposition of the old nightmares with the new, and presages some of Zombie’s cinematic fascinations that would show up just a couple of years later in HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES (though that film wouldn’t be released for three years more due to ratings issues).

Tune in tomorrow and every morning in October for a new music video to help start the day on the frightening foot as Halloween swiftly approaches.

Rob Dean
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