Don't you hate it when someone makes a list of “great films you haven't seen” or “great books you haven't read” or writes an internet think-piece about the “best TV show you're not watching”? I mean... how does this random jerk know what TV shows I watch and what books I read? For all he knows I've seen it all. I could be way more cultured than him, yet here he is presuming to tell me that I haven't seen this shit, in turn making himself out to be some super expert in the field, who can apparently access these deep reserves of pop culture us average joes could never hope to find. I mean... where the hell does he get off?
Anyway, here's a list of my favourite songs from horror musicals you haven't seen...
5. 'CONFRONTATION', JEKYLL & HYDE
“You can't control me, I live deep inside you. Each day you'll feel me devour your soul.”
Let's start with the obvious. 'Jekyll & Hyde: The Musical' is over 25 years old. It has toured all over the world. It was on Broadway for four and a half years and became the longest-running show in the history of the Plymouth Theatre with over 1,500 performances. A hell of a lot of people have seen this show. So why do I presume you haven't? I guess because there's never been a film adaptation. I mean... not everyone makes it to Broadway. And not everyone scours Youtube to watch videos of Broadway productions. And for that reason, I'm guessing most people have yet to hear 'Confrontation', undoubtedly the best song from the show. Of those that have, its fewer yet who have seen my personal favourite interpretation of it, from the one and only David Hasselhoff. I'm always surprised to learn that there are still people in this world who don't know that the Hoff can sing. Well he can. If you want proof, watch him take on the task of singing this complex, operatic, totally over-the-top duet – both parts. I love it.
4. 'I BITE BACK', BILLY THE KID AND THE GREEN BAIZE VAMPIRE
“I don't have albino alligators living in me bath. I never bit a Bible salesman – well, only for a lark.”
This is where we start getting a bit more obscure. 'Billy the Kid and the Green Baize Vampire' is a mostly-forgotten musical from Alan Clarke telling the story of an epic snooker match between the title characters. It's a deeply strange film, difficult to follow, with a weird tone and weirder set design, that seems to place it in a world several steps removed from our own. The songs are all over the place. But 'I Bite Back', the theme of The Vampire (Alun Armstrong), is a belter.
3. 'I WILL BE FAMOUS', RE-ANIMATOR THE MUSICAL
“I'll be taking all you've got, like in a marriage (only one that's not so hot).”
I caught 'Re-animator: The Musical' when it came to the Edinburgh Fringe. Aside from the fact it starred TV's George Wendt (lovely singing voice) I didn't know what to expect. And I had a great time! I love the original film and the musical is a fitting tribute, with a great cast, clever staging, plenty of splatter and some pretty damn catchy songs. 'I Will Be Famous' is not my favourite (I'd have rather posted 'He's Dead, Dan') but it is the only one on YouTube and it's a lot of fun.
2. 'THE CAT IS DEAD', LITTLE DEMONS
“We chopped him into little bits and seasoned him with apple pits.”
This one's a bit of a cheat. 'Little Demons' is a horror musical that doesn't actually exist, but I wish it did. From what I can gather, it was a project started by Danny Elfman in the early 1990s that was never completed. Allegedly telling the tale of three young tots who kill people to try and resurrect their dead mother, all that remains of 'Little Demons' are a few demo tracks.
Most of the songs sound vaguely like other Danny Elfman songs or scores, presumably because he took what he could from the failed project and tried to use it elsewhere. But 'The Cat Is Dead' doesn't really sound like anything else. It's creepy, it's fun, it's got a nice Halloween vibe to it and I think it's overdue another, better recording.
1. 'GRACE FOR SALE', THE DEVIL'S CARNIVAL
“Tongues, tongues, slither in the mud. That's how a carnival grows, my son.”
Lately, I've become a little obsessed with 'The Devil's Carnival'. From the people who brought you the bat-shit insanity of 'Repo: The Genetic Opera', 'The Devil's Carnival' is an episodic musical odyssey that aims to tell the story of a war between Heaven and Hell. The first part, released in 2012, followed three unfortunate souls down to Hell, a carnival realm lorded over by Terrance Zdunich, where each met fates befitting their sins on earth. The second part, 'Alleluia!', was released earlier this year, exploring a 40's film studio-style Heaven populated by the likes of Tech N9ne and David Hasselhoff (there he is again), with the one and only Paul Sorvino crooning his heart out as the Almighty.
It's extraordinary stuff and right now I'm waiting for everyone else in the world to get their act together and watch it so that we can all share in its magnificence, sing the songs and start getting excited for episode three.
Of the existing episodes, 'Alleluia!' has the best songs. All of 'The Devil's Carnival's finest are withheld to the end, and views will differ about which is the best. But it's hard to deny that 'Grace for Sale', Satan's rousing showstopper, kicks a lot of ass.
Seem 'em all? Seen something else I may have missed? Let me know!