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Horror-Themed Music Videos of the 1980s – Episode 135 – Decades of Horror 1980s

“Darkness falls across the land. The midnight hour is close at hand. Creatures crawl in search of blood. To terrorize y’all’s neighborhood.” Vincent Price helps make Michael Jackson’s Thriller one of the best horror-themed music videos of the 1980s along with director John Landis and special make-up effects designed and created by Rick Baker. Breaking out of our norm of covering horror films of the decades, for our special 2nd year anniversary episode we dive into the music videos that defined the Eighties, especially those with a tinge of horror to them. Join Dave Dreher, Christopher G. Moore, and Doc Rotten on this special visit back to when MTV played music videos 24×7 and some of them were as scary as they were awesome…well, in most cases…

Decades of Horror 1980s
Episode 135 – Horror-Themed Music Videos of the 1980s

For this episode, with the help of previous co-host and Decades of Horror co-founder Thomas Mariani, we dropped a list of 15 horror-themed music videos for the grue-believers to vote on. The top 10 of that list, we discuss on this podcast. We also present some missed classics as provided by fans of the show and some congratulations on our 2nd anniversary. Thank you all for participating and listening.

The Top 10 Horror-Themed Music Videos

  • 10 Total Eclipse of the Heart by Bonnie Tyler (2/83)
  • 09 Killer Klowns from Outer Space by the Dickies (88)
  • 08 Bark at the Moon by Ozzy Osbourne (83)
  • 07 Dancing with Myself by Billy Idol (82)
  • 06 Who Made Who by AC/DC (86)
  • 05 Pet Sematary by Ramones (89)
  • 04 He’s Back (Man Behind the Mask) by Alice Cooper (86)
  • 03 Dream Warriors by Dokken (87)
  • 02 Somebody’s Watching Me by Rockwell (84)
  • 01 Thriller by Michael Jackson (12/83)

The Ones We Missed

  • Dirk Rogers: Torture by the Jackson 5, TV Dinners by ZZ Top
  • Jane Smith: Too Much Blood by The Rolling Stones
  • Brian Davis: Lost in the Shadows by Lou Gramm from the Lost Boys soundtrack
  • John Doe: Land of Confusion by Genesis
  • Sean Henry: Rob zombie’s Dragula (Not the 80’s but it still rocks!)
  • Luis Franco: That “Somebody’s Watching Me” by Rockwell scared the shit out of me as a kid. Man,I miss the 80’s. The idea of a mini-movie to go with a song is a lost art. MTV is just not MTV anymore. There was 3 crazy sci-fi themed videos whose songs had nothing to with the video; Billy Ocean’s “Loverboy” KC & The Sunshine Band’s “Give It Up, Duran Duran’s “The Wildboys“.Worth watching if you’ve never seen any of them.
  • Jerry Chandler: My Name is Norman Bates (1981) by Landscape; Pet Shop Boys: Heart (1988) if just for the sheer WTF of seeing Ian McKellen as a vampire lip syncing Pet Shop Boys; Metallica’s One (1989) that’s a whole different kind of horror.
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A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987) – Episode 102 – Decades of Horror 1980s

“This is it, Jennifer: your big break in TV. Welcome to prime time, bitch!” Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) literally breaks Jennifer (Penelope Sudrow) through the fourth wall. Signaling Kruger’s breakaway hit into pop culture icon status. What better way to celebrate its 30th anniversary than with a whole Decades of Horror 1980s episode dedicated to it?

Decades of Horror 1980s
Episode 102 – A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987)

After his much-celebrated introduction and decried detour of a second chapter, Freddy Krueger returned to terrify teens and adults alike with a bit more comedic flair in Dream Warriors. After young Kristen Parker (Patricia Arquette) has a near-suicidal panic during a nightmarish visit from Freddy, her mother sends her off to an institution to work out her waking torment. Under the care of Dr. Neil Gordon (Craig Wasson), Kristen meets several other teens with similar sleeping disorders. Among them, the drug-addled Taryn White (Jennifer Rubin); the aggressive shit talker Roland Kincaid (Ken Sagoes); and paralyzed nerd Will Stanton (Ira Heiden). They all share visions of Freddy Krueger and need help getting him out of their dreams. But Dr. Gordon doesn’t seem to believe their shared boogeyman… until a mysterious new intern Nancy Thompson (Heather Langenkamp) reveals her own past with a sweater-wearing demon of her nightmares.

While 1984’s A Nightmare on Elm Street gave us our introduction to Freddy, Dream Warriors gave us the Freddy we all ended up loving for so many years. The jokes, the elaborate dream sequences and the formula for each teen’s descent into the nightmare world all came to light with this third entry. Doc Rotten, Thomas, and Christopher G. Moore talk all about it here. The murders, the dream sequences, and the… character investment? That’s right, our trio dives deep into what separates this from the repetitive sequels that followed and tried very hard to recapture the same energy Dream Warriors pulls off so effortlessly. It helps that people like Wes Craven, Chuck Russell, and Frank Darabont were all there to flesh out the Freddy universe without dragging out the details. Or putting too much emphasis on the jokes and cameos, as later entries would do. It’s a mutual admiration society meeting for this underrated “meat in the Nightmare on Elm Street sandwich.” What the hell does that mean? Listen to find out!

We want to hear from you – the coolest, most gruesome fans:  leave us a message or leave a comment on the site or email the Decades of Horror 1980s podcast hosts at thomasmariani@decadesofhorror.com or docrotten@decadesofhorror.com. We also want to be sure to thank Neon Devils for their killer track “Bone Chillin’” which we use for the intro and outro of this show.