AUNT JOHN SEZ: I love me some horror movies and I love me some musicians, but you know what I really love? That’s right, horror-movie loving rock stars! They really hold a special place in my heart, so I am pretty stoked to say that not only did we receive some pretty super traumafessions from Melissa Rodenbeek and Hiram Lucke of the super group THE HARVEY GIRLS, but they were also kind enough to let us debut the new video for “Caerse Muerto” from their latest album “I’ve Been Watching a Lot of Horror Movies Lately.” So let’s take a trip down bad memory lane with Hiram & Melissa and then we’ll peep their video which pays tribute to EVIL DEAD and CEMETARY MAN. Take it away Hiram…
I have an uncle who is a very religious man. He’s the kind of guy who keeps Chick Tracts around the house in large bags to give away (he’s a preacher, after all.) I used to read them as a kid when visiting his family, mainly because they were spread out on the coffee table. Later, I figured out this was probably on purpose — although he was very nice, he would occasionally say things to my parents like, “God watches over his flock, even those that stray,” say after they related a story about narrowly avoiding a car wreck. Because I was the kind of kid who regularly checked out ghost stories and gothic tales from our town’s very small public library, I was drawn to Jack Chick’s crude depictions of good and evil.
One day I read a tract in which a man looks in the mirror only to see his face melting because of his sins. This was during an HBO summer* when I watched Poltergeist about 357 times. The scene where one of the paranormal investigators looks in the mirror and watches his face disintegrate into maggot-filled goo and blood running into the sink… remember that? Well, I couldn’t get it out of my mind, and with this new image firmly nestled against it, I didn’t look in a mirror for years. In fact, I would purposefully run past a large mirror we had in our hallway while turning my head the other direction. Luckily, I was still a few years from puberty so I didn’t have to worry too much about my appearance.
I also never went to church again.
*This is Melissa’s phrase for summers in the Midwest — Kansas to be exact. It’s when you’re young and have no money to do anything and it’s 100 degrees for three months, if not longer, so all you do is sit around watching cable with a fan blowing on you (or, if you’re lucky, in the air conditioning — which my parents didn’t decide to get until I’d left the house). You end up watching a lot of movies over and over again. I would do things like count the number of stunt people… I believe PREDATOR had the most, with around 150 listed in the credits. So, that’s an HBO summer.
THE OTHER (1972)
So for some damn reason, this movie aired regularly on CBS in the late 1970s, when I was a credulous and easily startled child. The setting is a wholesome 30s-era farm, where young twins Niles and Holland Perry (CHRIS and MARTIN UDVARNOKY) run around saying “cripes” a lot. UTA HAGEN plays a mystical Russian grandma reminiscent of all the Bensonhurst babushka ladies whose mustaches I both feared and esteemed. UTA teaches Niles “the game,” which permits him to psychically link to another’s mind. It’s a satisfyingly dramatic process, entailing hoarse whispering, profuse sweating, and folding like a T.V. tray at the end from the sheer mental effort of it all.
Niles spends most of his time connecting to and freaking out about Holland, a remorseless junior psychopath. I cried when Holland flung a cat into a dry well. I cried when Holland sunk a baby into a water barrel so that just a bit of dark hair floated at the top. But what scared me too much to cry was the finger — cut off a corpse with a pair of garden shears, carefully wrapped in tissue paper, and hidden away until it was green and fat as a corrupt sausage.
It’s just not fair that the little girls in THE SHINING get all the creepy twin glory.
(The movie features an outstanding lyrical soundtrack by JERRY GOLDSMITH, who also scored POLTERGEIST. Suggested drinking game: Every time Niles portentously whispers “Holland,” chug a lemonade.)
AUNT JOHN SEZ: Thanks Hiram & Melissa! Be sure to check out their Top 10 Horror Movie Music Moments, and get a copy of “I’ve Been Watching a Lot of Horror Movies Lately” from Circle Into Square.
And now, let’s watch the world premiere of “Caerse Muerto”: