When Halloween rolls around, we get out our ever-increasing mix of horror songs, many of which come from movies. List junkies that we are, we had the idea of ranking the best ones in order of greatness, scariness, coolness and cheesiness, or however the mood struck us. Unlike the Academy we are allowing cover versions, so long as they were actually recorded for the movie. We're also disqualifying instrumental and incidental music, which would include Bernard Herrmann's "Psycho Theme," John Carpenter's "Halloween Theme," Mike Oldfield's "Tubular Bells" and Goblin's music. These are pop songs only. Finally, we're disqualifying such classic Halloween party music as "Ghostbusters," "Weird Science" and "Time Warp," because they do not actually originate from horror films. Rules out of the way, here we go:
9. "Cat People," by David Bowie
From Cat People (1982)
Paul Schrader's remake of one of my favorite movies, the 1942 Cat People, is very good for many reasons, but this David Bowie song is the least of them. If memory serves, it runs during the closing credits and has very little to do with the film; it's actually called "Putting Out Fire (with Gasoline)," and it's probably better known to people who bought Bowie's hit Let's Dance album the following year. Nonetheless, it's Bowie, so it's at least listenable. Oddly, Bowie actually acted in a good horror film in 1983, The Hunger, but did not record any music for it.