Jeff's Staff Pick: October 27, 2022

What’s up Sorry Staters?

Welcome to an especially spooky edition of our newsletter. I’m hoping the rest of the gang’s staff picks will similarly be in the spirit at the tail end of this October. Halloween is only a few days away and we’re trying to make sure the store is a comfortable place to visit for all the fiends and ghouls out there. I try to celebrate Samhain in as many ways as I can. I wish I were more on the ball with decorating, finding a cool costume, and making big Halloween plans like going to a haunted house or whatever. One thing I do always manage to squeeze in is watching movies.

Over the last several years, the 1989 movie Night of The Demons has become one of my all-time favorites. There’s so much to love about this movie. First off, I love that the events of the movie actually occur on Halloween night. I watch plenty of movies during the season of the witch that are spooky or have some sorta creature or crazed killer running around, but I love a movie that visually exudes the Halloween spirit. The basic plot of the movie is that a group of teenagers all meet at an abandoned crematorium to have a spooky Halloween party. The animated opening credits sequence is so awesome and really sets the mood. The cast of characters is great, namely my favorite dude Stooge, the heavy-set, foul-mouthed punker wearing the pig nose. Not to mention Amelia Kinkade as the party host Angela and the always great scream queen Linnea Quigley as the vain and boy-crazy Suzanne. There’s an angry old man who says horrible shit about kids having fun on Halloween, but then gets what he deserves (I won’t spoil it). The demon make-up effects are top-notch and super memorable, namely Linnea in the lipstick scene. While the film reads as low budget, there are some amazing dolly and POV shots that are super well-done. Blah blah, I could go on and on.

All this said, I gotta talk about the music in the movie. During the main party scene in the movie, all the characters are dancing and pounding beers to this heavy metal tune blasting out of a boombox (which happens to be covered in stickers, and a sneaky COC sticker makes an appearance, hell yeah!). The song that plays in the background is a song called “Computer Date”. If my brief research has any validity to it, I’m pretty sure the song was recorded by the director’s brother Dennis Tenney. If I imagine the scenario when Night of The Demons was being made, I could totally see the director Kevin Tenney being like, “Oh sure, brother Dennis, we can use one of your songs in the movie.” In the background of the scene, the song sounds pretty rockin’. It comes across like the perfect general beer-guzzling heavy metal tune a bunch of rowdy 1980s teenagers would rage to. But what’s crazy is that I’ve read Youtube comments on different uploads of “Computer Date,” and there are several people saying things like, “I remember waiting for this movie to play on HBO just so I could hear this song!” Which is super cool. I’m also pretty sure there wasn’t a soundtrack readily available when this movie came out. It’s interesting to imagine an era when a song that played in a movie was kind of a mystery. This was before internet sleuthing allowed all the information you needed to be right at your fingertips. Before you could watch Night of The Demons on streaming as many times as you wanted, or look up the song on Discogs. You either had to go rent the VHS tape at a video store or hope that it would play on late-night cable. Now, when I pay close attention to the song… Is it the most amazing heavy metal song I’ve ever heard? Not exactly haha. But I will admit that I do kinda love it, maybe in part because of its close association with this movie. It’s corny in some ways, but also charming, tongue-in-cheek, clever, kinda funny, and put together ambitiously. Most of all, the song is super catchy with cool backup harmonies that get stuck in my head. Also, some pretty killer shredding guitar. I would love if there was randomly a 7” single from 1989 with “Computer Date” and some other song from the movie on the b-side. Perhaps featuring some cool cover art with Stooge wearing the pig nose and holding the boom box… Maybe with a speech bubble that says, “Alright dudes!” Or something like that haha.

Songs that accompany horror movies and that don’t have much life beyond the context of the film are so interesting to me. Or cameos from bands, whether it’s Dokken or WASP appearing in Nightmare On Elm St or Ragewar, respectively. I hope you readers out there have your own favorite horror movie banger that you love. Jam “Computer Date” if you haven’t and I hope you love it in the same way I do.

Anyway, that’s all I’ve got this week my fiends and ghouls. Hope you have a killer Halloween. As always, thanks for reading.

‘Til next week,


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