Sunday, October 9, 2011

Birth of the Superbeast: Hellbilly Deluxe Revisited

And out of the darkness, the Zombie did call
True pain and suffering he brought to them all
Away ran the children to hide in their beds,
for fear that the devil would chop off their heads

ROB ZOMBIE!!! You say that name and the horror community magically transforms into polar opposite, opinionated argument machines. The trash talking begins and suddenly anyone who enjoyed House of 1000 Corpses or The Devil’s Rejects attacks him for his remake of Halloween and the sequel that followed. When rumors of a Blob remake surfaced the rumor mill became incensed. Now that he’s moved past that to Lords of Salem which, at this moment has started casting and is in pre-production, folks seem to have calmed down about their overall impression of him. I for one would have loved to see Zombie’s vision of the Blob. I was always a huge fan of Son of Blob and how blasphemous must that have been to those Steven McQueen purists? I enjoyed both Halloween films and both House of 1000 Corpses and Devil’s Rejects. I even like House of 1000 Corpses MORE than Devil’s Rejects which does not appear to be popular opinion. Saying so seems to stir the same argument as saying you enjoyed Halloween II. I’m a fan boy when it comes to Rob. That’s a fact. Biased as all get out and you’ll not have me believe that anything he touches isn’t pure plutonium hell bent on world domination.

While his movies may be a bit on the controversial side (and not really for gory content or extreme violence) Zombie’s music is well revered. He is an institution among horror musicians alongside Alice Cooper and the Misfits to name two rather popular groups. From his time with White Zombie to his separation with that band and move to a solo career Zombie wants to scare you – and he’s doing it. His music relies on typical heavy metal riffage with samples from horror/exploitation films thrown in. Add a healthy amount of a old pipe organs and haunted house fodder and you’ve got a brilliant album ready to pump you up for your horror-thon or to get you psyched for your football game. A fair number of bands could say the same but Zombie is a superb lyricist and has a unique vocal image that transcends most imitators.

With all that in mind we come to the item at hand. Mr. Zombie released Hellbilly Deluxe: 13 Tales Of Cadaverous Cavorting Inside The Spookshow International in 1998. This album did not go unnoticed by the fans who became fans of both Dragula and Living Dead Girl. Many will agree that the music is indeed rockin’ but where does this album stand from the perspective of the horror fan? We took a walk through La Sexorcisto and tore it a part finding the references pop culture and cinema that made it unique. Today we look back at an album that gave horror music long standing street cred with the stiffs. On the heels of the release of the sequel, Hellbilly Deluxe 2: Noble Jackals, Penny Dreadfuls and the Systematic Dehumanization of Cool, and looking over my shoulder to make sure the Great Pumpkin isn’t waiting to eat me let’s order a Rob Zombie Burger Deluxe, Hold the Onions.


Backing music contains the completely terrifying Horror Rises from the Tomb with horror acting great, Paul Naschy. I can’t express to you how this film may have changed my life. While I was familiar with Naschy’s name and the movie’s title I didn’t realize what a pleasure it would be to watch one of his films. I had seen a dreadfully cut version of Dracula’s Great Love as a kid and after having watched even just a short bit of the uncut version recently it must be said that he can charm the pants off of anyone. Probably me. But he’s dead, so you’ll never know! (know pants were removed in writing this segment).


This song has appeared in video grames and movies alike noteably Twisted Metal III and Valentine. It’s one of three tracks that saw music video releases off this album. Limited info exists over potential samples used in the song. Its possible that the “sound bytes” in question might just be originally recorded sound effects so enjoy the video and if you think you’ve got something on a sample’s origin feel free to comment.


"Superstition, fear, and jealousy" – Horror Hotel. After having endlessly heard Dragula played on the radio its nice to finally know where one of it’s samples comes from. Horror Hotel is a classic “evil witch” picture and stars Chris Lee as the know it all professor who may know a little too much about the occult. Enjoy the Misfits song, the movie Horror Hotel and Dragula, no matter which mix you prefer.

You may also enjoy Zombie’s music video for this rather popular number. Think Herman Munster in his dragster when you think of this song or this video. Some creepy 70’s style Spanish/Euro horror images here.


"Who is this irresistible creature who has an insatiable love for the dead?" – Lady Frankenstein.

That’s the catchiest sample horror music has seen in years. The title is based on the French horror film Living Dead Girl which bored me quite a bit. Almost to the point of DVD ejection. Doesn’t happen often, but the end sequence is worth it, visually anyway. There’s also references to Ilsa of naziploitation fame and Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine. Enjoy the trailers of all these classic pieces of cinema.

Let Ilsa come alive for you in one of her latter works:

Get hooked on the catchy theme song from Dr. Goldfoot.


Creepy organ and tribal drum beats reminiscent of Spanish horror classics not unlike Horror Rises from the Tomb, this appears to be an original creation. Enjoy the strangeness. Think Naschy without a head.


“Don’t lie to yourself. It gave you pleasure” - Daughters of Darkness

“Enjoy that dead girl’s body” – Daughters of Darkness

This song is ramshackle… well it seems like a fitting adjective. There are two fantastic samples on this track and a reference to the Conqueror Worm aka Witchfinder General. Dark, brooding and as crazy as the sleigh ride that will certainly kill you. Hopefully no one ends up with razor blades in their ears.


With a reference to Devilman in the lyrics which was also referenced in Super Charger Heaven off of Astro Creep 2000, this song is a Zombie anthem. You can dance to this song. When Rolling Stone said this album had a feeling of a Whitney Houston album I can assure you this song was where they go it.

I can’t help but think that the horn section mid way through the song is intentionally reminiscent of the soundtrack to Cape Fear. Watch the original. Robert Mitchum just might be scarier than Robert DeNiro in the remake which is a rough sell. Timeless.


How to Make a Monster is a classic off-B 50’s monster picture. It fits in so perfect with the Zombie persona as do all the characteristic monsters that show up throughout the film. This film also begins with the beautiful music from Horror Rises from the Tomb. Paul Naschy sends his regards.


Although not referenced in any documentation I can find I don’t think we can assume that Rob Zombie is a fan of the Creeper comic book character of that shares the songs name. It’s not completely unfounded but let’s just enjoy this eerie imagery and keep our speculation to ourselves.

Now that we have stopped speculating let’s talk about the devil we do know. “The Devil is in all of you!” – Mark of the Devil


A movie starring Boris Karloff and Chris Lee? I’ll take that. Christopher Lee plays a character by the name of Resurrection Joe. The Cult would later write a song by that same name. Not a horror film, but the trailer definitely thinks the movie will “SHOCK” you.

Who is Rosa Whore? Well the song references the Green Man Inn and there happens to be a book by the name of The Green Man by Kingsley Amis. Partial plot summary: “During this time Maurice begins to see ghosts around the inn – a red-haired woman”. Red hair. Green Man Inn. Ghosts. Sound like a potential zombie reference? Could be.


“13 Acres of Hell”

I can tell you that there’s a book called 13 Acres of Hell that is ripe for the plucking. Written by Alexander C Evans and about the battle between man, a demon and heaven. Draw your own conclusions.

While this in its own right is fascinating the origin of this sample comes from the trailer from the cult classic film Last House on the Left. With the recent passing of David Hess who played Krug Stillo and provided the tremendous score for the picture we urge you to pay tribute to Hess and his memory. He will be missed. Also check out his other work including House on the Edge of the Park.

“Ladies and Gentleman, I’d like to make the following statement. The young generation that sick generation. ”

This one is most likely from a 50’s PSA announcement. We’ll go with that until further notice.


This one open up with the Mass for the Dead (or at least a few bars). From what I can find in horror culture it appears to be from Circus of Horrors which is right up Zombie’s alley. It’s an AIP picture to boot. Double bonus points. If nothing else enjoy this trailer.

"She lays there, waiting for the sacrifice" – The Satanic Rites of Dracula

More Christoper Lee… it’s a thing of beauty and the reason that you should respect the zombie in spite of our differing opinions on this films, he’s got the best taste in movies.

The Phantom Stranger is also a comic book character that comes straight out of the golden age of 70’s horror comic mania.


Classic 1957 Sci Fi film lends its name to this disasterpiece ending filled with sounds from the beyond. The only line that is distinguishable is “Try to remember”.

This has been researched with some fervor and some educated guesses have been made. Think of this as a challenge. Go out and find out where these amazing songs get their spice.

-Dr. Zombie Holocaust

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  1. Wow, this is an Oraculum of Rob Zombie references. A compendium. Amazing. You and Justine's Halloween need to get together for a fanfest or something. I, however, will need to read this several times just to parse all the Christopher Lee references, and I do love me some Christopher Lee.

    I love the samples Zombie uses as intro material, and the wall of sound in Dragula kills me every time. But, I must admit, More Human Than Human and American Witch both rank higher in my times played file on itunes.

    Oh yeah, and Devil's Rejects all the way. : )

    This is really a great one, and I will come back to it. Thanks.

  2. I think my favorite thus far is the music from Horror Rises from the Tomb. Classic Paul Naschy and the eerie organ holds up to this day. I may play this score on repeat outside my house for Halloween.