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July 20, 2010

Random Horror Throwdown - Weird Al Yankovic Triple Threat Match Edition!

(Note from The Mike: Before our main event for the evening, I need to cover a few housekeeping issues. First up, I must point you all toward, where Zach S. has a killer blogathon going down. He asked yours truly to participate, and I was honored to do so. So, head on over and read about a horror film that broke my heart. It's a sad story, true, but when you come back here you'll smile and know that it ended well.

Secondly, a thank you must go out to Sarah of The Spooky Vegan, who bestowed The Versatile Blogger award on FMWL today. Though I've just recently found this blog, I've long been a fan of the other site Sarah runs, A big thank you goes out to her!)

Now, let's party....
I think it'd be safe to wager that there aren't many people under 30 who haven't spent a bit of time listening to "Weird Al" Yankovic. I owe a large amount of my love for the master writer of sung spoofs to my old friend Trav (to whom I currently owe a review of the demented comedy The Road to Wellville....more on that some day). Last fall, on a road trip that ended horribly for me (because his Bengals beat my Packers), the two of us covered what was basically Weird Al's entire discography in the 15 hours we spent on the road. It was glorious.

And today, when Enbrethliel over at Shredded Cheddar (one of my favorite bloggers, it's true) started her own "Weird Al" Yankovic Song Smackdown, she gave me a gigantic dose of inspiration. Thus, I'm forgoing the normal Random Horror Throwdown procedure - with apologies to Flickchart - so I can pit three of my favorite Horror/Sci-Fi based Weird Al songs against each other in one brutally hilarious menage a trois. No points, less categories, one winner to rule them all.

The Competitors:
Nature Trail to Hell (in 3-D) (from the album "Weird Al Yankovic In 3-D", 1984)

Christmas at Ground Zero (from the album "Polka Party", 1986)

The Night Santa Went Crazy (from the album "Bad Hair Day", 1996)

The Plots:
If you took the time to listen to all three of these songs, and have any doubts that they belong on this site, consider this: Each song, despite being released on three different albums in three different decades, was the final track of said album. Like the midnight movies I love, these were the songs that only the late night crowd could really love.

Nature Trail to Hell in 3-D
immortalizes the slasher craze of the early '80s perfectly. It's darn near impossible for me to hear it and not think of Jason Voorhees. In fact, I'd say it IS impossible, so disregard that sentence. The fictional flick even sounds a little more brutal than anything that ever went on at Camp Crystal Lake, as Al promises that the killer "hacks up two or three (Cub Scouts) in EVERY scene". Somewhere, Rob Zombie is drooling on his horrible actress/hot wife.

Christmas at Ground Zero is a far more jolly tale....or at least it sounds like it. Actually it's about living in a nuked winter wonderland. Like the great apocalypse tales - you know, like Panic in Year Zero! -
Al's song focuses on what normal folks can do in case of the end of the world; and the song's light-hearted nature also reminds of Kubrick and Dr. Strangelove.

Then there's The Night Santa Went Crazy, which plays like a child of both of these songs. It's got a bit of Rambo, and even a reference to Freddy Kreuger, but it sounds more like a hardcore holiday version of the awesome (if only in idea) Michael Douglas flick Falling Down.

The Most Horror-tastic Lines:
These are no doubt among Al's most sadistic songs, and it shows through. Christmas at Ground Zero reminds us that "if someone's climbing down your chimney, you better grab your gun and shoot to kill"; while The Night Santa Went Crazy tells us that a militant Santa "picked up a flamethrower and he barbecued Blitzen. And he took a big bite and said 'It tastes just like chicken!'" Nature Trail ensures that you'll "see severed heads that almost fall right in your lap" and "see that bloody hatchet coming right at you". But my favorite bit in that one might be Al's promise that "If you like the 6 O'Clock News then you'll love.......Nature Trail to Hell!" This category is way too close.

The Subversive Bits:
A gibberish segment in the middle of Nature Trail to Hell states that "Satan eats Cheese Whiz" when played backward. And neither Christmas song was well received by the masses, as Christmas at Ground Zero was banned from radio play. The Night Santa went Crazy was released as a single in an "Extra Gory Version" (which is the one I've linked above) which features Santa viciously facing his demise.

This Choice is Like:
Y'know what movie I love, and what movie you should love too? ALL ABOUT EVE. I know....The Mike just went with a 1950 movie about dueling high society actresses on this site. The thing is, All About Eve is as brutal as movies get when portraying feuds between humans...brutal enough that it almost resembles the horror blogosphere. It was so brutal in portraying the rivalry between Bette Davis and Anne Baxter that when both actresses got nominated for the Oscar...they both lost because they split the votes that Eve lovers had to give. Someone I don't even remember won that Oscar, because these two ladies were so good at doing the same thing. Really, they were
so good that Marilyn Monroe could barely get a word in. Marilyn. Monroe.
And that's what's happening to me here. I love both Christmas songs, but I can't really say one is that much better than the other. Nature Trail to Hell in 3-D does its own thing, does it awesomely with spot-on spoofing and the awesome Cheese Whiz gag. So, since the Christmas songs are splitting one part of my brain, I'm declaring it the winner. And really, out of these three, who doesn't want to see that movie happen? Make it so, Lords of Horror!!!!!


deadlydolls said...

1. I heart Weird Al and thank thee for reminding me about some of this songs I never really listened too closely to.

2. All About Eve does indeed boast two amazingly memorable performances. Bette Davis is the very definition of a movie star: not quite a chameleon, but still an incredible actress who grabs any film by its balls and delivers the goods.

Travis Blubaugh said...

Nice work Mike, and thanks for the plug. I must admit it was a great trip and probably more rewarding for myself (as you pointed out). Patiently waiting "The Road to Wellville"

Enbrethiliel said...


Yay for Nature Trail to Hell! =D That would have been my choice, too, and not just because I love the Slasher subgenre so much.

And oh, man, I was just musing the other day that the evening news is as much a Horror medium as the movies. (Thanks, Scream 2 for pointing that out!)

Zach S. said...

you mentioned me and Wierd Al in the same post. THAT is the true honor, good sire.