Saturday, October 30, 2010

Halloween Videos #4 - The Final Chapter

You'll notice that I mostly avoided heavy metal - the horror-movie element is pretty obvious throughout the genre. That being said, I thought Rob Zombie's "Hellbilly Deluxe" was one of the all-time great albums.

The video could have been helped by a higher production budget, though.

Now, the Squirrel Nut Zippers put out an album in 1998 called Perennial Favorites, which had no real hits, but a video in the style of the old Max Fleischer (Betty Boop) cartoons.


And finally, this Halloween season, we have a song which almost everybody knows, happily screamed by children for decades now. Literally decades - it was twenty-six years ago (crap, I don't feel old...) that they released the first movie (or the first step to creating a multi-media franchise, depending on how you look at it), Ghostbusters

This is another video you may never have seen. It was released along with the movie, but has never been packaged with DVD releases, because shortly after the movie came out, Huey Lewis (of "Huey Lewis and the News," who had a video in my previous entry in this series) sued Ray Parker, Jr., for plagiarizing "I Want a New Drug," which had been a hit earlier that same year.

They settled out of court, on the agreement that neither one would mention it ever again. Which is why Ray Parker then sued Huey Lewis in 2001 for mentioning it on VH1's Behind the Music - karma is a motherfucker.

It's good that nobody clued in the British pop group "M" in on the possibilities - they could have sued Huey Lewis for lifting from their song Pop Muzik. And on back into history, as several other people have used that theme, or one like it. (This is all explained in a short story by Spider Robinson called Melancholy Elephants.)

The video, like the movie that spawned it, was directed by Ivan Reitman, and had cameos by a bunch of celebrities who'd had no part in the movie, like Chevy Chase, Irene Cara, John Candy, Al Franken, Danny DeVito, and several other New York based stars.

The model, in case you're curious, was Cindy Harrell, a young model and actress who worked primarily in commercials, but with a number of TV and movie rolls, for almost a decade, from 1980 through 1988. She's now a wife, mother of two, and activist, working on education, the environment, and national security: she was one of the driving forces in procuring $25 million in government funding to launch and expand the UCLA High Speed, High Volume Laboratory Network for Infectious Diseases, which helps the Department of Homeland Security on bioterrorism issues. (It must be nice to be married to a studio executive, and able to afford to be a mother and activist...)

Ray Parker, incidentally, said that he wrote the song in two days (Huey Lewis, interestingly, had been approached to write the theme song, but bowed out due to other commitments). He has said that he would have felt silly singing the term "Ghostbusters!" ("I ain't afraid of no ghosts" is better?), which is why you only hear it from the background singers.

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