Gary Wilson Shares His Top Six Scary Movie Selections for Halloween
With Halloween fast approaching, WMF felt it would be appropriate to check in with Gary Wilson for classic scary movie recommendations. After all, Gary isn’t just one of the most innovative and intriguing experimental and DIY musicians of the last several decades, he’s also a connoisseur of spooky cinema. So enjoy these scary selections directly from Gary, and Happy Halloween!
1. Curse of the Demon - Curse of the Demon starring Dana Andrews is one of my favorite movies – it was made 1957. In the 1960s when I was a little boy they started playing midnight movies on TV, so I would watch this one when I was seven or eight year old. I’ve recently been fortunate enough to get a copy of it. It has good acting, a good mood – everything. A lot of these newer scary movies just have teenagers being murdered, but I like the movies that have good acting and a good soundtrack.
2. Black Sunday - Black Sunday is from 1960, or around that time. It was directed by the Italian director Mario Bava and stars Barbara Steele, who I’ve always liked. I want to get her in a [Gary Wilson] video actually. Dave Robles, the bassist in Gary Wilson and the Blind Dates, actually met her at one of those horror conventions. Black Sunday was made in Italy, and was originally titled Mask of Satan [La Maschera del Demonio]. When it was released in America it was called Black Sunday. I actually prefer the Mask of Satan version because it had a better soundtrack than the American version.
3. Carnival of Souls - The original Carnival of Souls was a low-budget horror film that was made in 1962. I never liked the remake. From what I’ve read lately, I guess [this film] inspired David Lynch and George Romero. When I worked the midnight shift at the store, I would often play this movie after midnight throughout the store so all the patrons could hear it. That would go on for hours and hours. I still watch that one periodically. This is also one of my favorite soundtracks – it has an eerie pipe organ that plays throughout the movie.
4. The Haunting - The Haunting– made in 1963 – is a very good one. The director Robert Wise did a really good job. It has nice cinematography, great music, and is just a great movie. Julie Harris stars in it.
5. Tormented - Tormented is a good one from 1960 that’s about a jazz musician whose girlfriend accidentally dies falling out of a lighthouse. So the piano player- played by Richard Carlson –is haunted by the girl he didn’t save. It’s an interesting, scary, ghostly kind of a movie.
6. The Hypnotic Eye - The Hypnotic Eye came out in 1960, and is a movie I used to see as a little boy. I used to go to the theaters starting when I was eight to watch horror movies. The Hypnotic Eye always stuck in my brain. It’s a gory movie in a sense, and has a strange turn at the end.
There are even more, like The House of Usher starring Vincent Price — I really like that film. And there are the TV-series as well. Thriller with Boris Karloff in the 1960s was probably my favorite.
Cover photo; Nick Lane for WMF