Happy ROCKTOBER, fiends! To celebrate the heaviest month of the year, and in honor of this month’s Sound of Screams theme, let’s take a look at some more of the absolute sickest guitars from horror movies!
WARNING: These guitars just might melt your face clean off.
Brodie is a teenage metalhead, so when he starts a band he plays a B.C. Rich Warlock. I don’t know what the kids are into these days, but for like a fifteen-year stretch the Warlock was the official guitar of high school headbangers. You could pick them up for real cheap, and they were a great entry point for the sharper side of guitar construction. If you walked into a pawn shop with $150 in cash right now, there’s an 80 percent chance you could walk out with a B.C. Rich Warlock. The design is pretty scary to begin with, but towards the end of Deathgasm Brodie finds a way to make it even more lethal.
Trick or Treat
Sammi Curr, Rock’s Chosen Warrior, wreaks havoc on the high school dance in Trick or Treat playing a red Fender Stratocaster with a black pickguard and headstock. Don’t get me wrong, that’s pretty rad, but it’s not Sammi‘s guitar. That strat belongs to the band at the dance, Curr just borrows it. Instead, let’s talk about the guitar Sammi rocked in life: a B.C. Rich Ironbird. This extremely 80s design is perfect for a shock rocker like Curr, because it already looks like it could kill you. Sammi Curr plays the Ironbird in the archival footage that the news report at the beginning plays, and it also shows up in a lot of promotional material for the film. If you, like Eddie, want to emulate Rock’s Chosen Warrior, you should sling an Ironbird over your shoulders and shred til you’re dead… and then some.
Todd and the Book of Pure Evil
In the horror comedy TV series Todd and the Book of Pure Evil, young slacker Todd has to track down the mysterious Book of Pure Evil as it spreads its malevolent power across the students of Crowley High. One of the book’s first appearances is when it transforms into a Guitar of Pure Evil, allowing Todd to shred like a demon. Based on the headstock and body shape, it looks like this prop was built on a Gibson (or Epiphone) Flying V. It’s not listed as an option on their website, but I bet you could get the Gibson Custom Shop to make you a Flying V wrapped in the flesh of the doomed… if the price is right.
Phantom of the Paradise
What can be said of Phantom of the Paradise, besides this movie is amazing? The bulk of Phantom is keyboard-driven, but there are still some sick guitars on display here. Let’s focus on Beef: he holds (but doesn’t really play) a semi-hollowbody Framus 12-string during his final performance, but I wanna talk about the scene where Swan decides Beef is the right vocalist for the Phantom‘s music. Dressed in a gold suit, the glam rock prima donna struts his stuff with an Ampeg Armstrong guitar, the coolest thing in the world. This plexiglass-bodied wonder is clear, so the audience doesn’t miss a thing, and its dense construction gives it sustain for days. Legend has it that the prototype model was strummed in 1968, and that chord is still ringing today. That’s not important for Beef though, because he just holds it and yells.
Shock ‘Em Dead
Shock ‘Em Dead tells the story of an aspiring guitarist who forges an arcane pact with a being of unfiltered evil in order to rock the world with a band called Spastic Colon. For closeup shots of hands flying across the guitar’s neck, the movie enlists virtuoso guitarist Michael Angelo Batio. He essentially works as a stuntman, but just for guitar parts. Batio also appears in the movie as the devil, and it’s awesome. Surrounded by fog and flanked by scantily-clad women, MAB pulls off some fretboard fireworks on a doubleneck B.C. Rich Ironbird. The trick here is that instead of having the two necks run parallel to each other, the two necks point in opposite directions so that Batio can play two guitars at once! Everything about this movie is cheesy, but come on- shredding two guitar parts simultaneously is rad.
Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny
In the climax of comedy-horror-musical–stoner–road trip movie Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny, JB and KG have to defeat the devil (Dave Grohl) in a rock off. Turns out the devil likes heavy metal, and he can light up a triple-kick drumset as well as blast fiery licks from his guitar. The guitar in question is a Washburn Dime 333 model with a lightning bolt motif. This was one of the signature guitars of the late Dimebag Darrell from Pantera and Damageplan, and it was based on his original Dean ML. The ML is basically the front half of a Gibson Explorer and the back half of a Gibson Flying V, so it’s like the middle of a Venn diagram of classic heavy metal guitar designs. To customize this guitar, Satan added a “666” decal to the headstock. If you wanna rip like the devil, you’re gonna need the Pick of Destiny!
Are you working on a new riff so evil that it must never be heard by innocent ears? Let us know over on Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, and the Horror Fiends of Nightmare on Film Street Facebook page! And for more reviews, recommendations, and guitar picks that mysteriously go missing because a GHOST has stolen them, stay tuned to Nightmare on Film Street.