6 Weirdest Product Placement in Video Games

Hideo Kojima’s debut title for his new studio, Death Stranding, is one of the biggest games of the year. Everyone is talking about its artsy style, bizarre story, and whether or not it is fun. The other thing that has popped up is the hilariously random product placement of Monster Energy drinks, but DS is not the first to put real-world goods or corporations inside of a digital world.

#6: Final Fantasy 15 Cup Noodle

Not only can you find Cup Noodle throughout Final Fantasy, but you can also even get a hat of Nissin’s well known easy to cook soup. You know you reached peak product placement when it is built into the game, and the option for DLC comes for hungry gamers to spend their money on a cosmetic item of their favorite junk food.

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Image via Nissin/Square Enix
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Image via Nissin/Square Enix

#5: Alan Wake and Verizon Billboard

In case Alan or anyone playing Alan Wake needs a new provider, Verizon apparently has your back. You can find a billboard that shows the telecommunications company. If you work in advertising, I guess you have to take any chance you can get to promote your company.

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Image via Remedy Entertainment/Verizon

#4: Burnout Paradise Voting Obama

During his 2008 run for President, Obama had a variety of billboards for his campaign throughout Burnout Paradise. Video games are a great way to escape the toxicity of politics until you see a sign hanging above the beautiful landscape that you would like to cruise around.

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Image via EA

#3: Driving a Mercedes in Mario Kart 8

Mario Kart is full of crazy vehicles that fit in Mario’s universe. One way to immerse yourself in the real world is driving a Mercedes like it is a traditional racing title. Games like Forza make sense, but finding this in Nintendo’s racer is bizarre, especially when their games have a younger leaning fandom.

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Image via Mercedes/Nintendo

#2: A Gamer’s Dream in Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker

The stereotype for gamers is that we love playing a game for a countless amount of hours while eating Doritos and drinking Mt. Dew. Well, no worries, you can find powerups of Doritos and wear a shirt of your favorite soda in this Metal Gear title.

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Image via Pepsi Co/Konami/Frito-Lay

#1: Every Sport Game

Watch any sport like American football, or football in every other part of the world that the United States calls Soccer, or anything else you can think of. All of them have advertisements across the stadium. So, if you want to play as an athletic superstar, then you will also see ads for fast food and video game companies.

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Image via Pepsi/Sony Interactive Entertainment/EA

What other games can you think of that have product placement? Let me know in the comments.

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Every Call of Duty Ranked From Worst to Best According to Metacritic

The Titanic-sized shooter franchise, Call of Duty, just had one of its biggest hits, which are bold words as the FPS has always been monumental in sales. After over a dozen games and not keeling over from its own weight, I thought it would be interesting to see where critics would rank every game, so you know it is time to head to Metacritic and do a ranking.

This is focused purely on main titles. Any spinoff like Finest Hour will not be listed.

Some calculations will be done to account for varying scores on other platforms when the game was originally released. Occasionally some of the titles came out the same year but on different consoles, those will count.

#1: Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare – 93.33%

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#2: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 – 91.33%

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#3: Call of Duty 2 – 87.5%

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#4: Call of Duty: Black Ops – 85.33%

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#5: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 – 84.66%

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#6: Call of Duty: World at War – 84%

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#7: Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 – 83.66%

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#8: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare – 81.66%

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#9: Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare – 80.66%

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#10: Call of Duty: Black Ops II – 80.25%

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#11: Call of Duty: Black Ops III – 78.33%

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#12: Call of Duty 3 – 78.25%

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#13: Call of Duty: WWII – 77.33%

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#14: Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare – 76%

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#15: Call of Duty: Ghosts – 72.83%

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#16: Call of duty – 58%

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6 Must-See Supernatural Horror Movies

Killers or monsters will scare some, but that is a physical threat that you can fight against. A ghost or demon that defies reality makes it harder for victims to survive the hopeless situation. For those who think you can fight off a horde of zombies or a home invasion, good luck with these threatening beings.

#6: It Follows 

It Follows makes sex even deadlier as a shapeshifting entity slowly hunts you down unless you give someone your supernatural transmitted disease. It makes for a unique monster with a narrative that does not rely on blood, guts, and nudity. The focus on tension and atmosphere makes this a chilling experience to watch while making anyone question who you are banging.

#5: Hereditary

Hereditary is the most traumatizing movie I have ever seen. A mix of family drama and religious horror is a combination that will haunt you after the credits have entirely rolled.

The theme of possession has been beaten to death, but Ari Aster crafts something with a different angle as it focuses on a family’s grief and twists it into psychological abuse from a secretive force lurking in the shadows for a sinister agenda. I hope other filmmakers learn from Aster’s masterful debut before chucking out some generic mess with CGI spirits.

#4: The Exorcist (1973)

Children are terrifying, especially when being controlled by Satan. To this day, the original Exorcist is one of the most horrific films ever made by its pacing that ramps up into a nightmarish experience, be sure to not sleep alone after watching this 1973 classic.

#3: The Shining

Stephen King may not like it as it differs from his best seller, but Stanley Kubrick made a brilliant adaption that makes it his own. It is an excruciating slow burn, but seeing Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) lose his mind and terrify his wife (Shelley Duvall) and son (Danny Lloyd) is worth the wait. A mix of psychological and supernatural horror builds to a hit that will leave you needing time to recover, good luck.

#2: The Evil Dead

It is hard to turn the corner without seeing a nod to Sam Raimi’s ultra brutal classic. A book turning friends and objects into demons makes for an insane bloodbath. The relentless violence pushes the limits for today’s standards with one scene involving a tree raping a woman putting her under the power of the Necronomicon.

If you need some comedic relief with a pinch of horror, then this will help you cope with some of the other more dramatic entries on this list.

#1: IT (2017)

King’s epic got a modern take that did the book some justice. Besides its brilliant casting, IT brings together a nightmarish monster that tackles different areas of his prey’s psyche to open them up for an attack. Pennywise remains as one of the most terrifying antagonists in horror history for a good reason.

The list can go on and on, so what did I miss? Tell me your favorites in the supernatural genre.

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6 Must-See Classic Slasher Movies

Blood and gore thrives in the extremes for horror. Each decade the boundaries get pushed further as fans crave for more violence and filmmakers uncover more ways to dismember their cast. For anyone craving to see people get slaughtered this Halloween, then take a step back into the classics that kick-started this craze over brutal murder.

#6: Psycho (1960)

Alfred Hitchcock was dying down in success in the late 50’s until his 1960 hit Psycho. Not only did it change what it meant to create a thrilling, violent experience that will shock audiences, but it changed how audiences attend a theater. Now you are expected to sit through the entirety of a film and endure every sadistic idea that gets depicted on the big screen.

Plus, it is hard to find a more iconic killing than the shower scene.

#5: Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

Wes Craven’s iconic killer Freddy Krueger goes into some terrible movies down the road, but the debut appearance of the dream stalker holds up nicely after 35 years later.

A brilliant premise that changes the pace for the genre that is known for slaughtering young people. We need sleep, and many people enjoy getting snuggled in their bed and getting lost in a dream after a long day. Making something so essential into a death sentence is horrifying for both 1984 and 2019 viewers.

#4: Scream (1996)

Craven has a great trail of corpses and blood, but as the genre started to go stale, he found a twist to revive the struggling form of horror. Scream takes itself as a serious horror flick while parodying the genre to give it some life after becoming oversaturated. It comes off a bit too cheesy at times, but it is a classic that ages well enough to enjoy as the masked killer strikes fear into the citizens of a small community.

#3: Halloween (1978)

A lot of the violence looks fake with some poor acting and clunky shots, but what Halloween gets right is its unsettling villain who stalks his prey. When reserved, John Carpenter’s masterpiece works well, despite being held down by some elements that do not work 41 years later.

#2: The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

The level of gruesome murders that are shown on screen can give this flick the crown as the biggest influence. For today’s standards, it still manages to rival other films with its insane brutality. Leatherface and his cannibalistic family are some of the scariest killers in the killing business.

#1: Black Christmas (1974)

Unlike more in your face films like Chain Saw Massacre, Black Christmas takes a more methodical approach when trying to make its audience not sleep well for the foreseeable future. It is uncomfortable as the college girls are haunted by a mysterious man. Once it ends, you will be left in chills with its unforgettable ending.

For fans of Halloween, this is Carpenter’s biggest influence that lead to his massive hit. Now you have a bigger reason to go see this dark twist on the most joyful holiday.

I bet you are screaming at your computer or phone about something I missed. When you are feeling like watching people get slaughtered one by one, then which are your favorites?

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5 Must-See Zombie Movies

Since George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead, zombies have taken over the world. It is mind-boggling how popular these flesh eaters have become. The genre has more trash than gems, I hope to help with these five movies as the dead rise and survivors drop.

This is a focus on horror, so no comedies like Shaun of the Dead will be mentioned. I do love everything Edgar Wright related, but it is not a mood setter for Oct.

#5: REC

Found footage can cause a divisive reaction from horror fans. I have had bad luck catching anything good, until I saw this Spanish flick.

A late-night TV host and her cameraman do a feature special on local firemen. When a call comes of an emergency at an apartment building, the crew get locked inside with its occupants as zombies are inside. It may seem dopey, but this is one of the most horrifying movies I have seen from the undead genre.

Hollywood made two of its own called Quarantine, but we can all forget that ever happened.

#4: Train to Busan

While Spain made a more horror-driven film with REC, Korea came out with its more action oriented take with Train to Busan. Memorable characters, poignant themes, and a roller coaster ride full of action. This will please action fanatics and zombie aficionados alike.

Of course, America wants to remake the film. James Wan (Saw, The Conjuring, Aquaman) is set to head the movie, and I am not the least bit excited.

#3: Night of the Living Dead (1968)

I had to put what started this obsession with the deceased coming back to eat the living. I am not a huge fan of most of what he has done since his innovative classic, but Night of the Living Dead is a piece of treasure in the late filmmaker’s catalog of work.

#2: 28 Days Later

I prefer the sequel, 28 Weeks Later, but Danny Boyle set it off with this fast paced twist on zombies. The thrills get enhanced with its spectacular score by John Murphy which kicked off my appreciation for a film’s music.

#1: Dawn of the Dead (2004)

I am not a fan of Zack Snyder (Batman v Superman), but his first feature-length movie demolishes the original by Romero. James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy) wrote the screenplay along with an awesome soundtrack with Johnny Cash and Disturbed, I have to hail this above its predecessor.

A mix of some levity, horror, and explosive action to make this one of my favorite movies that gets my blood pumping every time I turn it on.

What are some of your favorite zombie flicks? Give me some recommendations.

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40 Facts You (Probably) Did Not Know About Alien

Ridley Scott may have some duds in his history as a filmmaker, but Alien towers over most of his work along with anyone else in the business. The classic sci-fi horror flick turned 40 years old this past May. Now it is Oct. with Halloween around the corner, it is time to celebrate with 40 facts that you may never knew about this landmark movie.

#40: A Different Title

The recognizably simple name was almost not Alien, instead it would have been titled Star Beast. Dan O’Bannon was writing the first draft with the later name and did not like it. One writing session inspired him with some dialogue that changed the name to Alien, mostly because he liked that the word is both an adjective and noun.

#39: Star Wars Sold Alien

O’Bannon and co-writer Ronald Shusett had trouble trying to convince a studio to get this horror film made. After a missed deal with B movie writer, producer, and director Roger Corman lead to landing an official deal Brandywine Productions, a company with ties to 20th Century Fox, but a wall was still being hit as Fox wanted to change the script. Once Star Wars smashed the box office, every studio needed a sci-fi flick, opening up the door for Alien to come out the way the writers wanted.

#38: Creature Designs Come From a Painter

The facehuggers, chestbursters, and the Xenomorph all came from a surrealist painter named H.R. Giger, who worked on Dune left to a relationship between him and O’Bannon. The writer was inspired by the artist’s dark artwork and got him on his sci-fi project.

#37: Ripley as a Man?

Sigourney Weaver is hailed as one of the best role models for women looking for an empowering heroine. Except, her iconic role as Ripley was almost a man. The characters were all written as men, but could be swapped without making a difference to the film.

“Looking it over, [producer Walter Hill] and I thought, ‘Here’s this one character who’s not too interesting,’” Brandywine producer David Giler said. “And this studio—I hate to say this, but for very cynical reasons—this studio [20th Century Fox] is making Julia and Turning Point and they really believe in the return of the woman’s movie. [We’d] probably get a lot of points if we turn this character into a woman.”

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#36: Ash Was Later Added

Initially the secret android Ash (Ian Holm) was not in the original script. After the producers pushed for it, he joined the rest of the crew. Shusett was on board, but O’Bannon was not a fan.

#35: Nostromo Origins

The ship’s name, Nostromo, comes from a 1904 novel of the same name by Joseph Conrad. The other reference to the author is through the shuttle Ripley uses to escape, Narcissus. That other novel has an extremely racist title, so we can just move on from here.

#34: The Man Behind the Alien

Balaji Badejo, a Nigerian student who out of complete luck got the part as the Xenomorph. He moved to London to study graphic art, and when sitting in a pub, he got spotted by a casting agent who called producer Ivor Powell. The 6’10” student was hired as he was the first person seen who could fit in the large costume.

#33: Chestburster Surprise

The cast was not told what would happen to Kane (John Hurt) besides that a creature would appear. Scott wanted genuine reactions, and that is what he got when the alien bursts out of the man’s torso. Yaphet Kotto who played Parker reportedly stayed locked up in his room and did not talk to anyone after shooting the scene.

#32: Chestburster Inspiration

What inspired the iconic brutal scene comes from O’Bannon’s digestive issues with Crohn’s disease. Something brewing inside of him that felt like something was trying to escape his body.

#31: Meryl Streep and Harrison Ford Almost Got Casted

Eyes were set on Meryl Streep or Sigourney Weaver. Weaver was unknown, and Streep was a huge star after staring in The Deer Hunter. Due to Streep’s boyfriend, actor John Cazale’s death, it was decided it would be best to not put her through a horrifying experience with chest exploding from a worm-like alien. The rest is history as Weaver got to play Ripley, making her the ultimate bad ass.

Harrison Ford turned down the role as he did not want to do another sci-fi flick right after Star Wars. Leading to Tom Skerritt to get the role as Dallas.

#30: A Translucent Alien

The Xenomorph costume was almost translucent as bringing Giger’s designs to life became a challenge. Scott did not like the design when it was made. He came up with the idea to make the alien black to sneak through the shadows and make for a scarier experience.

#29: How John Hurt Got Hired

John Hurt was Scott’s first choice, but commitment issues with another film got in the way. Jon Finch was hired, but due to medial issues with his diabetes, he collapsed and was taken off set. Hurt got an opening at the right moment and got one of his most famous roles.

#28: Cast Clashing With Scott

Scott took a long time to shoot as he wanted everything perfect. This tedious process got on Skerritt’s nerves. He openly expressed his annoyance to the director as the waits were testing his concentration and patience. After the  film was done he has said the whole thing was worth the frustration.

Kotto had another problem, he worked best when improving. A tight budget and work schedule does not allow sharp turns to change some dialogue or the character’s action. He brought up ideas to Scott, but was usually shot down.

#27: Facehugger Shot Upside Down

To manage the iconic facehugger scene, Scott had to get creative when filming. The camera was placed upside down so the audience can see the slime that covers the egg to drip up. The director put on some gloves and moved the alien for an added effect along with an air cannon to shoot out pig intestines.

#26: Dallas’ Fate

A deleted scene shows Ripley going through the ship. Dallas who had disappeared into the shadows is then found encased in a cocoon. Scott cut the scene due to pacing reasons, but it does dismiss the mystery of Dallas’ death.

#25: Composer Jerry Goldsmith Got Screwed Over

Scott hated the original score the Jerry Goldsmith had composed as it felt like most other films and feed into the tone. Out of spite, Goldsmith tried to make the weirdest music possible, which the director and producers fell in love with.

Scott threw out other musical cues for certain scenes. Some temp tracks were kept outside of editing purposes that made it into the final product. Other parts of the score were moved or thrown out like the credits, leaving Goldsmith to having little impact on the film’s music.

#24: Test Audiences Felt Sick

For today’s standards, Alien is still gruesome and disgusting with all of its slime and guts. Audience members screamed, gasped, vomited, fainted, and one person who tried to flee in the chaos broke an arm. It was the type of reaction that the filmmakers had only dreamed about.

#23: A Box Office Hit With a Limited Release

For its time, $3.1 million is a lot of money for a movie to earn. Despite its small release with a peak number of theaters hitting 757 showings, the fans could not get enough of Alien. Constant sold out shows raked in the cash even with a low amount of places to go see the film.

#22: The Who Helped Out

Rock legends The Who helped with the filming. Blue lights in the egg chamber came from the band’s own lighting system. They were testing somethings out next door and let the crew of Alien use it to add to the atmosphere.

#21: Scaring the Cat

To get Jones the cat to react to the alien, a German Shepherd was brought on set. A screen to separate the two made it so the cat would not hiss immediately until it was lifted up to reveal the dog.

#20: Toned Down Violence

Those fainting and vomiting audience members got some of the blood and gore take down a notch. With the possibility for an X rating, which it did get in the UK, the violence went into R territory for a wider release.

#19: Acid Blood Origins

An alien is hunting your crew down, then why not shoot it? Well, it has acid blood, so no shooting or stabbing it. Concept artist Ron Cobb came up with the idea to avoid having the crew killing the invasive creature minutes after seeing it.

#18: Best Summary Ever?

The producers had readers who would summarize the film. It was described as “It’s like Jaws, but in space.” Brilliant, awesome, and accurate.

#17: Eyes or No Eyes?

Giger’s first drafts in his concepts for the Xenomorph, it had eyes. When gearing up to make the official design, the eyes were removed to remove the emotion from the bloodthirsty alien.

#16: Machine Operated Alien

Before getting Badejo in the costume, Scott wanted animatronics to control the alien, similar to Jaws or down the road with Jurassic Park. Due to technical limitations, the decision was made to make a costume and get someone to wear it despite the fear of it looking too fake.

#15: Film Inspirations

The three main inspirations came from Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope and 2001: A Space Odyssey for the sci-fi elements and The Texas Chain Saw Massacre for the horror influences.

#14: Green Facehugger

The original design had the facehugger to be green. After seeing the its resemblance to human skin, O’Bannon argued to keep the color as it is.

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#13: Scrapped Sex Scene

Ripley and Dallas were meant to have a sex scene together. It was meant to show how the crew blew off steam and to feel less lonely in the vast emptiness of space. Skerritt told Scott it disrupted the flow and felt unnecessary, which the director agreed and scrapped the scene and any references to it all together.

#12: You Are My Lucky Star

Weaver had the idea for Ripley to sing You Are My Lucky Star from Singin’ in the Rain. Scott liked it, but the studio fought against having the song. The budget was tight enough which caused plenty of issues, so the song would add more tension to the film’s money, but it made it into the final product.

#11: Fox Doubles the Budget

Going from a budget of $4.2 million to $8.4 million was a decision Fox made from some of the film’s concepts. Artwork and storyboards got the suits at the studio to give Scott extra money.

#10: Egg Ingredients

How the crew created the eggs came from various animal parts. It was a mix of cattle hearts, stomachs, and the tubes were made up of sheep intestines.

#9: Up the Hooter

In preparation of Ash shoving a rolled up magazine in Ripley’s mouth, Scott explained the scene to Weaver. Some confusion came out of that conversation as he told her the magazine is going “up your hooter.” In America, that means breast, so Weaver was a little lost going into shooting this moment.

#8: Getting Woman Approval

To make sure Scott had an appropriate heroine, he invited a group of women from the production office to watch a screen test for their perspective. The ladies were impressed by Weaver’s performance.

#7: Ship Name Changes

Nostromo was not the first pick for the name of the crew’s ship. It started off as Snark then to Leviathan, then to the name we all know now.

#6: Storyboard Art Inspiration

Scott’s storyboards were inspired by comic book artist Jean Giraud. The French artist was known for his sci-fi, fantasy, and Western comics.

#5: Held Up By Customs

Giger was held by U.S. Customs at the Los Angeles International Airport when they discovered his concept art for the facehugger. O’Bannon had to come by to explain that it was for a horror movie they were making.

Sadly, people still cannot separate reality from a movie.

#4: Android Blood and Guts

Ash’s internal parts and “blood” was made up a mix of various ingredients. Colored water and for close-ups, milk was used. Pasta and glass marbles were used for his “organs.”

#3: Behind Parker’s Death

Kotto’s head had a fiberglass cast made and filled with pig brains. A wax forehead was created so the teeth of the alien could penetrate easier. Barbed hooks for the teeth helped it bite in easier and that is how movie magic is made, crafting material and animal organs.

#2: Cast Passing Out

The actors had problems getting cool enough or getting enough oxygen in their space suits and within the claustrophobic environment. Several of the cast had fainted under the extreme conditions while shooting.

#1: First Test Screening Failure

The test screening where people ran and vomited was the second. The first test screening had audio issues, causing a lackluster response from the crowd.

 

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6 Rock and Metal Songs/Albums Based on Horror Movies

Metal and rock music mixes perfectly with the spirit of Halloween. The shocking genres match the levels from horror movies. Bands often gain inspiration from the spookiest or bloodiest of films. If you are a metalhead trying to get into the mood this Oct. then this list will set you up perfectly for the rest of the month.

#6: The Black Dahlia Murder – Raped in Hatred by Vines of Thorn

Vocalist Trevor Strnad got into horror from Evil Dead then got into metal due to horrifying album covers. In classic fashion from the Michigan natives, Strnad focuses less on the brutal side of the horror-comedy film, but on the weirder, and more disturbing aspect. His perspective hones in on a tree raping a woman and turning her and controlling her mind to kill her boyfriend and friends.

#5: Deceased – Elly’s Dementia 

Few bands scream horror like Deceased. The underground death thrash metal group’s addiction to movies that will leave you wide awake at night is highlighted from the final track from the album Supernatural Addiction which takes inspiration from the classic found footage flick, The Blair Witch Project.

#4: Ice Nine Kills – The Silver Scream

The metalcore outfit’s latest release is an anthology of various horror flicks from American Nightmare, based on Wes Craven’s masterpiece Nightmare on Elm Street, to adapting from the 1984 cult classic Silent Night, Deadly Night with the song Merry Axe-Mas. There is something for everyone on this diverse record full of killers and monsters.

#3: Rammstein – Engel

Taking inspiration from the vampire queen dance scene, Rammstein take their own interpretation with this track. It is everything you would expect from this odd German group with an added scary ingredient.

#2: Rob Zombie – Living Dead Girl

Of course Rob Zombie has a song based on a horror film, the guy directs his own creations and has made a name for himself by his theatrics. Living Dead Girl takes inspiration from a French film called La Morte Vivante. Now time to check out this track and movie.

#1: Deicide – Dead By Dawn

Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead guided many bands towards writing terrifyingly brutal music, especially Deicide. You know you are starting your career off right as some of the first pioneers of a gruesome genre when you write a song on a movie where people get dismembered and possessed by demons.

I know I missed a lot with a list of six songs, so what horror based tracks will you be listening to when getting ready for Halloween?

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