Music Video of the Day: Scream! by The Misfits (1999, dir. George Romero)


Depending on where you go, this was either directed solely by Romero, or by both him and Richard Donner. Considering I can’t find any credits for the two of them working together elsewhere, and Donner appears to have only directed two unrelated music-videos, I am going with just Romero. There is also an explanation on Wikipedia about how this video came into existence that seals the deal for me:

The music video was directed by George A. Romero, famous for his Living Dead film series. Bassist Jerry Only has expressed admiration for Romero, calling Night of the Living Dead “still to this day one of the scariest movies ever made.” At the time Romero was in Toronto filming Bruiser and needed a band to perform during the film’s final murder scene. The Misfits agreed to perform in the film and to record two songs for the soundtrack in exchange for Romero directing their “Scream” video. According to Only, “It was an even trade, we shook hands and the deal was done. Business complications soon followed and I became very unhappy with my record label and my publishing company.” No soundtrack was issued for Bruiser. The Misfits’ two songs, “Fiend Without a Face” and “Bruiser”, along with the demo version of “Scream”, were released in 2001 on the compilation album Cuts from the Crypt.

The “Scream” music video consists of black-and-white footage of the band members as zombies terrorizing a hospital along with a number of Misfits fans, interspersed with color footage of the band performing live. A promotional VHS version of the video was included for free with the purchase of a set of Misfits action figures from 21st Century toys in 1999 and 2000. The video was also included in an enhanced CD-ROM portion of Cuts from the Crypt in 2001.

With Romero’s passing yesterday, I thought I’d see if he ever did a music video. He apparently did for the legendary punk rock band, The Misfits. With a little search, I can see why they would ultimately end up doing a video with Romero. They did a song called Night Of The Living Dead in 1979 and are a horror based punk rock band. They would later do songs called Land Of The Dead and Twilight Of The Dead. Their history as a horror band is chronicled over on Wikipedia.

From what I can tell, this was rather late in the game for The Misfits in the sense that they were having band overhauls including not having original lead-singer Glenn Danzig. That’s as far as I’ll go talking about the band because my knowledge about them until I did some reading right now consistened of the following:

Oh, yeah. I know of The Misfits. Much like Meat Puppets, Mudhoney, Green River and others, their names always come up when they talk about bands like Nirvana and Soundgarden. The bands that didn’t get enough attention, but if you want to know where the grunge explosion came from, then these are groups you are supposed to look at.

So, with no joke intended, rest in peace Romero. Enjoy the music video.

I didn’t find out that Martin Landau also passed away yesterday till after having written this post. Amazingly, this connects to him as well. The Misfits used to have their own record label called Blank Records. Then Mercury Records wanted the trademark to it, and exchanged studio time with the band for it. The band renamed the label, Plan 9 Records, after Plan 9 From Outer Space (1959). Rest in peace, Martin Landau.