ByDrew Grimm Van Ess, writer at
Horror aficionado/nerd. Follow my blog for film reviews, book reviews, and interviews.
Drew Grimm Van Ess

Last week, I touched up on how the pencil can do nasty things. If you missed it, read my article here: Six painful pencil scenes

This week, I figured it's time to take notice at the way musical instruments are used in horror movie victims' demise. There's still a lot that could be done with this topic in cinema, not nearly enough instruments are or have been used as kill objects. Aside from the guitar, there's not a lot of memorable scenes. And there's still a plethora of untapped instruments that would make for some entertaining kill scenes. I've never seen someone killed with a harp. I think that'd be pretty funny.

Music is often used as a weapon when you take a look back at horror. In 1987's vampire classic, "The Lost Boys", a stereo is used in the finishing of a blood sucker, making for one of the films best and most iconic scenes. In 2004, the horror-comedy "Shaun of the Dead", used throwing records at zombies as a defense strategy, and it's nothing less than hilarious. Honestly, I don't think I'll ever see the "Batman" (1989) soundtrack the same way again after watching that scene. And let's not forget, 1996's "Mars Attacks!" where country music is the death of aliens, and literally makes their heads explode. There's limitless references to music in films of every genre, those were just a few.

I've compiled a small, modest list of the kills that stand out, and are the best of the best involving some sort of musical instrument. Three of these six are guitar scenes, and while they're all awesome, it's a shame there's not a wider array of musical objects used in the murder of some hapless movie victims.

The Town That Dreaded Sundown (1976)

Probably the most absurd execution on this list, the Phantom (Bud Davis) in "The Town that Dreaded Sundown" uses a trombone with a knife on the end to stab a woman several times in her back. It's no doubt the thing that I remembered most after viewing the feature for the first time. I thought it was pretty idiotic to be honest, but it stood out. And it's definitely original, amongst other things...

Trick or Treat (1986)

This movie is a classic and Halloween-time favorite. And both Gene Simmons (KISS) and Ozzy Osbourne (Black Sabbath) make an appearance in it. Sammi Curr (Tony Fields, December 28, 1958-February 27, 1995) is a rock star returned from hell who kills people using his energy to electrocute them through his body, and his guitar. Once the shock hits his victims, they turn into an ashy decrepit skeleton.

Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989)

We all know that Jason Voorhees has had some crazy off-the-wall kills in his past, and although "Jason takes Manhattan" is far from the golden standard in the Friday the 13th series, one of it's best scenes involves Jason killing a rocker-chick with her own guitar (see pic at very top of post). It's funny, mean, and overall entertaining.

Slumber Party Massacre 2 (1987)

This is a movie you can really only watch if you're in the mood to be amused or else you'll find it completely annoying and ridiculous. It's fun from the comfort of your own home, on your couch with some friends, but that's about it. However, there is a scene in which The Driller Killer uses his guitar with a custom built-in drill on the end. And he tears a male victim up with it. One thing I can say about this flick is that it does supply you with gore to ease the pain of watching the film as a whole.

Cabin Fever (2002)

Director Eli Roth broke into the horror genre with this gory low-budget classic in 2002, and since then, he's gone on to become a huge name. There's no photos to be found for the scene at-hand, but one of the funniest moments in "Cabin Fever" is where a guy playing a harmonica gets hit in the face with an acoustic guitar, causing him to swallow his instrument. While choking to death on the harmonica in his throat, you can hear it playing from the low-quantity air coming in and out of his body. Pretty funny and unheard of. And I still consider this to be Roth's best film to date.

Dead and Breakfast (2004)

When all hell breaks out in a barn bar, and possession starts catching like the flu, some wild things go down. Including a cymbal thrown through a guys forehead. Ouch. Although it's a very underground motion picture, "Dead and Breakfast" has a cult following. It's notorious for being gross, gory and hysterical. It's also known as a nod to "The Evil Dead" (1981).

Hopefully at some point in time, when we get more instrumental deaths, I'll be able to do a second list; a part 2 to this one. But for right now, that's about all we've really got creativity-wise that are worth mentioning.


What's your favorite death on this list?


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