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Metal and Horror: 7 Rockers Who Have Done Both

In the upcoming documentary THE HISTORY OF METAL AND HORROR, Director Mike Schiff, Producer Robert L. Lucas and Executive Producer Brian Slagel explore the history of heavy metal music, horror films, and how the two genres have merged together over time.

The film project, which is still in production, features interviews with metal mainstays Kirk Hammett, Dave Mustaine and Don Dokken alongside a plethora of horror icons including John Carpenter, Tom Savini, Doug Bradley, and Kane Hodder.

Horror and Metal do, indeed, go hand and hand.  Check out these rockers who have crossed the streams and done both.

7. Dee Snider – The Twisted Sister frontman stepped into the horror ring in 1998 when he wrote and starred in Dee Snider’s STRANGELAND.  The film, directed by John Pieplow was a critical and box office bomb, but Snider himself delivered a memorable performance.  Snider has appeared in a number of mainstream films over the years, including PEE WEE’S BIG ADVENTURE.  He crossed over into “strange land” again in 2012 as “Lance Rockett” in Adam Green’s HOLLISTON series.

Dee Snider
Say “I Wanna Rock!” SAY IT!!!!

6. Gene Simmons – “The Demon,” who is a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer alongside his 70’s super group KISS, is no stranger to horror.  Simmons played an evil genius who kills people with mechanical spiders in 1984’s RUNAWAY.  Two years later Gene appeared with fellow rock icon Ozzy Osbourne in the cult classic TRICK OR TREAT.   Simmons made appearances on the small screen as well, in DEADLY NIGHTMARES and the truly horrifying (for KISS fans, anyway) KISS MEETS THE PHANTOM OF THE PARK!

5. Lemmy – The hard drinking, chain smoking Motorhead frontman was a staple in various Troma films over the years.  He appeared in TROMEO AND JULIET, TERROR FIRMER, TOXIC AVENGER IV and RETURN TO NUKE ‘EM HIGH VOLUME 1 among others.  Troma released a moving tribute to Lemmy after the singer succumbed to cancer in late 2015, thanking him for his work.  Check out Lemmy squaring off against horror icon Pinhead in the band’s video for HELLRAISER!

4. Henry Rollins – You can’t swing a dead black cat in the horror world without running into Henry Rollins.  The rough and tumble singer is also a heck of an actor! Henry’s lengthy horror resume includes SUCK, FEAST and HE NEVER DIED.  Rollins also appeared in WRONG TURN 2: DEAD END, which has one of the most memorable, NSFW opening scenes I’ve seen in a modern horror film!

3. Debbie Harry – Debbie Harry’s long love affair with horror cinema started back in 1983 with VIDEODROME.  The Blondie singer would go on to appear in an episode of TALES FROM THE DARKSIDE in 1987 and TALES FROM THE DARKSIDE: THE MOVIE in 1987.   Debbie also starred in the movie BODY BAGS and appeared in episodes of MONSTERS and SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH over the years.  Scary!

Debbie Harry
Smoke ’em if you got ’em!

2. Alice Cooper –  Alice Cooper is synonymous with metal and horror.  The shock rocker has contributed to a wide variety of horror projects over the years, including PRINCE OF DARKNESS, MONSTER DOGSUCK, DARK SHADOWS and BIGFOOT.  Cooper also appeared in FREDDY’S DEAD: THE FINAL NIGHTMARE where he played Freddy Krueger’s deranged father.  Freddy’s not the only horror icon with ties to Alice.  Cooper also tussled with Jason Voorhees while doing songs and promotional work for FRIDAY THE 13th PART 6: JASON LIVES.

Who you callin' "mama's boy" Alice?
Alice Cooper- He’s Back (The Man Behind The Mask), 1986

1.Rob Zombie – Another shock rocker, ala Alice Cooper, Rob Zombie takes metal and horror to the next level both with his bands, and his movies.  Zombie made his horror film debut in 2003 with HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES, which he wrote and directed.  The sequel, THE DEVIL’S REJECTS followed two years later and solidified Zombie’s reputation as a horror maestro.

Rob Zombie
Devil Man! Devil Man!

Rob Zombie contributed his WEREWOLF WOMEN OF THE SS trailer to GRINDHOUSE before taking over the reins of the HALLOWEEN movie franchise in 2007.  Following the success of HALLOWEEN came HALLOWEEN II in 2009 and LORDS OF SALEM in 2012.  Zombie shows no signs of slowing down.  His latest film, ROB ZOMBIE’S 31 premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January of 2016 and will most likely be released on home video in 2017.

THE HISTORY OF METAL AND HORROR is currently still in production and needs your help!  Donate to the project via their Indiegogo page!  For updates, like them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter and visit their official website at!


About Kenn Hoekstra

PopHorror Writer. Associate Editor. @PopHorrorNews Tweeter. Also... Screenwriter. Blogger. Horror Movie Aficionado. Wisconsin Sports Fan. IT Guy. Father. Smartass. People's Champion. TIME Person of the Year - 2006.

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