Cincinnati, OH punk rockers 500 Miles to Memphis are celebrating the recent release of their new album Blessed Be The Damned, which was just released on vinyl through Paper + Plastick Records. As a way of hyping the release, the band put out a music video for the track “Hold On Tight”, which is packed to the brim with horror references and nods.
Since we were curious, we thought we’d 500 Miles to Memphis vocalist/guitarist/banjo player Ryan Malott as well as the video’s director Casey Shelton to come up with a list of the films that inspired some of the visuals throughout “Hold On Tight”, which you can read below!
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Army of Darkness – “Into the Pit!” – Ryan
When we started brainstorming music video ideas, we knew we wanted comical amounts of blood and vomit so my mind immediately went to this scene. The geyser of blood that spews from the pit is over-the-top ridiculous and exactly why the world loves the Evil Dead universe.
The Lost Boys – “What are you, a Flying Nun?” – Casey
Back before Joel Schumacher was putting nipples on Bat suits, he made this classic. There’s just something inherently hilarious about people flying against their will. Being hurled through the air by evil is HILARIOUS to me. This scene where Michael’s vampire powers activate and he flies up the wall and out the window, was a huge inspiration for our music video’s flying rig.
Evil Dead 2013 – “You’re all going to die tonight” – Casey
I personally think this reboot is under-celebrated. It’s also where we got the idea for our “puke tube”. The best way to get an actor to expunge gallons and gallons of blood (or in our case -ink) is to shove a huge tube into their mouth and pump the ink IN. Once full, there’s nowhere for it to go, and it spills back out, covering the tube and creating the wonderful effect seen here in Evil Dead where Mia pukes on Olivia.
Evil Dead II – “Possessed Hand Fight” – Ryan
The most iconic image in the splatter horror genre has to be this one right? After a hilarious battle with his evil hand, Ash starts the chainsaw(with his teeth) and saws it off at the wrist. Blood sprays all over his face as he laughs like a madman. In all honesty, our video is mostly influenced by this movie. We could do a top ten of just scenes from Evil Dead II.
Dead Alive (Braindead) – “Party’s over” – Casey
Dead Alive claims to be the bloodiest film ever made. It’s certainly one of the funniest in the genre. It’s out of print, but well worth the trouble to find it. (There’s a shitty quality version on Youtube). In this scene, Lionel breaks up a party of unwanted undead guests with a push mower. Even with 500 gallons of blood (all we could afford to make) we didn’t come anywhere close to this masterpiece.
Army of Darkness – “Clatu, Verata, Necktie” – Ryan
The scene when Ash first finds the three Necronomicons and has to choose. And of course, makes every wrong decision and awakens the dead. The slapstick comedy of this scene is second to none and sets the bar for the genre. There are some parallels here between our music and the vibe of Evil Dead. Our lyrical content is mostly dark and deals with serious subject matter but between songs at a live show, you’ll get some fart or penis jokes(our sense of humor didn’t mature past the age of twelve). Plus in our 15+ year career, we’ve made every wrong decision you can make. If Ash Williams was a band, it’d sound like us.
Dead Alive (Braindead) – “Come to Mommy” – Casey
Yes. Again. In the finale, Lionel is swallowed by a two-story monster version of his mom. He cuts his way to freedom from the inside her and emerges in an absolutely disgusting childbirth-like scene. More blood than the elevators in The Shining. I saw it as a kid, and something I’ve always aspired to. After all, the sicko that came up with Dead Alive went on to win 11 Oscars with LOTR: Return of the King.
The Fly 1986 – The Bathroom Scene – Casey
Cronenberg is the grossest filmmaker of all time. There are scenes in his films that have permanently altered my appetite for Chinese food, my fear of typewriters, and my willingness to have sex with televisions. But after watching The Fly as a kid, I couldn’t drink white milk for a year. Because of that digestion fluid The Brundlefly uses. Anyway, we spend the first verse of our music video in a bathroom watching a transformation happen. It’s nowhere close to watching Goldblum pull his fingernails off, but inspired by all the same.
Carrie – Bloody Prom – Ryan
A cinema classic for a reason. Yeah, there’s blood and mayhem which is badass but the real trick in this scene is Sissy Spacek’s acting skill. It’s in slow motion so you can’t miss it. You can see her transformation from innocent girl to vengeful psychopath and feel every agonizing moment of it. Sure our music video is nowhere near as heavy but it’s part of the reason that we wanted to cast Stacey Horan in the role. She too transforms from innocent girl to evil rockabilly beauty queen to deadite witch. More importantly, she was willing to do it and let us put her through hell for three days. Thanks again, Stacey!
Bad Taste – “Gruel’s ready” – Casey
More Peter Jackson. More Puke. Look, we didn’t set out to make a puke-themed music video or a puke-themed listicle, but here we are. We just wanted to make some solid splatter horror. And as it turns out, projectile vomit is one of the most wholesome, family-friendly ways to expel blood. Anyway, in this scene, a bunch of aliens hold Peter Jackson over a bowl while he pukes into it. Then they all eat it. I’m not proud of it, Peter Jackson’s probably not even proud of it, but there’s no denying the influence.