Yeah, I know. “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” is the go-to Bauhaus song for this time of year. But too many people’s Bauhaus knowledge begins and ends with that one song. Thanks to it being featured at the head of Ridley Scott’s The Hunger, and the ultra-condensed version of the band’s appearance in the movie performing the song (pared down from over 9 to just over 3 minutes, broken up by intrusive pieces of the film’s score, and seemingly random cutting in the middle of vocal lines) played on MTV as a music video, it’s become a Halloween staple for even the non-goth set.
But THIS. This is the one that freaked me out. Peter Murphy lit from below in black-and-white, David J with some Quasimodo-eque facial deformity, both Murphy and Daniel Ash seeming to be in varying states of putrescence, Kevin Haskins stepping up to the slab and reanimating the twitching corpse of Murphy…It’s a bit technically wonky and crude (the jerky frame stutters instead of a slow-motion thing seems tied to very early ’80s video technology), but it’s effective. I’m not sure what it all means, but it’s creepy and I love it.
(Pet theory time here: I’m firmly convinced that Eddie Van Halen ripped off the extended opening of “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” for the opening of “Everybody Wants Some!” from Women and Children First. Just the drums and the guitar effects, not the riff that EVH plays over the top of it before David Lee Roth comes in. I can’t be the only one who hears this, right?)