A Very Heavy Halloween: Vanessa Nocera of Wooden Stake

When we interviewed metal iconoclast Vanessa Nocera back in August for the Women in Metal issue she cited the "poetic atmosphere" of surrealist horror films as an prime influence, so we are extremely pleased and honored the Wooden Stake frontwoman has graciously agreed to help us kick off our Halloween month coverage with a truly inspired/eclectic list of her current essential fright flicks as well as a stream of the smoldering doom track "At the Stroke of Midnight/Howl of the Devil." Now go get your wallow on, 'fraidy cats.

5. The Stepfather (1987)

I first saw this movie when I was seven or eight and it really stuck with me. I’m not sure if it was Terry O’Quinn’s genius performance as…well, whoever he is at whatever given moment -- that’s me playing off the movie’s taglines “Who am I here?” -- or if it was the fact that my young, impressionable mind was getting screwed by the intensity of the storyline itself. Either way, I love this movie and it has been one of my favorites for many years and a current obsession.

4. The Blood Spattered Bride (1972)

Who doesn’t want to watch a sexy gothic film adaptation of Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu’s novella Carmilla about lesbian vampires plotting to kill the husband of one of the blood-lusting ladies? Another one that I must have seen around eight years of age and I double featured it with what I thought of then as a lackluster movie called Crucible of Terror. I have since gained respect for the latter mentioned movie, but The Blood Spattered Bride is the one that I have loved since my first viewing. It’s well-made, poetic in its atmosphere, creepy and disturbing at times, and showcases why I absolutely love films from the 1970s. Not to mention the acting keeps you hooked! If you haven’t seen this, you have been deprived!

3. Nekromantik 2 (1991)

Anyone who knows me knows that I love both of the Nekromantik movies, but I never speak enough of the second one. It’s disgusting, it’s beautiful, it’s thought provoking, and the ending scenes will definitely stick with you till your dying day. And how about that bathtub dismemberment scene?! *swoon* I live for variety in my horror movies and when I want something sick, twisted, depraved, and gory, I want Nekromantik 2! Das ist ausgezeichnet!

2. One Dark Night (1982)

This movie has it all! A girl who is being initiated into a “Sisters” club is forced to spend an overnight lock-down in a mausoleum where a telekinetic man’s corpse was just interred. While spending the night, Meg Tilly’s character is taunted by the girls in the club who have snuck in to scare her only they find themselves caught in a whirlwind of pure HELL when the corpse of Raymar summons the other dead bodies to come out of their coffins. Slimy cadavers, pure 80’s fun, Adam West…like I said, this movie has it all!

1. Ms. 45 (1981)

Maybe not a horror film to some, but to me it classifies as one. I was turned on to this film when I was about twelve after seeing Abel Ferrara’s cult classic Driller Killer -- another favorite of mine. Ms. 45 to me is different from the other rape/revenge movies like I Spit on Your Grave, which I love. This one has deeper qualities to it and a storyline that really evolves as well as the characters. The acting is amazing, the vibe of the city creates an intense atmosphere, and hey, I’m a sucker for a strong female lead who violently seeks revenge. Everything about this movie is perfect and I advise you to check it out if you haven’t. Be sure to double it with Driller Killer, or maybe Bad Lieutenant.

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