Sometimes horror and cult movies, despite their often extreme subject matter, address love and romance. Often this is accompanied by a special song. Here are 13 of my favorite for this Valentine's Day, in no particular order.
1. Riz Ortolani - Cannibal Holocaust Opening Theme
I’m sorry, but I have always thought this song was really romantic.
2. Willow’s Song from Wickerman
Not only is this actually a really sweet, melancholic, and kind of erotic song, but in the film it was sung by a hot, naked woman pounding on the walls in sexual frenzy.
3. The Ramones - I Want You Around from Rock ‘n Rock High School
One of my favorite romantic fantasy scenes from any movie ever. Riff Randall + Joey Ramone forever.
4. Paul Williams - Old Souls from Phantom of the Paradise
A sad, romantic song from a sad, romantic movie. A bonus is that it’s sung by Jessica Harper from Suspiria fame.
5. Q Lazzarus - Goodbye Horses from Silence of the Lambs
Taken from the amazing scene where a naked Buffalo Bill dons a lady skin suit, dances around, and proclaims “I’d fuck me.” As Oscar Wilde one said, to love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.
6. Take My Breath Away from As Tears Go By
Yes, I know that the original Berlin version from Top Gun is really romantic, but Wong Kar Wai had the song adapted in Cantonese for his first film, As Tears Go By. Must be heard to be believed. It is played is during a scene where the two characters realize their love for one another and finally find each other after a series of near misses and awkward exchanges.
7. Dramarama - Anything, Anything from Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master
How could I not include this? It doesn’t really fit in with this movie, which is not at all romantic, but who cares.
8. Lou Reed - Satellite of Love from Velvet Goldmine
Todd Haynes film that is loosely based on the love affair between David Bowie and Iggy Pop was the first romantic drama (other than Casablanca) that I really enjoyed. There is a particularly sweet scene between the Bowie and Pop characters where they listen to my favorite version of “Satellite of Love” with Bowie on backing vocals.
9. Angela’s Theme from Sleepaway Camp
It’s difficult to have sexy time at camp - or anywhere - when you’re confused about your gender. But he’s begging you to stay anyway, because you’re just what he’s looking for.
10. Fastway - If You Could See from Trick or Treat
‘80s power ballads are always romantic, but a whole soundtrack full of Fastway is just amazing. Plus this is a satanic horror movie where the heavy metal nerd gets the pretty girl in the end.
11. Michael Jackson - Ben from Ben
Yes, this is sung by a youthful Michael Jackson and is for a movie about a young boy’s deep friendship with the titular rat, Ben, who massacres humans when he is not in the warm embrace of his homo sapiens buddy. But if you read the lyrics this is clearly a love song about a “special” friendship.
12. Roy Orbison - In Dreams from Blue Velvet
David Lynch knows how to capture many different types of sexual and romantic feelings all at once, many of them unpleasant. Movie aside, the original “In Dreams” evokes many of these feelings on its own. “In dreams you’re mine all of the time.”
13. Rebekah del Rio - Llorando from Mulholland Drive
Another example of Lynchian love scenes. Sexy, romantic, devastating and somehow absolutely terrifying.