Tales from the Drive-in

Hee, hee! Greetings, my fine fettered friends, and welcome to another foul feast in the Haunt of Fear. This is your shriekchef, your delirium dietician, ready with my bubbling cauldron, filled with my latest reeking recipe. So relax on that marble settee there and I'll begin by feeding you the tasty tale of terror called...La Sexorcisto!

Dig it, babe. White Zombie, the Mod Squad of Menace! Brace yourselves one and all for things you never heard before or even dreamed of! Tune in as Forbidden Voodoo Secrets are sensationally revealed! Talking about a stew cooked with only the basest of metals, arena alchemy, Devil Music. Pay your dime and let them take you on a phantom ghost trip, 20,000 Leagues Under the Knife in a fuel-injected funny car fueled by fright's fury. Let them take you so far down you'll never come up again!

Ah, White Zombie. Direct descendants of the horror stampede of '32, the chilling year that brought forth Tod (Dracula '31) Browning's amazing and widely banned Freaks; ghoulish Fredric March's Oscar-swiping Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde; and the Boris Karloff scarefests The Old Dark House, The Mask of Fu Manchu, and, most creepish of all, The Mummy. And we must not forget two simply ghastly efforts featuring the dearly despised Bela Lugosi: Murders in the Rue Morgue and, of course, White Zombie.

As you see, the band White Zombie has a pedigree, even if it is a mite suspect. So let us continue....

The Zombies arose from the ashes of the Rotting Apple's Lower East Side, which might explain why to them the darkside looks like the bright side. Their first forays into go-go doom and gloom A "Gods on Voodoo Moon" and "Pig Heaven," appeared before the Zombies even set foot on a stage. An extended sequel, Psycho Head Blowout, took them to the crossroads of the Midwest, where the mutant winds collide, and the shock gave them perspective enough to go full-length with Soul-Crusher. Those four D.i.Y.s led to an official indie -- Make Them Die Slowly -- produced by Bill (Motorhead, PiL) Laswell, which gave the gang enough notoriety to bring the big boys crawling to the door.

When the Geffen-backed La Sexorcisto: Devil Music Volume One crept into this weary world, the Zombies loaded up their truck and moved to Hollywood, the land of our collective nightmares.

The coastal swing from suffocating ghetto apocalypse to smog-swept world of wonder rejuvenated the Zombies enough to take their creepshow back on the road -- where they've remained since. During the past two years they've hit every dark corner in this land of pilfered honey -- two, three, sometimes four times -- with the relentlessness of a Texas chain saw, tearing away at the heart of the nation.

Aided and abetted by MTV (Headbanger's Ball, Beavis and Butt-head, Rock Videos That Don't Suck) and set up by the 700 Club ("They're coming for our children!"), the White ones none too soon found themselves in a genuinely terrifying place: the Top 40. Of course, spookiness aside, it was a place they wanted to haunt all along.

But who woulda thunk that lookin' to the future from the backseat of a muscle car parked at Joe Bob's Drive-in would lead to the sweet smell of excess? That graphic, splatter-core, carny junk rock would be just the swampy thing to take the nation by firestorm? After all, the Zombies are about as subtle as a sci-fi driveby, and they come on like a cannonful of speedballs laced with stream-of-demon-consciousness. Surely there's no place for their severed verbs, tricked-out adjectives, collapsing cliches. I mean, they're positively monstrous!

It's all true!
White Zombie has proven that there's always something out there in the dark waiting to make you scream and scream again. And it just might be the scream of your life.

White Zombie performs with Prong and the Obsessed at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow (Friday) at the Edge, 200 W Broward Blvd, Ft Lauderdale, 525-9333. Tickets cost $19.


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