Buttkickin’ Halloween Songs: “Forbidden Zone” — Oingo Boingo (1979)

Moving in the wrong direction brings bad luck
Living without protection really sucks
It’s so hard when you’re on your own
You might fall into The Forbidden Zone

Ye gods…

It had to be a good 25, maybe closer to 30 years ago, when I first saw the whackadoo independent underground art/wtf musical film Forbidden Zone, and I had ZERO IDEA what to make of it. And I still don’t. This black-and-white monstrosity was one of the most uncomfortably ugly movies I had ever seen, but goddamn if I didn’t watch it a whole bunch of times that summer.

“What’s it about?” you ask? Yeah there’s this thing called Wikipedia… I think the main thing I remembered was that the movie prominently featured Hervé “Tattoo” Villechaize from Fantasy Island, and there was a strange amount of nudity, scatological humor, crass ethnic stereotypes, and cartoonish violence. And that it involved traveling into the 6th Dimension into an area known as the Forbidden Zone, which was just… a very wrong place.

The film was conceived, co-written, and directed by Richard Elfman, with music and score by Danny Elfman, both of the legendary new wave band Oingo Boingo. At this time they were still known as the The Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo, which quite frankly sounds that much cooler. As a musical, the movie featured a host of strange, spooky, bizarre, and otherworldly songs, any one of which would have made for a cool addition here. It was a last minute showdown between the title track and the freakishly quizzical “Witch’s Egg”. The title song won out, because it’s just that much stranger. It’s very Danny Elfman, complete with theremin-styled riffings, surf guitars, a horn section that seems from another universe entirely, and those inimitable Elfman vocals.

You want your Halloween dance party to move? Put this sucker on.

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