The Misfits: Horror Punk Masters or Matinee Idols?

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The Misfits have been the main entity of the horror punk netherworld for 36 years. Like many of you reading this, I play the Misfits all year round, not just during Halloween, and it’s always a requisite for me to bring them up at least a couple of times during each Halloween countdown. In this post we’ll be showing you an aspect of their career that you may not have known about.

There’s always been some crossover between the icons of rock, punk, and metal into Hollywood. Lots of musicians and lead singers have appeared in multiple TV shows and films. Here’s a few rock stars who have dabbled in acting (and some who still do): Alice Cooper, Mick Jagger, David Bowie, Debbie Harry, Meatloaf, Henry Rollins, Courtney Love, you get the picture. The Misfits probably didn’t even come to your mind as I was rattling off that list. Well, I take that back. It probably did because it’s the subject of this whole post as indicated by the title and the introduction.

There may be no Golden Globe awards in their future, but that was never their mission. Once the mid-’90s rolled around, the public and Hollywood were realizing the impact that Misfits have had on music and pop culture. Their logo was everywhere, even nearly twenty years later at that point. Not only did their music still sound hard edged and haunting, but they were such a visual band that it just made sense to get them into films. It was about time to exploit them to the next generation of kids with their brand new, young lead singer Michale Graves. Their first appearance right around that time in 1995 was in the movie, Animal Room, about a former drug user (Nail Patrick Harris) in a drug rehab program at his high school gets tormented by a bully (Matthew Lillard).

Animal Room was the debut film of NJ-born and raised writer and director Craig Singer. If you’re a long time Sexy Armpit reader, you might remember when we talked about one of his later films, Dark Ride which, as I look back at it, I was probably way too harsh on that movie. Perhaps I’ll go back and watch it this Halloween season. Back to Animal Room – it was billed as a drama and science fiction film and according to Wikipedia, it was a “modernized version of A Clockwork Orange.” The movie was filmed in Asbury Park and Glen Rock, NJ. Here’s a pretty badass scene from Animal Room starring The Misfits which also winds up being surprisingly grisly:


Next up for The Misfits was a quick scene in the Insane Clown Posse movie, Big Money Hustlas in 2000. It’s a pretty whimsical scene and not one you’d expect to see the ghoulish Misfits show up in, but that makes it even more surreal and memorable. The movie stars Harland Williams who appears in this scene which takes place in a Donut Hut, a diner situation whose logo combines Pizza Hut and Dunkin’ Donuts. Here The Misfits are seen enjoying a few cups of Joe and chucking a donut at a cop. Punk cred still in tact.


In, Bruiser, the 2000 DVD thriller directed by George A. Romero, a man always getting shit on by people awakens on day to find that his face is now a blank, white mask. Note that the bullying theme was also present in the previously mentioned, Animal Room. Maybe we need to call WWE and let their Be A Star campaign Superstars talk to these bullies.


The last film is one that I’ve had waiting patiently in my collection for me to discuss during a Halloween Countdown. It may very well have been one of the first DVD’s that I planned on featuring for a countdown, but for reasons such as occasional lack of motivation and then the inverse, when sometimes idea overload sets in and boggles my mind. 2001’s Campfire Tales will eventually get discussed in more depth, but for right now, let’s take a look at The Misfits appearance in the film. The performance footage used in the movie was shot at the legendary Gingerbread Castle in Hamburg, NJ, a fairly tale castle which was once like the Disney Cinderella Castle of northern New Jersey. For a while, the Castle turned into a night club in order to maintain some kind of cash flow. Jamie Lynn Sigler stars in Campfire Tales and in his first film role you’ll notice Always Sunny’s Charlie Day.


The Misfits were always known for being punk outcasts, but I have no objections to seeing them sneakily appear in a few movie cameos. None of these were big movies by any stretch, so you can’t accuse them of selling out to do these films. If they appeared in Soul Plane, we might all think a little differently about their career decisions, wouldn’t we? 

The Misfits’ history of kicking ass has far surpassed any punk grading system that people might hold them to, and their brand has risen above the divisive fan base including those who are Danzig loyalists and the true Fiend Club members who still appreciate the band today still as macabre looking and monster movie loving as ever.

New Jersey’s Horror Punk Icon: Glenn Danzig

Sure, horror punk icons are awesome, but they’re even more awesome when they’re from Jersey! It’s insane that so many younger people out there are only familiar with Glenn Danzig because of MTV’s heavy rotation of the video for his track “Mother” in 1993. You should be chained to a wall if you weren’t aware that Danzig is the founder and former lead singer of Lodi, NJ’s legendary Misfits. Presently, Danzig is working on a new album and also runs his own record label called Evilive, and the 18 & over comic book company Verotik.


– In 2002, our favorite fast food freaks from the Jersey Shore paid Danzig the ultimate pop culture tribute when he appeared in the Aqua Teen Hunger Force episode, Cybernetic Ghost of Christmas Past from the Future.

– Yex13’s YouTube channel offers the rare “original” version of Shakira’s “Hips Don’t Lie” video, which features her duet with Glen Danzig. Watch it, especially if you feel like laughing your devilock off.