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.


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Our feature writer Nick “NJ” Holden pays respect to Jersey icon 
James Gandolfini a.k. Tony Soprano
Governor Chris Christie called James Gandolfini, who died unexpectedly yesterday at the age of 51, “a true Jersey guy”, and while the governor has made some questionable statements and decisions as the head of the state, he really hit the nail on the head. Not only was Gandolfini a true New Jerseyan (born in Westwood, raised in Park Ridge, and graduate of Rutgers University), he took a murdering, lying, cheating, neurotic gangster named Tony Soprano and have him a soul on the HBO show The Sopranos. But he was much more than a gangster on television, for he was a true character actor capable of roles on Broadway and on the big screen.

James Gandolfini first came to prominence as a violent enforcer in True Romance, where he had a memorable (albeit brutal and bloody) encounter with Patricia Arquette. Given his size (6’1”), it would be easy to typecast him as the heavy. But his acting ability and charm won him a variety of roles: a kind-hearted Hollywood stuntman (Get Shorty opposite fellow NJ’er John Travolta), a gruff working-class stiff babysitting a spoiled ad exec (Surviving Christmas), and even the Mayor of New York (The Taking of Pelham 1, 2, 3). 
I remember watching Zero Dark Thirty in a packed AMC Theater at the Westfield Garden State Plaza Mall, totally immersed in the action, when about mid-way through the movie, Gandolfini pops up. The audience was stunned, whispering in hushed tones “It’s Tony Soprano!”, but stopped once he began speaking. Gone was the heavy bravado and Italian accent made famous every Sunday night and on-screen was a strict but open-minded CIA director inquiring about a compound that may or may not house the most wanted man on the face of the earth. A personal favorite of mine is his role as Woody Dumas, a tough DEA agent with a lisp and unfortunate habit of getting hit by cars in the little-seen horror/action/romance/comedy Perdita Durango, also known as Dance with the Devil from Spanish director Alex de la Iglesia. Acting alongside Rosie Perez and a then-unknown Javier Bardem, Gandolfini manages to steal every scene he’s in while keeping his tongue firmly in cheek among the madness.

James Gandolfini isn’t the only successful Jersey-born actor (Abbott and Costello, Ed Harris, Michael Douglas, Jack Nicholson), but he was the first to fully embrace his roots as well as his fame and keep a balance on both. He rooted for the Scarlet Knights and would appear on the sidelines. He produced the documentaries Alive Day Memories: Home from Iraq in which he interviewed 10 injured Iraq War veterans and Wartorn. He was also a fixture in the Tri-State area, appearing at dinners, lectures, and other public functions, all the while smiling and keeping his feet planted on the ground. And despite the credit that was showered upon Jersey Shore for revitalizing New Jersey, especially Seaside Heights, The Sopranos was really responsible for putting the Garden State back on the map, using locals in Kearny, Wayne, North Caldwell, and most notably Lodi (the strip club on the series Bada Bing! is actually Satin Dolls). Even after the show’s finale in 2007, fans from all parts of the globe can still see the actual shooting locations and other points of interest via The Sopranos Sites Tour (, an four-hour bus tour. 
So with a heavy heart, the Sexy Armpit and I bid James Gandolfini a fond farewell and extend our deepest sympathies to his family, friends, and co-stars.

The Misfits Play Starland Ballroom Tomorrow Night!

New Jersey’s own horror punk legends, The Misfits, will be playing the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, NJ tomorrow night! And since this year’s blog motif for the Halloween Countdown is dedicated to them, I’ve selected some of their awesome videos on YouTube for you to check out.

The first video is fan-made, features Frankenstein, and it’s pretty damn cool, especially for horror lovers during the Halloween Countdown! Video created by Erik Wolfgang/”Erik Dvan” on YouTube.
The second video I found to be appropriate for the countdown was the Misfits live cover of “Science Fiction Double Feature” from The Rocky Horror Picture Show from April of 2001. Thanks to Bobby Bloodfeast on YouTube.
Finally, here’s pro-shot footage of their May 2012 concert at Mountain Creek Ski Resort & Water Park in New Jersey.

NJ T-Shirt Tuesday 90: The Misfits For Christmas!

The Grinch is a mean one…and a FIEND!!!

It’s never been depicted on a map and Santa Claus isn’t even aware of it, but right beside the Island of Misfit Toys lies the Island of Fiends. Everyone who resides there is covered in ghoulish fiend makeup and Misfits songs are piped through speakers all over the island. During Christmas you might see a lot of people wearing these holiday themed Misfits t-shirts. The first one features a fiendish creature who bares a resemblance to The Grinch and is rocking a skeleton jacket and gloves. We know The Grinch is a humbug, but who knew he was such a punk?

The Misfits Santa T-Shirt
What do you think this scary Santa will leave for you under your tree? Maybe The Misfits latest album The Devil’s Rain? I’d like to have The Misfits record a cover of “The Most Wonderful Day of the Year” from the scene on the Island of Misfit Toys in Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer specifically for me!

NJ T-Shirt Tuesday 85: The Misfits Mystic Fiend


The brand new Misfits album “The Devil’s Rain,” is in stores today. Since the horror punks from Lodi, NJ always offer ghoulish graphics on their t-shirts, let’s take a look at one of the tees offered at The Misfits online store. The first tee has Arthur Suydam’s artwork from the new album The Devil’s Rain and on the right is the “Mystic Fiend” shirt. The Misfits play their annual Halloween show at The Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, NJ on 10/28/11.

New Misfits Album Hitting Stores In October

Arthur Suydam’s kickass cover art!

October 4th 2011 will be an exciting day for Misfits fans because it marks the release of the first full length Misifts album of new material in about ten years. Many fans abandoned the NJ horror punk group in recent years because of all the lineup changes and direction of the music. Personally, they’re still The Misfits to me and the fact that they’re keeping the spirit of the band alive is cool. But then again, I’d probably go to see KISS even if there were no original members left. What can I say, I like their music!

The album is called The Devil’s Rain and it promises to be a treat for those hardcore fans who hung in there. The album was produced by noted punk producer Ed Stasium and it’s said to be a return to the sci-fi themes and monstrous sounds of their past. The sale page describes the album as “not just a continuation of a historic legacy, it’s a total reboot ushering in a new era of terror.” Sounds good to me.

Also, if you bought the Misfits last 2 singles “Land of the Dead” and “Twilight of the Dead,” they have been re-recorded for this album. Recently the band dismissed Robo for Murphy’s Law drummer, Eric Arce, now known as “Chupacbra.” Hopefully they can stick with this lineup for a while.

I’m looking forward to this new album and it’ll be a great addition to my October playlist! Also look out for The Misfits LIVE on tour. Their Halloween show happens on Friday, October 28th 2011 at The Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, NJ. Click HERE for tickets!

Etymology of The Chipwich

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Pictured on the right is LaMotta next to a Chipwich Stand

It’s sad to hear of the recent death of Richard LaMotta, inventor of The Chipwich. His unique approach to selling the frozen treat on a cart in New York City in 1982 took the simple premise of the traditional hot dog stand to another level. The Chipwiches became such hot sellers that his 2 Chipwich plants, one in Queens, NY, and one in Lodi, NJ were churning out 200,000 a day! Prior to its boom in popularity and LaMotta’s truly passionate marketing of his new concept, he lacked a name for it.

While LaMotta was half owner of The Sweet Tooth ice cream parlor in Englewood, NJ, he held a contest to come up with a name for the ice cream sandwich. For Anne Dermansky, a mother from the surrounding area, Chipwich was the first idea to pop in her head. She quickly wrote it down, credited her daughter, and submitted it. Not only did Dermansky’s daughter Julie win the contest, but she was gifted a one year supply of Chipwiches, and a $10,000 Scholarship which she used to help pay her tuition to Tulane University. According to an article on North, Dermanksy explained that LaMotta never missed a scholarship payment to Julie and they received them like clockwork, even when the company experienced financial hardship.

Also check out The official Chipwich Site, Just My Show’s Post about The Chipwich,
as well as an Article from NY Times and North

NJ T-Shirt Tuesday 24: The Fiend Club

On Tuesday October 27th, 2009, The Misfits will premiere their new single “Land of the Dead” exclusively on Sirius-XM radio. In addition to the satellite radio premiere, The Misfits will perform 2 new tracks live at The Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, NJ on mischief night October 30th! Tracks from the new album, Land of the Dead, are available through iTunes, Amazon,, etc. The Land of the Dead T-Shirt is available at the Fiend Store. The albums cover art (and the art on this t-shirt) was drawn by Arthur Suydam (Marvel Zombies).


The legion of KISS fans are known as THE KISS ARMY, while fans of The Misfits are The Fiend Club. This weeks 2nd offering for NJ T-Shirt Tuesday is the official Fiend Club T-Shirt available at


All month long I’ve been playing the Misfits on my iPod in honor of Halloween. The Misfits have never been embarrassed to admit that they are from New Jersey, and that’s awesome.

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.