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17 Fear-Filled Songs Inspired by Scary Movies

The Ramones, Talking Heads, Kate Bush and more make great music for creeps

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Michael Sembello, 'Maniac'

A New York Times reviewer didn’t think much of William Lustig’s film Maniac, which he described it as "a movie that shows how an aging, pot-bellied maniac slices up young women of no great intelligence" with a narrative that "seems to have been borrowed from an early pornographic film." Yet, the film's lady-scalper inspired songwriter Dennis Matkosky to write a Number One record. Co-written with Sembello, the tune was originally about a cat-killing psychotic, but producer Phil Ramone convinced the writers to change the lyrics to describe a crazy-mad dancer with killer moves. The song famously backed the sweaty, jiggling-buns dance scene in the movie Flashdance.

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