Saturday, February 4, 2012


I put a Spell on Me
102 min

Alice Cooper is widely recognized today as the reigning king of shock rock, and rightly so - but long before Alice ever took the stage there was another man who brought the worlds of horror and music together for the masses - a man who dressed like a witch doctor, carried a skull named Henry and jumped out of coffins - the man who drank alligator wine, sang the Constipation Blues and Put a Spell on You. That man is none other than Screamin' Jay Hawkins.

I PUT A SPELL ON ME is a documentary made in 2001 by writer/director Nicholas Triandafyllidis. It's an inside look at the man who was Screamin Jay Hawkins told through interview footage with Jay himself as well as remembrances from friends, musicians  and admirers such as Arthur Brown, Bo Diddley, Rudy Protrudi of The Fuzztones, director Jim Jarmusch and many others. The documentary is interwoven throughout with performance footage of Jay in concert throughout the years, with extended footage from a show in Athens Greece at the Rodon Club in 1999.

 It's a truly fascinating and revealing look at a music legend, warts and all. The one question I wish they'd have asked was about the origin of Jay's horror persona. They talk quite a bit about his stage look and the inclusion of voodoo elements but never really delve into how or why exactly he gravitated toward the darker elements of his persona and song writing. But despite this I PUT A SPELL ON ME is a top notch documentary and a must see for anyone who appreciates the shock rock genre.

Screamin' Jay Hawkins is THE pioneer in the field of horror rock. He is a true original, with a vocal style like no other. Good stuff that will definitely put a spell on you!


No comments:

Post a Comment