A Souvenir From Heidnik's House Of Horrors
:: Serial Killers - Heidnik's House of Horrors ::
:: Serial Killers - 20th Century Cannibal ::
Back in the summer of 1988 I was flipping through the stacks of vinyl at the Philadelphia Record Exchange, and overheard a guy (who turned out to be a member of Philly gore-punk band the Serial Killers) laughing and telling the guy behind the counter, “…yeah, the other night we dug up a trash bag full of dirt from Gary Heidnik’s yard. We’re going to include a baggy of it with each copy of our next 7 inch.” My ears instantly perked up with morbid fascination and I made sure to grab a copy when it came out.
Gary Heidnik - torture killer, self-proclaimed bishop of his own church, paranoid schizophrenic, rapist, and cannibal - had become infamous, at least in the Philadelphia area, the year before when one of his victims had escaped and led police to his house and the three remaining sex-slaves chained in his basement. Police also discovered an industrial meat grinder, a pot of cooked, ground up human remains, and a fridge stocked with human limbs in his kitchen. Heidnik’s behavior and his dungeon-basement were later used as a model by Jonathan Demme for the character of Buffalo Bill in “The Silence of the Lambs.”
Pressed on blood-red vinyl, only 1000 copies of this sucker exist (mine is #209). Each did indeed come with a bag of dirt from Heidnik’s front yard, stapled to a Statement of Authenticity.
“Heidnik’s House of Horrors” is an ode to a madman, and though I shouldn’t, I can’t help but laugh with lyrics like “He had a basement straight outta hell/Marquis de Sade would think it was swell”; “Hung some girls up from the rafter/Good, clean sex isn’t what he was after”; or even, “Cruising the city in a Cadillac/Some poor ho tied up in the back.” There’s demented comedy to be found here, though you must first dig through the rudimentary melody, double-bass drum attack, and excessive guitar solo. Side two is, “20th Century Cannibal”, complete with knife sharpening sound effects and a brighter chorus than side A, “I’ll drink your blood and chew your bones/Girl I know just when you’re alone.” Yeah, um…sing along. Just don’t let the neighbors hear you.