Ozzy Osbourne Shares His Favorite Horror Movie of All Time
There's been a big crossover between the metal and horror genres for decades, as horror imagery typically goes hand-in-hand with heavy music. Ozzy Osbourne, whose nickname is literally "The Prince of Darkness," has shared which horror movie is his absolute favorite and actually frightened him.
Black Sabbath originally went by The Polka Tulk Blues Band and then Earth, but ended up changing their name after seeing people line up outside of a movie theater to see Boris Karloff's 1963 horror film Black Sabbath. The song "Black Sabbath" was partly inspired by horror writer Dennis Wheatley and made use of the sinister "Devil's Interval" tritone. So Osbourne's ties to horror go back pretty far, but which movie really shook him to his core?
“Our manager came to us one day when we were on tour and says, ‘You have to go and see this film called The Exorcist,'" Osbourne recently recalled to Metal Hammer. "We said, ‘The Exorcist? What the fuck does that mean?’ He said, ‘Just go and see it.’ We were in Philadelphia in this fucking movie theater and we were shitting ourselves! That one was just so real. We were freaked out! Here we were, Black Sabbath and I’m the Prince of Darkness and all this, and we had to go see another movie – The Sting – just to stop thinking about it. It was so amazing.”
Black Sabbath weren't the only ones shitting themselves while watching the 1973 movie. Directed by William Friedkin, it was based on William Peter Blatty's 1971 novel of the same name. The film had such a profound effect on viewers at the time that a psychiatrist named Dr. James Bozzuto published a study in The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease about "cinematic neurosis" that was triggered in various people by the film.
"This movie seems to be directly related to traumatic neurosis in susceptible people. Classical symptoms and disability were observed following viewing the movie. There are elements in the movie, such as possession with resultant loss of impulse control, that are likely to threaten people with similar problems, and to exceed their 'stimulus barrier,'” the abstract reads.
Other viewers reportedly experienced symptoms such as fainting and vomiting, according to Indiewire.
"If movies are, among other things, opportunities for escapism, then The Exorcist is one of the most powerful ever made. Our objections, our questions, occur in an intellectual context after the movie has ended. During the movie there are no reservations, but only experiences. We feel shock, horror, nausea, fear, and some small measure of dogged hope," film critic Roger Ebert wrote of the movie in 1973.
"Never for a moment — not when the little girl is possessed by the most disgusting of spirits, not when the bed is banging and the furniture flying and the vomit is welling out are we less than convinced," he continued. "The film contains brutal shocks, almost indescribable obscenities. That it received an R rating and not the X is stupefying."
See a trailer for the film below.