Metallica’s Kirk Hammett has developed a strong reputation in the music industry for being a huge fan of horror films. Over the course of the last 30 years, Hammett has not only garnered an impressive knowledge of the history of horror cinema but he has also become a formidable collector of horror movie memorabilia.
While many fans know that Hammett uses artworks from horror movies on his own guitars and that he even has his own horror festival, he is also a serious collector of fascinating objects from horror movie productions. Ranging from posters of cult horror films to placards and various other fascinating items, Hammett has them all.
In fact, Hammett’s collection is so impressive that the items in his possession were actually part of an exhibition conducted by the Peabody Essex Museum. Among his most prized possessions is the original costume worn by horror film pioneer Boris Karloff in the 1934 film The Black Cat where he starred alongside Béla Lugosi.
According to Hammett, his horror memorabilia collection was a safety net for him which would come to his rescue if his music career hadn’t taken off. He planned on selling all the invaluable items that he had managed to acquire over the years in order to survive but circumstances did not get that desperate and his collection has kept growing.
Hammett is as much a fan of cult horror films as the masterpieces that are considered to be classics by many. Among his favourite cult works, the Metallica guitarist named Roman Polanski’s 1965 gem Repulsion as one of his all-time favourites because it manages to construct an atmosphere of overwhelming anxiety which is essential for a good horror experience.
He has also cited modern horror works such as Robert Eggers’ The Witch and John Krasinski’s A Quiet Place as two of his recent favourites. “I thought A Quiet Place was just the greatest freakin’ movie,” Hammett said. “It had a completely different concept; it was an assault on a person’s ability to make sound.”
In a recent interview, Hammett was asked to name his favourite horror movie antagonist of all time and the guitarist did not hesitate to choose his top pick. “It’s probably obvious, Satan! Come on! It’s in so many of those movies,” Hammett declared, stating that there was no competition between Satan and the rest of the horror movie villains.
However, he did name some of his other favourite creations too: “I love [Frankenstein’s monster] and The Mummy and then [Dracula]. It goes in that order of creature.” As a child, Hammett’s favourite Halloween costume was that of Frankenstein’s monster but he did end up dressing up as Satan on one occasion and was called a “satanic Sammy Davis Jr.” by Chris Isaak at a party.