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Nightmare Fuel / Frank Zappa

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Freak Out
  • "Who Are the Brain Police?", in which it seems that the record itself questions the existence of your thoughts and the validity of relationship with art (with a midsong break of pure terror, including someone chanting "I think I'm gonna die..."). And let's not forget the Jump Scare of a scream that pops up about a third of the way through the song.
  • "It Can't Happen Here", a demented barbershop quartet in which 4 of the strangest men you will ever meet assure you that "it", whatever it is, can't happen here....right?
    • By "midsong break of pure terror" we aren't kidding around here. Think of an Internet Screamer Prank followed by atonal noise. Then, run for your fucking life.
  • The opening screams of "The Return of the Son of Monster Magnet" and most of the first few minutes.

We're Only in It for the Money

  • "The Chrome Plated Megaphone Of Destiny". The piece is a sonic interpretation of Franz Kafka's In the Penal Colony, filled with car horns, strange hums and the evil laughter of the insane, decaying individuals running the place. (Zappa actually instructs listeners to read the Kafka story before listening to the song.)

Weasels Ripped My Flesh

  • The album cover of "Weasels Ripped My Flesh" features a man shaving himself into a bloody mess with a gnawing weasel.

200 Motels

  • "Dental Hygiene Dilemma", especially with Cal Schenkel's Deranged Animation in the film 200 Motels. One of the images shown on the screen is a gruesome cut-out of a Zappa photo, with mad eyes and chattering teeth.

Over-Nite Sensation

Zoot Allures

  • It's also listed on the Funny page and does have good Black Comedy value, but one has to recognize "The Torture Never Stops" can also make great Nightmare Fuel. The entire arrangement is performed at an oppressively slow tempo and stretched to nine minutes, with the music being largely minimalist riffs and drumming topped off with reverbed slide guitars, Scare Chord-like trills, and female screams of pain (or the opposite). Zappa's lyrics describing the sadistic Torture Cellar are gruesome but funny in a Refuge in Audacity way, but his vocals are close-miked to the point that you can hear the breathing and salivating, and he delivers them in the album's typical low near-growl, making him sound like "an insanely calm mad scientist" (to quote Allmusic).

Joe's Garage

  • The tragic fate of Joe is one terrifying moment after another. After a run-in with the police due to a noise complaint, Joe is informed to go to church, where he and a woman named Mary have a brief fling before drifting apart; Mary then allows herself to become a glorified fucktoy for various touring bands, letting them have their way with her until she's a brain-dead shell of her former self. Joe meets another woman, Lucille, whom he loves dearly but gives him a painful venereal disease. Distraught, Joe decides to turn to religion, only to inadvertently join a cult-like Church of Happyology where the leader scams him out of his money and gaslights him into thinking he's sexually attracted to machines. After getting arrested for breaking his sex robot, Joe goes to prison and gets raped repeatedly by Bald-Headed John and the other inmates. Once he is released, Joe learns that music has become illegal, destroying his livelihood and life's passion. He goes insane from this, suffering vivid hallucinations before ultimately surrendering to the reality of the situation and resigning himself to a life of monotonous factory work. All the while, the Central Scrutinizer intones via his Creepy Monotone that Joe brought all of this on himself and this tragic fate will befall us as well unless we give up our liberties to the corrupt government the Scrutinizer represents.

You Are What You Is

  • "Charlie's Enormous Mouth", which describes a character who owes his enormous mouth to the fact that his nose has rotted off due to snorting so much cocaine.

The Perfect Stranger

  • "Jonestown", the final track of "The Perfect Stranger", a haunting composition inspired by Jim Jones' mass suicide killings in 1978.
  • "Naval Aviation In Art", a spooky piece about a marineer trying to paint in the middle of the night on a ship.

The Man from Utopia

  • The fact that the kitchen described in "The Dangerous Kitchen" actually existed, flies in the back and all.


  • The Crab Grass Baby from Thing Fish. Not only is it a borderline Eldritch Abomination, concieved through intercourse between a little boy and a rubber sex doll, but the song it is introduced in is played in a shuffling, droning rhythm with ditto chanting, and the baby itself psychobabbling in a computerised voice that is terrifying.

Civilization Phaze III

  • The whole album has an unsettling, otherworldly atmosphere, owing in part to Zappa's awareness of his impending mortality.


  • Some of Bruce Bickford 's Deranged Animation in Zappa's film Baby Snakes (1979) also fits this trope.
    • Actually, just watch the video called The Amazing Mr. Bickford released by Zappa's Honker Home Videos. A LOT of it is scary as all hell.