From the early 1930s to the mid-1950s, Hungarian actor Bela Lugosi (real name Béla Ferenc Dezső Blaskó) starred in many horror films that have become pillars of the genre, and he became an icon for embodying one of the first Draculas on the big screen. In 1982, Peter Murphy and his band Bauhaus launched Bela Lugosi’s Dead (he had passed away in 1956 though), which became a top-charting hit. Today, it’s the turn of The Subs, who release their version of Bela Lugosi’s Dead with their audience. This time, with a fierce electronic touch.
“Bauhaus’ Bela Lugosi is one of our favourite tracks of all time,” the Belgian band explains about their newest release. “To make a cover has been both exhilarating and nerve-wracking. We created a version that has a completely different feel to it. So even if you’re not into the original, you might love this one or vice versa. Enjoy this futuristic Bela! Expect it to haunt you in your dreams and live an eternal life as vivid as the blood in your heart,” they conclude.
It’s true that both versions couldn’t be more different from each other. The original track, which is over nine minutes long (what a time to be alive when artists took their time to fully express themselves), has a more sombre, sinister tone, whereas The Subs’ cover is wild, energetic, and even chaotic. They mix humour and horror, fashion and deviant art, exploring the grotesque through the band’s zaniness.
For the accompanying music video, The Subs have gathered an impressive roster of talent. Starting with director Bjorn Tagemose, whose role was “to amplify the band’s distinct identity respecting their essence,” and continuing with stylist Tom Eerebout, known for his long-standing collaboration with pop star Lady Gaga. Uber & Kosher are in charge of the art direction after working with names like Travis Scott, Amelie Lens, Helmut Lang and Moncler, and it was all shot by Shoot the Aritst, who’s been a long-time collaborator of celebrated designer Walter van Beirendonck.