9 scary-looking guitars
20th Nov 2013 | 14:25
ESP Boris Karloff Mummy KH-2
He’d been a creepy kid with a pre-school penchant for slasher flicks, so it follows that Kirk Hammett’s choice of guitar in Metallica was an ESP embossed with the slaphead villain from 1932 undead classic The Mummy.
Frustratingly, this model has never been rolled out for everyday punters – although you could try channelling your late Aunt Maude using Hammett’s KH-2 Ouija.
Epiphone Graveyard Disciple
“I was looking at buying a Bo Diddley guitar,” recalls Zakk Wylde of the inspiration behind his pygmy- coffin signature, “and we were laughing about how it’s so puke-ugly.
"Then Black Label had a Halloween promotional item in the shape of a coffin, so I drew round it on a piece of paper and put a neck on it. My guitar tech has started calling it the Bo Deadly!”
LTD 'Tales From The Grave'
Unleashed on Halloween 2012, this limited edition LTD double-cut featured the chilling stare of original Dracula actor Béla Lugosi. “Beware!” warns the upper bout of the alder body. “The grave couldn’t hold him! He’s back!”
From Dusk Till Dawn 'Limb' guitar
The best scene from Robert Rodriguez’s 1996 post-pub classic finds the Titty Twister clientele morphing into vampires while the house band rock out on dismembered limbs. Not a bad idea, actually, given global tonewood shortages.
ESP Devil Girl
With a composite body moulded into a butt-naked she-devil and a forked tail curling up the fretboard, ESP’s Devil Girl might be kindly described as ‘niche market’. Released in 2002, it’s now a regular on eBay (but good luck finding a flight case to fit it).
“It’s meant to look like a demon,” Coheed And Cambria’s Claudio Sanchez told us in 2007, when TG asked after his ferocious stage guitar. “Travis and I saw it at the NAMM show, and when I heard it was called the Medusa, I just thought that was hilarious, given what my hair is like.”
ESP Flaming Skull
Dreamt up by NYC designer Jimmy DiResta, the Flaming Skull boasted a shrieking skeletal tailpiece and flame-grilled fretboard, achieving an effect not unlike Nicolas Cage’s noggin in Ghost Rider. The scariest thing about it? The $14,999 price tag.
BC Rich Joey Jordison Warlock
Despite a heavyweight spec including neck- thru construction and active EMGs, the big draw of this axe is the gore finish that suggests it’s just been used to behead a gang of oversexed teens camping in the woods. Relax, it’s just paint – unlike the original, for which Jordison donated his own blood.
“It just looked like a weapon,” recalls Dean CEO Elliott Rubinson of the day Dimebag’s freehand sketch unfurled from the fax machine in 2004.
Taking its cues from the ML, then sharpening the four prongs to eye-watering medieval barbs worthy of a witchfinder general, this is guitar design at its most thrillingly sadistic. Christ knows how bands get it through airport security.