Inspired by this post on Create Digital Music, here’s a round of some sound effects that prove that the meme existed before the internet in that if it was good once, it must be even better the next 389,463,049,683,409,683,406,983,406,34 times.
First up of course, is the famous Wilhelm Scream. I know for a fact you’ve heard it before and once you watch this, you’ll instantly recognize it in every movie you hear it in from here out. The Wilhelm Scream lends itself quite well to memeism, as there’s something inherently giggle worthy about hearing it over and over for ten minutes and as seen in this collection of mostly goofy movie clips.
Next, we have the more annoying Howie Scream, as named for actor Howie Long, who had this sound effect dubbed in as he plunged to his death in Broken Arrow. I was subjected to this scream over and over in the early 00’s by an overzealous production assistant with a twisted sense of humor at our local tv channel that dubbed it into every promo he could for their “big Saturday afternoon movie”. Every commercial break for a good year or so I was treated to YoooooooooARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
A lot of people think that this is the same sound as the Tie Fighters from Star Wars. It sounds close, but it actually isn’t, although it’s also possible that it was inspired by the Tie Fighter sound. The Howie Scream came off of a stock sound effect CD in the 80’s while the Tie Fighter sound was custom made for the movie back in the 70’s by mixing the sound of racing cars and an elephant squeal. If you haven’t seen it already, the Star Wars site offers quite a lot of background info into the sound design that went into the movies, such as this page for the Tie Fighter.
The compilation clip I wanted show has embedding disabled. You can find it here, or you can watch this poorly animated one instead.
Last but not least we have the famous Castle Thunder sound as it is known. Originally recorded in 1931 for the movie Frankenstein, it’s been used countless times throughout cartoons and movies since then. Immediately identifiable and iconic, it’s an essential sound effect in getting that oh so gothic ambiance.