Here’s The Origin Of The Moaning From White Zombie’s More Human Than Human
Certain songs are defined in part by their opening samples, and one such track is most certainly More Human Than Human, the megahit by ’90s groove metal act White Zombie from their 1995 album Astro-Creep: 2000 - Songs Of Love, Destruction, And Other Synthetic Delusions Of The Electric Head. The moaning that leads into the song’s driving slide-guitar riff — a series of breathy female cries, backed by almost hilariously bad porno music — is immediately identifiable to any metalhead who’s taken a red-faced car ride with their parents since 1995. But the question remains: where exactly did this moaning come from? Is it a specific actress’s sex-scene vocalizations, or just the soundtrack to some throwaway skin flick?
In fact, it’s sort of both. The moaning at the beginning of More Human Than Human is definitely from an adult film, but it doesn’t come from just any porno — it’s from the bizarre 1982 apocalyptic sci-fi skin flick Café Flesh.
The movie, directed by Stephen Sayadian under the bizarre nickname Rinse Dream, is part of a wave of ’80s pornos that played at being actual films. Movies like Behind The Green Door and Deep Throat had made adult films more mainstream, and an attempt was being made by directors to up the production value and narrative of porno movies so that they could find their way into widely-read publications and most local adult movie theaters.
One such film was Café Flesh, which tried to mix the artsy nightclub imagery of the burgeoning new wave scene, the boom in sci-fi that was still echoing off of Star Wars, and the trend of stylized modern porno, into a bizarre version of Cabaret.
According to Café Flesh, after a nuclear apocalypse, most of the world’s surviving humans are “Sex Negatives,” who become physically ill when they try to engage in sex acts. Those who are “Positives” are forced to take part in Café Flesh, a theater in which they have sex for the entertainment of the Negatives. But when a very special, very sexy Positive shows up, one Negative girl begins questioning just how sick sex really makes her, causing a rift between her and her boyfriend (all of which certainly sounds like something Rob Zombie would draw).
The scene in question starts with Max Melodramatic, the cabaret’s MC, doing a series of impressions, which leads to a performance that suggests banging more than displays it. There are striped corsets, snapping disembodied hands, and a weird sliding platform that functions as a sort of sex swing. The moaning from More Human kicks in at about the 41-minute mark, as the performance reaches its peak (as it were).
Watch the scene from Café Flesh that opens up More Human Than Human below:
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