Search Results for: horror soundtracks

CD Review: THE LIVING DEAD AT THE MANCHESTER MORGUE / HORROR EXPRESS soundtrack

Living Dead At the Manchester Morgue (c) 2010 Quartet Records

That isn’t to say that Spanish horror scores from that period were any less terrifying, or funky, as Spain-based Quartet Records is proving with such releases as Waldo de los Rios’ ISLAND OF THE DAMNED and Fernando Garcia Morcillo’s HOWLING OF THE DEVIL. But perhaps none of their soundtracks has a more unique origin than Giluliano Sorgini’s THE LIVING DEAD AT THE MANCHESTER MORGUE.

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CD Review: FINAL DESTINATION 5 soundtrack

FINAL DESTINATION 5 soundtrack | ©2011 Varese Sarabande Records

Death wasn’t proud when it took Shirley Walker after her three, mordantly thrilling scores to the FINAL DESTINATION saga. And though its fifth verse is the same as the first, Walker’s black-humored approach has been continued with telltale, twisted finesse by Brian Tyler, who joined the franchise with entry four. Even with all those numbers, the series has arguable found its best footing since the original with five, buoyed on by Tyler’s bombastic approach that plays each ghastly Rube-Goldberg gore wind-up with the freshness of the series’ first death. Beginning with a rock guitar and orchestral head banger that throws […]Read On »

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CD Review: THE HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY soundtrack

House By the Cemetary (c) 2010 Beat Records

Where POLTERGEIST stands as a landmark in how mostly traditional instruments and orchestrations could be used to create an unearthly tone, rock-centric music certainly wasn’t a slouch at digging into those same fear centers, perhaps with even more chilling results. It’s likely no band did it better than Goblin, an Italian group that turned the progressive vibe pioneered by the likes of Pink Floyd and Zeppelin to far darker ends, using acid builds of electronics, strumming guitars and wailing voices to become escalating webs of fear, the big solo usually accompanying some unlucky woman’s evisceration in such classic scores as DEEP RED and SUSPIRIA.

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CD Review: POLTERGEIST Special Edition (10,000 Edition) soundtrack

Poltergeist (c) 2010 Film Score Monthly

Certainly one of the loudest, and most exciting horror scores belongs inside the television set of the Freeling family, as installed by Jerry Goldsmith. Though a master of just about every movie genre, horror had provided a creatively malefic voice for Goldsmith. He’d marry Bartok-esque impressionism and old scratch violins for THE MEPHISTO WALTZ, blow on MAGIC’s unbalanced harmonicas and win his only Oscar for chanting THE OMEN’s black mass.

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CD Review: GREMLINS soundtrack

GREMLINS soundtrack | ©2011 Film Score Monthly

If you were among the generation that saw one great genre film after the other in the early ’80’s, perhaps no signature theme signaled these pictures’ often seditious spin on kid-friendly formulas than the sweet whistling of Gizmo and the cackling, rambunctious jazz rag of what would pop out of that furry little fella if you fed him after midnight. It’s taken nearly three decades for those little devils’ music to fully metamorphose, but at long last, Jerry Goldsmith’s full score to GREMLINS is finally here to create hilariously menacing havoc. While Goldsmith was famed for scoring the far more […]Read On »

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Composer Interview: Conrad Pope spends time with MY WEEK WITH MARILYN

MY WEEK WITH MARILYN soundtrack | ©2011 Sony Classical

It takes many skilled hands to keep Hollywood running as the stars take their bows- an army that includes personal assistants, makeup artists and publicists, all of whom are sure to step out of the way of the glaring flashbulbs. Then there’s the even less sexy caste of the studio machine called “below the line,” the mostly unrecognized visual effects artists, writers, production designers, editors, costumers and other skilled craftspeople who allow the stars to shine- their own jobs eased on the steam of even more obscure laborers chained to computers and sewing machines. Yet these toiling men and women […]Read On »

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CD review: MALENKA soundtrack (limited 500 edition)

MALENKA soundtrack | ©2011 Quartet Records

Also known as FANGS OF THE LIVING DEAD, MALENKA (directed by THE BLIND DEAD trilogy’s Amando de Ossorio) casts the voluptuous Anita Ekberg as Sylvia, a fashion model who makes the mistake of visiting her vampire uncle’s castle. Of course in classic Euro-horror tradition, Sylvia also happens to be the vengeful Malenka, a centuries old executed witch out for some payback. But if it’s old-fashioned musical bats in the belfry you’re looking for, not to mention every other great horror score trope, than the glorious guignol of Carlo Savina delivers the goods. When he wasn’t conducting scores like THE GODFATHER […]Read On »

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CD Review: THE SKIN I LIVE IN soundtrack

THE SKIN I LIVE IN soundtrack | ©2011 Quartet Records

Pedro Almodovar has a long history of making skewed “womens’” pictures, where sensuality and perversity are one and the same. Yet one major reason why so many of them are regarded as class instead of camp are the very serious musical contributions of fellow Spaniard Alberto Iglesias, whose intriguing, and refined melodic sensibilities for the likes of BAD EDUCATION, VOLVER and TALK TO HER create both an elegant, and psychologically penetrative elegance to fit Almodovar’s glossy imagery. Now with THE SKIN I LIVE IN (aka LA PIEL QUE HABITO), Iglesias takes Almodovar’s bent sensibility to a whole new level of […]Read On »

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CD Review: THE THING (1982) soundtrack

THE THING soundtrack | ©2011 Buysoundtrax Records

No, we’re not talking about a stillborn prequel here, but the one and only. Jack-of-all-trades filmmaker John Carpenter had served as a writer-director-composer on all of his films until his first studio production of THE THING. It was a bigger budget that allowed Carpenter to get his composing idol Ennio Morricone to provide the director with his first “real” orchestral score. That didn’t mean that Carpenter and his “in association” collaborator Alan Howarth wouldn’t give THE THING’s soundtrack more teeth by sweetening it with the icily sharp electronics that marked the auteur’s distinctive brand of horror. The result was a […]Read On »

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CD Review: FUNERAL HOME soundtrack

FUNERAL HOME soundtrack | ©2011 Intrada Records

Though best known for giving a dark, psychological edge to the violent western stylings of Sam Peckinpah’s THE WILD BUNCH, Jerry Fielding’s twisted talent for combining dissonance and melody was equally effective in enclosed spaces, whether said abodes were being besieged by English rednecks (STRAW DOGS), a deviant handyman (THE NIGHTCOMERS) or a crazed computer (DEMON SEED). Fielding’s constant, mesmerizing sense of unease would ironically climax inside the FUNERAL HOME, an independent Canadian horror flick that proved to hold the composer’s last score.  Where a musician with Fielding’s studio resume would’ve turned their nose at being reduced to a PSYCHO-influenced […]Read On »

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