Column: Slicing Score: From Hell (2001)

By Maria Mitchell

From Hell (2001). Composer: Trevor Jones.

This film is a tough one to figure out as far as deciding whether or not it’s entertaining or dull. It will probably bore seasoned “Ripperologists” because they’ve heard most of the theories about the Ripper’s identity. Out of all the theories there are to choose from, these filmmakers went with the one that makes as much sense as cat litter pancake mix. As wrong as this theory is, it is …

Maria MitchellColumn: Slicing Score: From Hell (2001)

Column: Slicing Score: Manos: The Hands of Fate (1966)

By Maria Mitchell

Manos: The Hands of Fate (1966). Composers: Robert Smith Jr. and Russ Huddleston.

“That was Manos: The Hands of Fate, on Music through the Night.” – Tom Servo. MST3K.

It has been maligned as the worst movie ever made by film critics and filmgoers alike. It has been ridiculed mercilessly by Elvira and the Satellite of Love crew from Mystery Science Theater 3000. It appears to have been made with the sole intent of …

Maria MitchellColumn: Slicing Score: Manos: The Hands of Fate (1966)

Column: Slicing Score: Damien: Omen II (1978)

By Maria Mitchell

Damien: Omen II (1978). Composer: Jerry Goldsmith.

This soundtrack is divided into two different parts. It includes the film versions of the cues and the original recording demos.

Main Titles (Film Version): This track nicely showcases Goldsmith’s use of a synthesizer with a traditional orchestra to give these titles a seamless blend of traditional and modern essence.

“Face of the Antichrist”: The guttural intro spliced with percussion makes this cue strange and uneasy. This type of intro …

Maria MitchellColumn: Slicing Score: Damien: Omen II (1978)

Column: Slicing Score: The Amityville Horror

By Maria Mitchell

The Amityville Horror (1979). Composer: Lalo Schifrin.

High Hopes. That was what the new owners of the ominous house on Ocean Avenue felt about their home. They had these words placed on a sign posted on the front lawn of the property that once belonged to the real-life Defeo family. The house where they were murdered. The sign was removed by the time George and Kathy Lutz moved into the house, but the ghostly remembrance of hopes …

Maria MitchellColumn: Slicing Score: The Amityville Horror

Column: Slicing Score: Jaws (1975)

By Maria Mitchell

Jaws (1975). Composer: John Williams.

The production of this movie was plagued by one nearly insurmountable obstacle: The shark didn’t work most of the time. It’s funny to think how irritating the shark must have been to the crew behind the scenes. Horror at sea held H.P. Lovecraft’s fervent attention and he wrote luridly about sea monsters, including the famous Cthulhu. Jaws is a horrid peer to Cthulhu when it comes to carnage at sea. A large …

Maria MitchellColumn: Slicing Score: Jaws (1975)

Column: Slicing Score: Cat’s Eye (1985)

By Maria Mitchell

Cat’s Eye (1985). Composer: Alan Silvestri.

“The music is part of his conditioning.” Alan King. Quitter’s Incorporated. Stephen King’s Cat’s Eye.

Some 80s horror film soundtracks are difficult to find. And if you do find them, you might have to settle for buying them in a format that you can’t utilise. I can’t utilise vinyl at present, so listening to the complete soundtrack of Cat’s Eye is out for me. I had to settle for the …

Maria MitchellColumn: Slicing Score: Cat’s Eye (1985)

Column: Slicing Score: Planet of the Apes (2001)

By Maria Mitchell

Planet of the Apes (2001). Composer: Danny Elfman.

Jerry Goldsmith’s original score to the first Planet of the Apes was a tough musical act to follow and only a composer with a team of musicians possessing a respect and understanding of the brutal potential of percussive instruments could create and capture sound to match the standard set by Goldsmith. This soundtrack feels like the audio recording of an anthropological team diving into the vile, lurking, overgrown unknown. …

Maria MitchellColumn: Slicing Score: Planet of the Apes (2001)

Column: Slicing Score: 1408 (2007)

By Maria Mitchell

1408 (2007). Composer: Gabriel Yared.

The soundtrack to 1408 is interesting for me to review because this is a film I have not seen. I listened to this soundtrack while knowing as little as possible about the movie, simply put: because I didn’t want to know. All I can glean about its content from the liner notes is that the story takes place in a hotel with one man’s stay in the room as the centre …

Maria MitchellColumn: Slicing Score: 1408 (2007)

Column: Slicing Score: The Exorcist (1973)

By Maria Mitchell

Composer: Mike Oldfield.

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The version of “Tubular Bells” that I have is the version from the compilation album, Pure Moods. The score to The Exorcist is sparse and “Tubular Bells” is the …

Maria MitchellColumn: Slicing Score: The Exorcist (1973)

Review: Live at the Gilman House (2011)

By Brian M. Sammons

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Live at the Gilman House: Ogham Waite and the Amphibian Jazz Band. H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society, 2011.

The members of the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society are cultists of the highest degree …

Brian M. SammonsReview: Live at the Gilman House (2011)

Column: Slicing Score: The Resurrected (1991)

By Maria Mitchell

The Resurrected (1991). Composer: Richard Band.

When one continues to do something that wasn’t respected the first time around, is it determination or idiocy? Some people (though not many) would rather be a fool than a success by virtue of standards they do not agree with. That brings me to the story of “The Case of Charles Dexter Ward”. Joseph Curwin isn’t afraid to put his aspirations on hold for a while. A long while. Especially when …

Maria MitchellColumn: Slicing Score: The Resurrected (1991)

Column: Slicing Score: The Mephisto Waltz/The Other (1971; 1972)

By Maria Mitchell

The Mephisto Waltz/The Other (1971; 1972). Composer: Jerry Goldsmith.

If you can find substantial portions of two good scores in one soundtrack, consider yourself lucky. Strings can be brutal and the strings are a pleasure to be found in The Mephisto Waltz’s score. Piano music is scattered harshly around the tracks, but the strings form trenches in the soundscape. Those auditory trenches contain the darkest musical pressure points. The sound is raw. While I like the score …

Maria MitchellColumn: Slicing Score: The Mephisto Waltz/The Other (1971; 1972)