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)

Column: Slicing Score: Sweeney Todd (2007)

By Maria Mitchell

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007). Composer: Stephen Sondheim.

The full edition of this film’s soundtrack contains a concise bio of Stephen Sondheim and a photo by Jerry Jackson. The lyrics to the numbers are reprinted and it’s interesting to read and hear the lyrics of “Alms, Alms!” that are omitted from the film. The soundtrack is interesting and well-represented. How well does a horror story fare as a musical? I have mixed feelings …

Maria MitchellColumn: Slicing Score: Sweeney Todd (2007)

Column: Slicing Score: Re-Animator and Bride of Re-Animator (1985; 1990)

By Maria Mitchell

Re-Animator and Bride of Re-Animator (1985; 1990). Composer: Richard Band.

Bride of Re-Animator‘s soundtrack is a challenge to obtain but worth the effort. It was still available on Amazon, last I checked and at the time I wrote this review, but it’s going fast. I snagged the last mint condition copy presently available, which is a merged edition of both Re-Animator and Bride of Re-Animator‘s soundtracks. It isn’t a wonder it’s going, going, soon to …

Maria MitchellColumn: Slicing Score: Re-Animator and Bride of Re-Animator (1985; 1990)

Column: Slicing Score: Wait Until Dark (1967)

By Maria Mitchell

Wait Until Dark (1967). Composer: Henry Mancini.

Blindness in Wait Until Dark was a handicap that the main character had to adapt to after having known sight. A soundtrack that accompanies blindness should epitomize blindness. The soundtrack to this film is one in which suspense creates a sound that is not only dark but kinetic and frightening, because it implies incessant motion without direction, guidance, or order. It sounds like chaos. It sounds dark restlessness and implies …

Maria MitchellColumn: Slicing Score: Wait Until Dark (1967)

Column: Slicing Score: Re-Animator (1985)

By Maria Mitchell

Re-Animator (1985). Director: Stuart Gordon. Composer: Richard Band.

The score to Psycho, composed by Bernard Herrmann, may have been the epitome of a score that slices sound, but Re-Animator‘s score is a score that splits a heart of darkness into shards of laughter. This score, I believe, was born, not of madness, but of affection and respect for a cornerstone of horror music contained between Herrmann’s original staves. This quality is an underrated and ignored aspect …

Maria MitchellColumn: Slicing Score: Re-Animator (1985)