Column: Slicing Score: Halloween (1978)

By Maria Mitchell

Halloween (1978, soundtrack). Music composed by John Carpenter.

John Carpenter and his fellow musicians dubbed themselves the ‘Bowling Green Philharmonic’ when they set out to perform Carpenter’s score to Halloween. Carpenter made a very economic move by hiring himself as his own film scorist for Halloween. This was just one of many good choices concerning the film. In fact, Carpenter may be able to attribute his position as director of Halloween to his talent for …

IFPColumn: Slicing Score: Halloween (1978)

Column: Slicing Score: Vertigo (1958)

By Maria Mitchell

Vertigo (1958). Soundtrack composed and conducted by Bernard Herrmann.

Director Alfred Hitchcock was known for employing the use of MacGuffins in his films. MacGuffins were plot devices that held the audience’s attention, but had little to do with the actual story. They were devices intended to distract the audience from the film’s real conclusion. This bait-and-switch technique of Hitch’s is what makes many of his films convoluted and interesting. Vertigo is a film that made use of …

IFPColumn: Slicing Score: Vertigo (1958)

Column: Slicing Score: Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983)

By Maria Mitchell

Twilight Zone: The Movie. Soundtrack composed by Jerry Goldsmith, 1983.

The 1983 debut of Twilight Zone: The Movie was overshadowed by the infamous accident which caused a helicopter being used for a stunt to crash and crush two child actors and actor Vic Morrow. This infamy, horrible as it is, isn’t the reason why the moody collection of stories didn’t gel with audiences. Twilight Zone had never been adapted to film before. Audiences who grew up …

IFPColumn: Slicing Score: Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983)

Column: Slicing Score: Family Plot (1976)

By Maria Mitchell

Family Plot (soundtrack). Music composed and conducted by John Williams (1976).

There’s something magical about a harpsichord which allows its sound to elicit images of baroque intrigue from the imagination. As “Family Plot” is a film anchored in convoluted plans of deception and mystery, it’s only fitting that this wonderful instrument should be one of the most recognizable voices of the score’s orchestration. The film follows the wheels and deals of a phony medium named Blanche Tyler …

IFPColumn: Slicing Score: Family Plot (1976)

Column: Slicing Score: Red Dragon

By Maria Mitchell

Red Dragon (Soundtrack) Composed by Danny Eflman and conducted by Pete Anthony (2002) .

When Danny Elfman was composing the score to the film Edward Scissorhands, he made a habit of visiting the set of the film with Uncle Billy: the mummified head of an Indo-European man which Elfman introduced with great pride to his co-workers. Uncle Billy became the mascot of the crew and even got a credit in the film (Glionna, L.A. Times; 2001). …

IFPColumn: Slicing Score: Red Dragon

Column: Slicing Score: The Omen

By Maria Mitchell

The Omen (1976, soundtrack). Composed by Jerry Goldsmith, conducted by Lionel Newman.

If you’re Jerry Goldsmith, then one day, you woke up and realized that sometimes, you have to compose the musical evocation of a malicious Black Mass of orgiastic proportions to get any recognition in film music. When it comes to the most imitated piece of film music ever recorded, three bristling contenders are Bernard Hermann’s Psycho, John William’s Jaws, and Jerry Goldsmith’s The

IFPColumn: Slicing Score: The Omen

Column: Slicing Score: The Dunwich Horror (1970)

By Maria Mitchell

The Dunwich Horror (Soundtrack). Music composed and conducted by Les Baxter.

The Dunwich Horror debuted in theaters in 1970, generated mediocre success for its parent, American International Pictures, and faded away into quiet obscurity. Author William K. Everson concisely reveals in his compendium, The Classics of Horror Film (Citadel Press; 1977), why the film didn’t succeed as earlier Poe-inspired cheapies churned out by American International had: “Although it didn’t come off, Lovecraft received far more serious attention …

IFPColumn: Slicing Score: The Dunwich Horror (1970)

Review: Spaceship Zero

by Paula R. Stiles

The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets. (2001) Spaceship Zero: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. Vancouver: Divine Industries, Inc. $8.99

Spaceship Zero is a soundtrack album for the RPG game of the same name. Put out in 2001 by a Lovecraft/Mythos rock group operating out of Chiliwack, B.C. since 1992, The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets, the album is a bouncy tribute to ’50s and ’60s space-opera film and television. It doesn’t take itself even …

IFPReview: Spaceship Zero