Soundtracks are now a pre-packaged business. There have been a few instances where the soundtrack or score is all that is available to the audience when a film is released. James Cameron’s Titanic and Zack Snyder’s 300 were such films (initially). However, there are films that have passed into the night that over time gain notoriety and gain that all encompassing status of a cult classic. Music is an all important piece of the film and many cult films from the past never had scores or soundtracks released. Where does one turn to find film scores of the past?
Monster Movie Music re-records the scores from science-fiction, fantasy and horror films of the past in a manner that's as faithful as possible to the original movie studio versions. The latest release “The Blob and Other Creepy Sounds” is an incredible addition to their library. Steve McQueen’s star making film, The Blob is a story about a meteor that falls to Earth and oozes a red blob that begins to consume a town. McQueen plays a teenager who witnesses the blob’s first attacks and attempts to rally the town and stop the blob before it is too late. The film is a fifties classic and has been celebrated by the Criterion Collection and has an annual screening in its birthplace, Phoenixville, PA, called “Blob Fest”.
The Blob score by Ralph Carmichael is a great piece of music that teeters on the edge between teen love story and horror. Included is Carmichael’s unused main title called “Violence”. This ominous and dark track plays perfectly to the scifi-horror genre of the day. Though what makes The Blob unique is that its young people are actually the heroes, uncommon at the time, so the original opening song by Burt Bacharach and David Mack entitled, “The Blob” is a reminder of the time. The song is a lure for the younger audince and it alievates anyone from thinking this is a truly dark horror film. The Blob's title track has become a Halloween CD staple that is quirky, funny and easily memorized (trust me you’ll be humming it after one play).
The “Love Theme” (romantic bridge) is only 17 seconds but it is perfect. If only today’s composers could capture a piece of music which is so sweet, endearing and conveys so much in such a small amount of time their music would have a greater impact. Thankfully, there is another piece of the “Love Theme” that is the full breath of music which can be appreciated with out hitting repeat.
“Shooting Star” is filled with slimy strings that bring the blob ooze to life, much in the same way John Williams made the shark more terrifing in Jaws. In this track, as like many others, Carmichael delivers a mystrious unertone that keeps the audience guessing to what and where the blob will devour and go.
Monstrous Movie Music has restored this cult film’s brilliant score and gives each piece of music its own track no matter how small. There is no grouping or extended tracks. Each (as well as many bonus unused pieces) has their moment and time to shine. Fans of the film or the genre will find “The Blob and Other Creepy Sounds” to be a jewel in their soundtrack collection.
Monstrous Movie Music has included a few other cinematic cult films from the golden age of science fiction, fantasy and horror. There is an additional 40 minutes of music and atmospheric cues from the Valentino Production Music Library, including pieces used in The Green Slime, The Brain That Wouldn’t Die and Terror From the Year 5000. Plus there is “Attilio Mineo Conducts Man in Space with Sounds.” An incredible collection of music that is, at its heart, the very essence of space travel in all its awesome glory. These musical scores would be forever lost if not for the painstaking effort of the good people at Monstrous Movie Music.
From The Brain That Wouldn’t Die comes "Spell of the Unknown” by Roger Roger. An eerie and ominous piece of music that reminds any fan of the film of that severed head with a plan for a murderous revenge. The piece is beyond scary, it is terrifying.
From “Attilio Mineo Conducts Man in Space with Sounds” comes by far my favorite piece on the entire CD. “Birds in Flight” with its incredible harpsichord and bizarre smoothing vibraphone captivates the imagination, reminds you how other worldly space travel really is; making Minoe’s piece alone worth the price of CD.
Also from The Brain that Wouldn’t Die is the “Mob Scene”, a crazy piece of music that brings to life early sixties horror. At times it reminded me of Neal Hefti musical pieces from the Batman TV series starring Adam West. The music is repetitive and swirls around you as if you were in a nightmare landscape. Perfect for setting the mood and the feel for The Brain that Wouldn’t Die.
“Gateway to Glory” by Mario Nascimbene, is an extra piece that invokes the very best of the classic epics like Barabbas, One Million B.C., and Alexander the Great. It has a dark ominious march that could either be for heroes marching to certain doom or fallen heroes marching home from war. It again proves that the modern day composer just doesn’t make movie lusic like this anymore.
The Blob and Other Creepy Sounds is a masterpiece of forgotten classics that any fan of music will appreciate. This only the latest CD by Monster Movie Music. Personally, I want to pick up their This Island Earth and other Alien Invasion Films CD. Their site is the only place you can order their work from. Up next from Monster Movie Music is a classic score by Herman Stein of Roger Corman’s classic The Intruder which starred none other that William Shatner.