Hi. It’s time for one of those “IAB’s awesome mix tape”-articles again. To fit the season, it being October and the time of Halloween and all, this time I’ll be covering composers that either got started or are most known for their work in the horror genre. It is a genre that is VERY dependent on music, after all – many horror directors have said, that the moment you can really tell if your movie is working is when the music is placed in. And it’s a genre that also gives a composer a chance to….well – go totally nuts. So here’s my selections this time:
Goblin, the progressive rock band from Italy, goes pretty much hand in hand with what one could call the “Golden Years” of the Italian horror director Dario Argento. “Deep Red“, “Suspiria“, “Tenebre” – that’s what i would call a perfect trilogy of eerie music. And of course they also provided the score for George A. Romero’s “Dawn of the Dead“(which can or cant be heard – depending on which version of the film you see) and Argento’s “Phenomena“. The founding member of Goblin, Claudio Simonetti, has continued to work with Argento even after the band itself broke up(although they have since been reunited/broken many times in different groupings).
Deep Red(Profondo Rosso)
Dawn of the Dead
I don’t think the “Friday the 13th“-franchise would have had the longevity it had or been as memorable, if composer Harry Manfredini hadn’t been there from the start. He had such a brilliant masterstroke, when he created the iconic “ki,ki,ki….ma, ma, ma“-riff that’s been forever associated with the series since. And the way he did it, too – sampling two words from a crazed monologue of Pamela Voorhees from the end of the first movie; “kill” and “mommy”. And the rest is history.
Friday the 13th
And the same could be said about Charles Bernstein’s work on the “Nightmare on Elm Street“-franchise; he created the iconic theme of Freddy Krueger, and it’s been used by every composer working on the franchise since. A very simple melody – a bit off-key, as is the entire world in the movie anyway. And despite the score being mostly electronic, as is the case with many 80’s horror scores, it has not aged one bit.
Nighmare on Elm Street
A nice segue from the previous selection, as Young was the man who scored the controversial “Nightmare 2”, as well as many other low-budget horror pictures, until he got his big break: “Hellraiser“. That movie, with it’s sequel “Hellbound: Hellraiser 2” pretty much cemented Young’s reputation as a horror maestro extraordinaire. Of course, in the years since he’s been scoring movies of all genres – but I feel that his first love and where he still likes to take the opportunity to go totally nuts, is horror.
The Fly 2
Drag Me To Hell
Beltrami was a complete unknown in 1996, when the late Wes Craven picked him as the composer of the first “Scream“-movie. He had been an understudy of the great Jerry Goldsmith at USC Thornton in Los Angeles and had scored some short films and a TV movie, but he sure stepped to the challenge. His combination of eerie voices, electronics and hard-hitting orchestra was definitely a breath of fresh air – the approx. 10 minute opening cue is enough proof of that. It’s titled in some releases as “The cue from hell” – probably because of it’s violent changes of tempo and because it was always recorded as one long take. And how is Beltrami nowadays? Hell – he’s a two time Academy Award nominee with his scores to “3:10 To Yuma” and “The Hurt Locker“. But it all started in the horror genre for him, as well.
Well, that’s all at this time. Have a good listen, everyone!