Notes for the Nov/Dec 2014 release VIY on Kronos Records. pre order here. http://kronosrecords.com/K56.html
The production of the movie VIY-3D was beset by various problems most of which were financial. Cameras began to roll on the Russian, German, Ukrainian and Czech co-production in the early part of 2005 but soon ceased as the production hit problems, filming began again but then was stopped on several occasions due to lack of funds, after a number of postponements the movie was eventually completed in the December of 2012. However it still did not see a theatrical release until the January of 2014 and this was restricted to Russia, Ukraine and Azerbaijan. On seeing sections of the movie I was reminded very much of the style of filming that was employed on short films that were part of a BBC series entitled TALES FROM EUROPE, this was a series that showcased many productions from Europe and in particular Eastern Europe. VIY has the same look and atmosphere to it, the film is a colourful, fantastical, mysterious and magical experience that has an aura surrounding it that is attractive and alluring which draws in the watching audience until they are consumed and totally convinced and mesmerized by the events that are unfolding on screen. Set in the early 18th century this richly dark adventure extravaganza tells the story of a cartographer named Jonathan Green (Jason Flemyng) leaves his pregnant betrothed and her insanely enraged Father (Charles Dance) to embark upon a scientific expedition to create a map of the Carpathians which takes him from Western Europe to the East in which he passes through the dark and mysterious land of Transylvania and over the Carpathian Mountains until he finds himself in the Ukraine. Travelling in a driver less mechanical vehicle that is drawn by horses the traveller happens upon a group of monks who relay to him a terrible and unsettling tale about a witch who lives in a village that is nearby and of their companion a young priest who stood vigil over the body of a young girl in a Church that overlooked the village, the beautiful young girl transpired to be a witch and their companion had never been seen or heard of again. The traveller is intrigued by the monks tale and decides that he must travel to the village and make a map of it. He arrives at the village and makes a somewhat spectacular entrance by crashing through its gates after being attacked and pursued by ghostly wolves through a thick and fog shrouded forest. Adapted from and loosely based upon the short story by the Ukrainian born Russian writer Nikolai Gogol which was originally published in the first volume of his collection of tales entitled MIRGOROD in 1835, the title VIY refers to the name of a demonic entity which is central to the storyline.
There have been a number of films made that are based upon this unsettling tale in 1967 there was the Russian version entitled VIY which is now regarded as a classic, in 1990 there was the Yugoslavian adaptation in the form of A HOLY PLACE, another Russian version in 1996 entitled VEDMA THE POWER OF FEAR plus a Korean edition under the title of EVIL SPIRIT in 2008. This latest adaptation of the story was scheduled to be released in 2009, which would have been the 200th anniversary of the authors birth, alas this was not to be. The original 1967 version and also A HOLY PLACE were almost direct adaptations of the authors story whereas this latest take on the story is greatly expanded upon being presented as a re-adaptation of Gogol’s original ideas. Shot in 3D this is certainly one of those edge of the seat movies that I am sure will become essential viewing for many, filled with stunning horror scenes and superb special effects, a sequel is to be filmed . The musical score is by Anton Garcia who should not be confused with Anton Garcia Abril. Anton Garcia was born into a Spanish family who lived in Moscow in 1965. He began his musical studies aged twelve and in 1985 was responsible for forming the first trash metal band in Russia called SHAH who went on to be one of the most well known and famous bands in the country. In 1995 the band parted company and Anton started to work as a producer working on over twenty long playing albums and composing a number of songs that would go on to be great success’s for various bands and solo artists. He has also worked as a composer writing for advertisements and in 2000 he began to write music for film, his most recent assignment being VIY 3D. His score is filled with vibrant and exciting themes and the best way to describe it is to say that it is a fusion of the styles that have been employed in movies such as VAN HELSING, CUTTHROAT ISLAND, YOUNG SHERLOCK HOLMES and the more recent works of Marco Beltrami and Danny Elfman. It is an unrelenting and highly entertaining work that evokes memories of action and adventure soundtracks of bygone days and will be as popular with collectors as the movie it is composed for.
John Mansell (c) 2014
As the notes appear in the CD booklet. Graphic design by Godwin Borg Kronos records (c) 2014.