PRIDE PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES ? Yes that’s correct I have not gone mad and got two genres or stories mixed up, well I haven’t but director Burr Steers seems to have. Released this week in the UK PRIDE PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES (lets not forget those flesh eating varmints) Is an odd fusion of horror with the highly acclaimed and sophisticated story as penned by Jane Austen in 1813. It is actually based on the 2009 novel by Seth Grahame Smith who via his writings provided us with this parody of established English romanticism and mashed it up with the gory and manic world of the ZOMBIE. So here we are in 19th Century England and a mysterious plague has fallen upon the country the entire land being overrun and decimated by the un-dead hordes who lust after human flesh and more. Who can stop these I hear you scream, well our fearsome and somewhat highly strung Heroine Elizabeth Bennet of course silly you.
She is a supreme master of the martial arts and has all sorts of weaponry at her disposal. She joins forces with Mr Darcy and together they set about ridding the land of this Zombie scourge and whilst doing so discover that they are truly in love with each other. A highly unlikely scenario yes, but it’s a bit of fun isn’t it. The musical score is the work of Spanish born composer Fernando Velazquez who is certainly no stranger to horror movies, his score to DEVIL for example just oozed a virulent and foreboding atmosphere and was hailed by many as a masterpiece of film scoring which tilted its hat to the style of the great Bernard Herrmann within its perimeters on more than one occasion. I love the way in which the composer manages to balance the music equally within its respective genres, by this I mean that the score remains elegant and romantic throughout but at the same time the composer infuses the correct amount of action led cues and horror laced passages whilst introducing a certain amount of comedic writing which lightens the mood at times. The score is quite large scale, the composer utilising to great effect the string section which is ably supported and enhanced by percussion and imposing sounding horns. Velazquez also employs to great effect lilting solo piano and a spidery sounding harpsichord at times which effectively sends shivers down the listeners spine giving the work a chilling aura.
This is a score that is filled with numerous sharp and searing string stabs, pounding percussive passages and an ample helping of rasping and growling brass performances, in short it is a great horror score but even though the majority of the music is what can be deemed as KNOCK EM DOWN AND DRAG EM OUT cues it still remains highly thematic and entertaining. Full of stirring heroic material which is supported by touches of the mysterious and full blown mayhem this is a soundtrack that I recommend to you, a truly old fashioned sounding horror score, that is relentless and unyielding, it’s a blast.