I don’t know about you, but I loved the score for BLACK PANTHER, I also thought that the understated score for the re-boot of DEATH WISH was pretty good as well, so I for one was pleased to hear that the composer who worked on both was to score VENOM. Ludwig Goransson fashioned some funky themes for BLACK PANTHER and fused these up-tempo pieces with some interesting conventional sounding film music. When he scored CREED, he pulled out all the stops and blew me away with his re-working of the Rocky theme and his original material for the score was awesome. VENOM is the latest in the never-ending cycle of superhero movies, Goransson has scored the film and I have to say that there are a few moments which I found original and sections that I considered were ok. However, for the most part the score kind of goes down the route of musical noises or even un-musical noises, the composer relying more upon sounds, pulses or beats to create atmospheres and moods for the picture, yes I realise that this is probably more of a horror film than a superhero movie, but you know I don’t really get the difference sometimes.




The composer has I have to say disappointed me more than surprised or entertained me with this his latest offering. There are some high-octane powerhouse moments within the score,  as in PEDAL TO THE METAL but these are often, interrupted or overpowered using the electronic and the synthetic never allowing anything vaguely musical to develop. Yes I know this is an action movie, but there should be room for a theme here and there or at least a hint of one. The manufactured sounds or samples are just grating and seem to be more so in this case, working against the remainder of the score, the noises, jolts, starts and frantic chaotic jarring sounds just do not a good experience make. So, it’s a thumbs down for this one, but as you know this is just my opinion, and what do I know? Also dont forget there are two albums, one is the score, the other a song compilation.


daughters od


Based upon Sheridan Le Fanu’s CAMILLA, DAUGHTERS OF DARKNESS or LE ROUGE AUX LEVRES to give it its original French title, is a stylish and erotic vampire movie. Which draws upon the classic tale of a lesbian vampire. A newly married couple are on honeymoon at an exclusive but deserted hotel by the sea waiting to make a trip to England, the groom Stefan (John Karlen) is taking his new Bride Valerie (Daniele Quimet) to meet his Mother. But for some reason Stefan is not looking forward to his new wife meeting his Mother. Whilst staying at the hotel the couple meet with a Countess Elisabeth Bathory (Delphine Seyrig) who s accompanied by Ilona played by Andrea Rau. Valarie discovers that her new husband is a sexual sadist and is attracted to the Countess. Ilona becomes involved and attempts to have sex with Stefan but is accidently killed. When the Countess discovers Ilona is dead she takes out her anger and frustration upon Valerie. DAUGHTERS OF DARKNESS has to be considered as one of the finest vampire movies ever produced, it is a classy and polished movie which is visually stylish and maintains the erotic intensity throughout.


Directed by Harry Kumel who keeps the tension between the characters taught and edgy. What the movie lacked in the way of budget it certainly compensated with the style and class it purveyed. The musical score is equally as stylish composer Francois de Roubaix creating sinister but melodic musical passages and themes to accompany the extreme violence and eroticism and haunt the listener. This is a score I have long admired by this wonderful composer who sadly left this world far to soon.



De Roubaix has an unmistakable style that is instantly recognisable, for DAUGHTERS OF DARKNESS he utilised strings, which are subtle and minimal, percussion, harpsichord and synthetic sounds or instrumentation, in many of the cues there is a simple almost childlike reoccurring melody, which although is charming can at times be unsettling. There is also a slightly off kilter motif that the composer utilises affectively purveying an atmosphere of apprehension and a sound that is unnerving.



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De Roubaix was a Masterful creator of themes and this is a work that is filled with so many innovative leitmotifs some of which evoke the style of Ennio Morricone, because of the use of choir, it is also a score that has been a long time coming, and considering it is probably one of the composers best works for the cinema, it is surprising that it has taken so long, but at last it is here, so sit back and savour the music of the macabre , the music of sensuality and the sound of unease and fear.





light horseBorn in Sydney Australia in the May of 1955, Mario Millo had Italian parents, his first contact with music was when he began to be taught how to play Mandolin by his Father at the age of five. Millo, then began to take an interest in the guitar and by the age of just eight he was fronting his own band which he called THE MENU. In 1969 the band won the Pepsi poll and because of this were offered a record deal and re named the band the Clik. They had a couple of mild success’s and were then signed by Coca-Cola and changed their name to the FANASY, under this name they promoted Orange Fanta in a series of advertisements. The band then toured Australia and New Zealand. But split up in 1971. After this Millo decided to take a trip around Europe, but after six months returned to Sydney, where he reformed The Clik bringing in a completely new line up, the band did not fare that well and thus disbanded in the latter part od 1973. In 1974, Millo joined another band called SEBASTEIN HARDIE, the band enjoyed quite a bit of success and became popular within Australia. The band split in the summer of 1977 and it was at this point that Millo decided to pursue a solo career. His first foray not creating a soundtrack came in 1978 for the TV series AGAINST THE WIND with the album of his work entering the charts in Australia and reaching the number ten spot. When the series was released in Norway the single from the soundtrack SIX RIBBONS reached number one in the chart. During the period from 1978 through to 1984 Millo collaborated with numerous musicians and performers, one being composer David Hirschfelder.



In 1984 Millo worked on the soundtrack a documentary entitled WORLD SAFARI ll THE FINAL ADVENTURE, he then wrote the music for the TV mini series A FORTUNATE LIFE. But it is probably his outstanding musical score for the 1987 motion picture THE LIGHTHORSEMEN that the composer is best known for and it was writing the music for productions such as this that the composer developed a successful career within the film and TV music arena. He also composed the music for GP (1989), BRIDES OF CHRIST (1991), SEE HOW THEY RUN (1999) and CHANGI in 2001. The composer winning an ARIA award in 1992 for BRIDES OF CHRIST and was again nominated for the same award in 2002 for CHANGI.


Millo’s score for THE LIGHTHORSEMEN is a fully symphonic work which relies upon large scale orchestral compositions that are filled with drama and excitement, the work is driven using strings and brass which are supported by woodwind and thundering percussive elements. The score is now considered by many to one of the finest film soundtracks to be composed for an Australian movie, and I must agree with this opinion. It is an epic sounding work that boasts so many themeatic properties and one that has to it an atmosphere of urgency and apprehension. The music was performed by THE VICTORIA PHILHARMONIC, who were basically members of the Melbourne Symphony orchestra under the baton of the well-respected Australian conductor William Motzing. The score to THE LIGHTHORSEMEN is a work that once heard you will want to return to it many times, it is a powerful but at the same time melodic and entertaining soundtrack and one I am pleased to say did get a re-release on the DRAGONS DOMAIN (ddr608) label recently. The original CD release on the Australian 1M1 label has long since been deleted and the original LP record is as rare as Hens teeth.



The score was written in the same period as the music for films such as GALLIPOLI. ANZACS, THE MAN FROM SNOWY RIVER, ROBBERY UNDER ARMS etc was penned. It was a time when Australian cinema was coming into its own and was also creating its own individuality and originality.


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THE LIGHTHORSEMEN is a truly inspiring film set during WWl with the fearless Australian cavalry going up against the superior forces of the Turks, and has a score that evokes memories of the great film music of both the Golden and Silver ages, via its haunting and fragile softer interludes and its urgent and tense action music, it is rousing and yet melancholy, and for me has a John Williams vibe to it, lushly romantic yet ominously frantic in parts. Try and catch the re-issue before its too late. It is a shame that Millo did not manage to move into bigger movies or Hollywood productions as Bruce Smeaton, Brian May, Bruce Rowland and Pete Best did. Instead he chose to remain in Australia and work on smaller productions.




Millo is a composer of great talent and has to his work an innovative brilliance that has sadly been overlooked or ignored. Maybe the composer might begin to score movies again, we can only hope.