Herbert Stothart

Herbert Stothart was to become the in-house composer for MGM and was responsible for composing and overseeing many scores for their films starting with early sound pictures through untill his death in 1949. The composer worked exclusively for Metro Goldwyn Mayer and was responsible for the musical score for The Wizard of Oz. The style and sound that the composer employed is often overlooked and even dismissed by many critics as being light and fleeting.

But what would movies such as The Wizard of Oz be like without his distinct and inventive musical soundtrack. It was the music that made me feel uneasy when the wicked witch was around, and the composer created key themes for many of the characters, so that the watching audience would be aware that they would be coming into a scene etc.

I think his way of scoring movies was unique and it is his style and sound that many film music composers who followed in the 1950’s through to the end of the 1960’s would draw upon and base their own writing upon. He was an important figure in the world of movie music and as influential as the likes of Max Steiner, Alfred Newman, and their like.

Stothart was of German/Scottish decent, and was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on September 11th 1885. Initially he was headed for a career as a history teacher, but his fascination and love of music soon made him realise that it was music that he wanted to do as a career. While attending the University of Wisconsin he composed and conducted musicals for the Haresfoot Dramatic Club. A show he worked on entitled Manicure Shop became a success and was later staged in Chicago, this gave Stothart the break he needed and led him to undertake further musical studies in Europe, which in turn led the composer to working full time writing music for musical theatre and vaudeville. It was in 1914 that the composer was given a job by Oscar Hammerstein ll as musical director for the operette High Jinks. After three years travelling around the country with various shows, Stothart was given the opportunity to work on his first Broadway musical production Furs and Frills was a farce and was met with favourable reviews.

Over the next ten years or so the composer worked on a string of successful productions and collaborated with many top names in the music business such as Vincent Youmans.  It was around 1923 that Stothart’s own compositions began to take centre stage, and in 1925 he was celebrating a hit show of his own which was Rose Marie, written with Rudolf Frimi.This success was soon built upon and Stothart wrote the opera and ballet Song of the Flame with George Gershwin.

 In the late 1920’s the talkies had arrived and soon established themselves as a popular form of entertainment with audiences. Seeing the potential of combining musical theatre and film Louis B Meyer asked the composer to come to Hollywood. It did not take long for Stothart to become a respected and also a sought-after composer in tinsel town, and soon established himself MGM’s foremost composer and musical director.  Many of his early film scores were for movies based upon literary classics, such as the 1935 version of The Mutiny on the Bounty and Pride and Prejudice.

The composer’s preferred musical style was to create subtle and melodic interludes, occasionally slipping into a more serious and near mournful style when the storyline called for it. He wrote predominantly for strings, and it was the string section that featured large within his movie scores. He would also weave classical leitmotifs into the fabric of his scores at times referencing the likes of Chopin in his score for The Tale of Two Cities (1935), and Tchaikovsky in movies such as Waterloo Bridge and Conquest from 1940 and 1937 respectively. He was not only a composer of scores for films, Stothart had many roles and one of these was to act as musical supervisor on several the Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald operettas that were so popular with audiences.  The composer often supervising, orchestrating, and conducting on these assignments. He also penned a handful of songs one of his best-known was The Donkey Serenade, which was used in the movie The Firefly in 1937, where it was performed by Allan Jones.

In the 1940’s he worked on films such as Dragon Seed, National Velvet, The Yearling, Northwest Passage, Son of Lassie, Thirty Seconds over Tokyo and so many more. He became the first composer at MGM to win an Academy Award for the musical score to The Wizard of Oz (1939). A studio where the composer spent most of his career. He died at the age of 63 from cancer of the spine.


The 9th Life of Louis Drax, was released in 2016. The movie, which was helmed by filmmaker Alexandre Aja, who also put his distinct, innovative directorial stamp upon movies such as The Hills Have Eyes, in 2006 and in 2013 directed Daniel Radcliffe in Horns. The film crosses over into various genres so is a difficult one to define into one specific category of film or story. It is however seen as more of a supernatural thriller than anything else. It stars Jamie Dornan, Sarah Gadon, Aiden Longworth, Oliver Platt, Molly Parker, Julian Wadham, Jane McGregor, Barbara Hershey, and Aaron Paul. It’s screenplay was the work of writer   Max Minghella and based on Liz Jensen’s best-selling novel of the same title which was first published in 2004. The basic components of the plot focus upon and around Louis Drax, who is at the time of the films, opening a nine-year-old boy who suffers a near-fatal fall and is in a coma. The doctor responsible for his care Dr. Pascal is desperate to reveal the strange circumstances behind the young boy’s accident and dark coincidences that have plagued his entire life. And as a consequence of his ever-growing involvement is drawn into a thrilling mystery that explores the nature of the sixth sense, testing the boundaries of fantasy and reality.

The musical score is by Patrick Watson and is a work that I have to say I am sorry I missed which was issued on compact disc by Varese Sarabande in 2017.

It is a mesmerising soundtrack, and at times reminded me of the music for The Lady in White, being emotive, dramatic and mysterious. There is a wealth of rich and hauntingly affecting music within this score, the majority of which is symphonic by the sound of it, of course there are synthetic/electronic flourishes that enhance and support, but the main core of the work is conventional instrumentation and the electronics take a back seat for the majority of the duration. There are some delicate and enticing piano solos scattered throughout the score, that are richly melodic and filled with a poignancy and air of melancholy purveying a fragility and sense of solitude and vulnerability. The composer also fashions a waltz type composition that is immediately striking in the cue entitled The Red Dress, which is not only attractive but becomes ever more enticing as it builds. The music reflects perfectly the tones of the movies storyline moving from sections that convey light and airy auras that contain hints of comedy, into dark and sombre interludes that are at times foreboding and unsettling.

As I said in the opening of the article the film crosses into various genres, mixing tried and tested methods of storytelling because it is one minute a quirky and tantalising indie-film then alters direction and moves into a more family friendly tale, it can also be looked upon as being a fantasy  filled with surreal and illusionary components and even has a detective element to it as the various parts of the plot start to come together, but I think at its heart this is a traditional psychological/horror thriller. But whatever genre you personally decide to put this into it remains an entertaining and more to the point an intriguing film. Composer Patrick Watson has taken all of these into consideration and created a score that is filled with rich textures and vivid musical colours. The use of voice or synth voice in a handful of the tracks is also affecting giving the score an otherworldly sound.

As well as being effective with the unfolding scenarios on screen and enhancing the movies sometimes complex storyline it is wonderfully enriching to listen to just as stand-alone music. The film is surprising, engaging and thought provoking. It is expressively powerful and impacting and uniquely entertaining. The music score too has all these attributes and more. A film and soundtrack to watch out for.  


Time again for a look at the latest releases in soundtrack world. Again there are plenty to choose from but it’s a case I think this time around of do we really want to hear some of them. There seems to be a lot of electronic scores out there on this occasion, ok, yes there are also some nice symphonic works on release, but the majority are of the soundscape variety that are filled with the droning and noisy sounds that have invaded the world of film scoring in recent years. Its at times such as this that I glad of the digital platforms as one can sift through the many releases and get an idea of their style and overall sound. As a collector of film music for quite a few years now, I have seen or more to the point heard varying approaches to scoring movies and TV projects, also seen new composers come and go. In recent years I was hopeful that film music would return to symphonic styles, but with this latest batch of releases I was hard pressed to find anything that had real substance and symphonic or melodious content.

So, I will give you details here of those and maybe we can go back to more melodic and thematic days with a look at scores you might have missed with a trip back to the late nineties with a Cliff Edelman score that is filled with romantic and poignant themes, a classic eighties score from composer Randy Newman which is filled with themes that are at times full on Americana and when listening to them you can smell the homemade Apple pie.

Plus, a look back at Armando Trovajoli’s score for Profumo Di Donna from the 70’s, plus the same composers only foray into the world of the Spaghetti western. Bruno Nicolai’s score for the 1969 movie Insatiable Women which is soon to be re-issued and is a smorgasbord of lounge and exotica, laced with big band elements.  And yes, there is more, a western in 3-D with one of the most haunting themes within the genre, but one that is often overlooked.  

All this and more, in this latest instalment of soundtrack supplement, welcome. I am tempted to begin with the scores you may have missed but no.  Instead, we go to a score from the small screen, well I say small, but TV’s these days seem to be as big as some of the screens in those cramped multiplex cinemas. Apple Tv is like Netflix producing new and interesting projects on a weekly if not daily basis. And with these productions comes the need for musical scores, some being very good others being dismal, Foundation Season one is airing now, and the series has a score written by Bear McCreary, so if you like me am a fan of this multitalented and inventive composer there is very little to say about the music for the series apart from go buy it now, the soundtrack is available on digital platforms, and I will say straight away I like this a lot.

The composer has in recent years really stepped up to writing in a more symphonic style, and this latest work is no exception, it is literally teeming with thematic excellence, the soundtrack has everything as far as emotions and senses are concerned, lilting and poignant romantic interludes are scattered throughout with the composer infusing a mood that can only be described as luxurious in places, he combines strings and voices to fashion haunting melodies and create affecting and mesmerizing tone poems. Check out the cue Gaal Leaves Synnax to hear evidence of this type of scoring, the touching and subtle cue rises and falls to bring forth eloquent and highly dramatic musical emotions, plus the score is crammed full of dramatic and action paced tracks, which are at times operatic and grandiose.

Maybe McCreary should have scored Dune, because the imposing and resounding music for Foundation would not be out of place within that movie also (and maybe would be a better option). The Journey to Trantor is a wonderfully varied and tensely melodic piece, a slow burner if you will, the composer gradually constructing the piece, developing the tension but also at the same time keeping the composition theme led. Star Bridge is a more in your face affair, with swirling strings, rasping brass flourishes, and booming and grandeur sounding percussion. The work is a mix of symphonic and synthetic, but the symphonic I feel has the lions share of the performance, which is good news.

Well at last the latest James Bond movie is set to hit cinemas, and the much-anticipated soundtrack album is also soon up for release. Music by Hans Zimmer and that haunting title song performed by Billie Eilish, has already come in for a lot of mixed reaction, sadly most of it being negative from hardened Bond fans, but I have to say I thought it was very good or is very good, it has to it a typical Bond aura, and the whispering voice of the young performer in my opinion lends much to the atmosphere of this Bond soundtrack. It has an appealing sound which I feel one cannot fail to be attracted to via its overall sound and its alluring but at the same time apprehensive style. Compare it to the belters such as Goldfinger, Thunderball, and classics such as the mesmerizing You Only Live Twice and yes it does pale somewhat in their shadow. But this is the 21st Century, things change and although Bond remains Bond, music styles alter and its down to that old saying horses for courses.

Listen to the lyrics they are deep and meaningful, sad, confusing, and tormented but also affecting. Right from the first delicate piano notes this is a song that demands that you listen.

No Time to Die.

I should have known
I’d leave alone
Just goes to show
That the blood you bleed
Is just the blood you owe

We were a pair
But I saw you there
Too much to bear
You were my life, but life is far away from fair

Was I stupid to love you?
Was I reckless to help?
Was it obvious to everybody else?

That I’d fallen for a lie
You were never on my side
Fool me once, fool me twice
Are you death or paradise?
Now you’ll never see me cry
There’s just no time to die

I let it burn
You’re no longer my concern
Faces from my past return
Another lesson yet to learn

That I’d fallen for a lie
You were never on my side
Fool me once, fool me twice
Are you death or paradise?
Now you’ll never see me cry
There’s just no time to die

No time to die, mmm
No time to die, ooh

Fool me once, fool me twice
Are you death or paradise?
Now you’ll never see me cry
There’s just no time to die.

The accompaniment to the song is I think well done as it hints at the Bond style underlines the vocal and gives it a greater impact, the music is dark and enticing and kind of wraps itself around the vocal, adding mystery and intrigue to the proceedings. And if we are talking bad Bond songs, lets name and shame things like Die Another Day, and Another Way to Die from Quantum of Solace. (how did that even get onto the soundtrack). I am hoping that Miss Eilish might even pick up the Oscar like Adele and Sam Smith for her efforts on this. The score was originally to be written by composer Dan Romer, which many thought a strange choice, but Romer is a fine composer, who can easily alter and adapt his style and tailor his music to any scenario and genre, and I was looking forward to hearing what he would come up with.

When it was announced that Romer had been removed from the movie and Hans Zimmer was brought on board, that was also met with very mixed feelings, I for one was not impressed, but I thought you know give him a chance, let’s face it anyone is better than Thomas Newman, his Bond scores I thought as did many others were uninspired, dismal and sparse, compared with the standard of bombastic excellence set by composer John Barry, and imitated and built on by Bill Conti, Marvin Hamlisch, George Martin, Michael Kamen, Eric Serra (who put his own musical stamp upon Goldeneye) and of course re-imagined given greater weight and a more contemporary make over in recent years by David Arnold who enlisted the likes of Moby, Garbage, Sherly Crow, and K.D. Lang on his scores. K.D. Lang’s performance of Surrender still being one of the strongest songs in the more recent movies, filled with a bombastic and aggressive atmosphere and a strong and flawless vocal performance. I also must mention John Barry’s score for The Living Daylights, which contained the title song by Aha, (which isn’t as popular with fans as one thinks) and also two additional vocals by Chrissie Hynde, Where Has Everybody Gone and If There Was A Man, which were both perfect for the movie. Some saying she should have sung the title song.  So after the rather unmemorable scores of Thomas Newman, what would Hans Zimmer do, well it could go either way as it often does with this composer, it would either be a collection of weird sounding cues that really made no sense or have anything remotely connected with James Bond within them, or it could be something special, well I am pleased it is the latter and this is I think a James Bond score that many will enjoy a lot.

I was touched by the wonderful lyrical approach to a handful of the tracks referencing the unmistakable breathy woods of John Barry, But let us not forget that Steve Mazzaro was also on board on this score, even though the credits say he is the music producer, (is producer a new name for composer?) Zimmer and Mazzaro weave a lush and romantic sounding string arrangement of We Have All the Time in the World into the cue Matera, which when first heard is an affecting piece, washing over the listener evoking memories of OHMSS and Louis Armstrong.and making the hairs on your neck and arms stand up.

This type of musical tribute was actually done in the movie OHMSS when Bond (George Lazenby) leaves the secret service and goes through a few of his possessions, the music on the soundtrack taking audiences back to past movies and adventures such as Dr No, From Russia With Love, etc. Then there is the cue, Should,nt We Get to Know Each Other First, which again has to it Barry-esque properties, which are consolidated and enhanced further by luxurious sounds that segue into more familiar musical ground in the form of the iconic James Bond Theme.  I think being the composer for a James Bond movie must be daunting, simply because there are so many classic scores within the franchise, but I will say that Hans Zimmer and Steve Mazzaro have not disappointed, we can all find out on October 1st when the CD by Decca records and also a two-disc vinyl will be released, and the soundtrack will be available on digital platforms.  

So, from Bond James Bond to an Italian movie from the 1970’s and the music of Bruno Nicolai. Originally released on a long-playing record back in 1970 which was on the famed Italian soundtrack label Ariete (ARLP 2006), Femmine Insaziabili, is probably one of Bruno Nicolai’s finest scores from this period. It was also probably this soundtrack that made me realise that Nicolai was a talent all on his own and brought it home that he possessed a unique and vibrant musical style away from the shadow of composers such as Morricone, Rustichelli and Rota all which Nicolai collaborated with as conductor or arranger. This score contains numerous styles and is a theme laden work. The composer utilising the unmistakable vocal talents of Edda Dell Orso who’s marvellous and flawless voice is used throughout the score giving it an even more attractive and haunting quality. Yes it is true to say that one can make comparisons between the work of Nicolai and also the work of Morricone and it has to be said that both composers were particularly busy and creative at this time in their respective careers, but Femmine Insaziabili has to it an aura and a musical presence that to be truthful is arguably superior to much of what Morricone penned at this time. Nicolai’s themes seem to be more developed and dare I say more melodic, the composer arranging and orchestrating the central themes from the score differently throughout to create a veritable avalanche of rich and attractive compositions that combine to create a soundtrack which when listened to away from the images still remains entertaining. The movie was released in the latter part of 1969 and was directed by Alberto De Martino, it starred John Ireland, Frank Wolf, Dorothy Malone, and Robert Hoffman.  

The story focuses upon a who journalist meets up with an old lady friend in the United States when he is visiting there, but shortly after meeting her she is found murdered, the journalist decides to find her murderer and in doing so discovers that many of her so-called friends did not like her at all and further discovers that in the years she has been in America she has become corrupt. Nicolai’s score opens with the driving and vivacious sounding title song I Want it All, performed by Lara Saint Paul with backing vocals by Edda and driving melodic strings that are attractive but upbeat. “The Good things, the Bad things, The Thrills, The Sorrows and the Joys. I want it All, All Life Can Give Me, With Every Part of me I want to Live”. are the opening lines. Sounds, good to me, performed wonderfully with beautifully orchestrated backing by Nicolai, this opening melody carries on through the remainder of the score and pop’s up here and there in various musical guises and permutations.

The remainder of Nicolai’s score is upbeat and has to it a busy almost big band sound in places, with brass and percussion creating luxurious sounding themes and motifs. Then there is the softer and far more easy listening side to the work, with strings and light percussion combining with organ and Edda exquisite voice the composer adding to this interesting and original sounds and trills etc that accompany and embellish the central thematic material. This for me personally is brought to a fuller fruition in track number four which is just one of the instrumental variations of the I Want it All theme.

The soundtrack was released on Easy Tempo records which was an active label a few years back releasing various scores and putting out a series of compilation discs that were entitled simply Easy Tempo and included volumes 1 to 10 at the time many of the tracks not being released commercially. The score for Femmine Insaziabili is simply glorious, it is an essential purchase a must have Bruno Nicolai soundtrack, with any collection seeming empty without it. Easy Tempo also released a double LP record of the soundtrack. To say certain cues are stand out or there are any highlights within the score would be impossible as every cue is magnificent, at times being vibrantly robust and dramatic, and at other times evoking other scores from the same decade by Nicolai including the atmospheric Love Birds and La Dama Rossa Uccide Sette Volte. Quartet records have now announced that they will re-issue the score on a double CD set re-mastered by Chris Malone. Which is good news for fans of Nicolai who have maybe missed previous releases of this classic Italian soundtrack from the golden age of film music there the 1970’s.

Which brings me to another classic Italian score this time from Maestro Armando Trovajoli. Originally released as part of the CAM records Soundtrack Encyclopaedia, Profumo Di Donna, is in my humble opinion one of Armando Trovajoli’s most accomplished scores. It is also one his most haunting and infectious with every track yielding a theme that remains with the listener long after it has finished.

The movie which was released in 1975 is based upon the novel Darkness and Honey, by Giovanni Arpino. Two army officers are injured in an accidental explosion and are both blinded, they are so distraught that they will never again see that they make a pact to meet in Rome where they plan to commit suicide. However, things do not go quite to plan and one of the soldiers on route to Rome is accompanied by a young soldier and starts to realise that the love of a woman is still worth living for even if he cannot see her. Directed by Dino Risi, the movie blends light comedic touches with drama to great effect. Risi managing to combine the two successfully. Trovajoli’s score is a romantic and easy going one, it has some of the most attractive thematic material within it and is a joy to listen to from start to finish, the composer fusing at times light and intimate jazz moments with that of lush orchestral passages and interweaving delicate and touching musical nuances between the two styles.

Many of the cues are piano led with Trovajoli building upon the foundation of the piano to create wonderfully melodic compositions, on listening to the score one I think would image it to be a easy listening album with each and every cue being something of a triumph in its own right. It is also in my opinion very similar to the work of Morricone from the same period but saying this Trovajoli certainly has an individuality and a sound that is undeniable his alone. The soundtrack was re-issued by Sugar music in Italy but contained no extra music.

Benjamin Wallfisch is a talented composer and has produced so many beautiful scores for movies and TV, one of his most recent is for the Netflix movie The Starling. Directed by Theodore Melfi and starring Melissa McCarthy, Chris O’Dowd, Kevin Kline, and Timothy Olyphant, The Starling tells the story of Lilly (McCarthy) and her husband, Jack (O’Dowd). The couple suffer a devastating loss to begin the film and Jack heads off to a care retreat to deal with his grief while Lilly is left dealing with her guilt on her own and to make matters worse, she becomes the target of an overly aggressive starling that has nested in her garden. The new arrival provides an unlikely avenue for Lilly to focus her attention and find a way of moving on. I am so pleased that Wallfisch has returned to a subject matter that requires a more sensitive and thematic kind of music, as this is an area that I think he excels in. The music for The Starling, is highly emotive and filled with a romantic and nostalgic air, the composer utilising mainly strings to create the affecting and at times mischievous sounding score.

There is a rich sense of emotion within this work, fragility and poignancy are overflowing, and tenderness is served up in overwhelming amounts. I really like the score and have listened to it through a few times, the composer gets the right balance of the comedic, the melodic, the touching and the dramatic within this work and it is one I recommend that you take a listen to. Available on digital platforms. Welcome back Mr Wallfisch.

Where to next do you think, well its to another new release, The race to save the last great elephant tuskers from a vanishing landscape…is shown in the documentary Kimana Tuskers, which is written & directed by Jamie Joseph, produced by Saving the Wild, and narrated by two-time Academy Award nominated actor, Djimon Hounsou. The music is by composer Stephen Gallagher, who has produced a supportive but not to intrusive score for the film. And although the score is quite short running for just over twelve minutes it is an affecting and an effective soundtrack, that enhances and adds depth and atmosphere to the already engrossing documentary. At certain points I was reminded of both the styles employed by George Fenton and John Barry, with horns and strings combining to create wonderfully lyrical moments. Its available on digital platforms so please do take a listen. Whilst there why not also dip into his score for Conquering Cancer, which is a musical rollercoaster of many emotions. And the composers atmospheric score for the 2019 horror Puppet Killer, which is a lot of fun musically.

From a horror to a sage brush saga filmed in Spain and starring Giuliano Gemma, The Long Days of Vengeance was released back in 1967, directed by Florestano Vancini under the alias of Stan Vance. This was a western that attempted to cash in on the success of the Ringo movies which also starred Gemma. The film was even given the alternative title at one point of Face of an Angel, referring to the song Angel Face in the first Ringo movie which was composed by Ennio Morricone. The score for Long Days of Vengeance was the work of composer Armando Trovajoli, and it was to be the only western that the composer worked on. However, the score was outstanding and contains one of the most iconic themes from a spaghetti western.

With its soaring trumpet solo, racing snares and other percussive elements underpinning the electric guitar solo sound that became synonymous with the movies it is for me one of the best non-Morricone Italian western scores from the genre. What the appeal of the music is that the composer realises the sound associated with the Italian western plus adds to this his own touches and integrates a more traditional western sound into the proceedings, with Spanish guitar solos and harmonica performances.

Originally released on long playing record back in the 1960’s the soundtrack was re-issued onto a long-playing record paired with a score for a Sartana movie by Piero Piccioni that was issued by Intermezzo which was something CAM  used to do on LP releases when scores were short, the double soundtrack release on one record was popular amongst collectors during the late 1960’s and throughout the 1970’s. Long Days of Vengeance soon made its way onto compact disc and was then a score that seemed to be re-issued so many times, with the Japanese pressing on CD being the most sought after because of its improved sound and superior art-work.

The soundtrack is now available on digital platforms with so many extra cues, the latest edition containing thirty-two tracks and running for over an hour, but this is not surprising as the movie had a duration time of just over two hours, which is lengthy for an Italian western from this period. After three years of heavy physical labour in a prison located in the searing heat of the desert, a former Sheriff Ted Barnett (Gemma) escapes. Barnett was framed by three men and wrongly convicted to thirty years hard labour for the murder of his father. He looks for those that had accused him, seeking revenge. Typical Spaghetti western fodder I would say, but the score is truly inspired and one that you should own if you don’t already. Recommended.

I am going to be boring now and stay with the spaghetti western, but it’s a film that does not get mentioned a lot, it was not a good movie and was basically a film that was made to show off the 3-D effects. Comin at Ya is a film that has become notorious for launching the 3D revival in the early 80’s but mostly disappeared from public movie consciousness with the classic 3D format almost 30 years ago.  Directed by Ferdinando Baldi and starring the second-rate Tony Anthony, the movie I have to say overcooked the 3-D and used it in almost every scene instead of making it a feature. Thus, audiences became tired of it, the one saving grace I think is the brilliant score by composer Carlo Savina, who utilises the exquisite voice of Edda dell Orso, in many of the cues. Savina is probably better known for his work as a conductor for the likes of Miklos Rozsa, but he was a fine composer in his own right and the score for Comin at Ya stands out as being one of his best. The score was owned by CAM but the company licensed it to GDM/Hillside who issued it onto compact disc, it is a gem of a soundtrack but is now deleted and hard to find, but thankfully available on digital platforms with twenty one cues.

Horror scores feature large nowadays amongst the new soundtrack releases and I would say at least sixty percent of all soundtrack releases are from horror films and sci-fi movies. Jack and Jill, is one such release amongst the latest batch, music is by Andy Fosberry, well I say music but is it? There are more effects and certainly more soundscape than there is actual music as in melodic or thematic. I am not however saying the score is not affective, and again it’s what ever is right for the film and if it supports and enhances and hopefully adds atmosphere to the movie than that is what movie music is all about. However, from a listening point of view, its not such a good thing, because there is nothing to latch onto and in effect this is film music for the purpose of the film and the film only, but that’s a good thing, yes?

So many scores recently are serving the picture well but have not a great deal going on away from the images, which is why I still lament the loss of the main title’s music in movies, or even the end titles in some cases, at least one left the cinema with the theme for the film fresh in your mind. The score for Jack and Jill does contain some very effective moments and these can be experienced without having to watch the movie as in the cue, Emergance, which contains some inventive percussive effects and has to it a dark and lumbering persona. It is a dark sounding work, mysterious and foreboding but that’s what it meant to sound like given the subject matter of the film. So, the composer has indeed succeeded in writing effective movie music. Take a listen again on most digital platforms. Andy Fosberry has also scored Spider in the Attic, which again is filled with atmospheric sounds and half heard sounds that creep you out to be honest, again no real thematic material, soundscape rules in this case. The composer creating a sinewy and vibrant sound which although not melodic is affecting because of the way in which it is written. Fosberry fashioning synth passages and dark and unsettling interludes that become even more unnerving as the work progresses. Inventive and oozing with a sense of dread.  

Also available is Mediterraneo by the excellent Spanish composer Arnau Battler, who has become one of my favourite composers in recent years. There is also an interesting release from the Newton Brothers which is the score from the Netflix series Midnight Mass, I wont spoil for you but go check it out, its on digital platforms and its certainly different.

Billy Mcbride is going through a rough patch. He has been fired from the law firm he helped build, his wife has left him, and he’s now a down on his luck ambulance chaser. A lady (Patty) approaches him to represent her in a wrongful death case. After reluctantly accepting to take on the case, a series of strange events befall Billy. Through death threats, harassment, and fabricated arrests, Billy embarks on obtaining justice. Additional unique cases eventually come Billy and Patty’s way, making the ride even more entertaining.

That’s the plot for the TV series Goliath (2016) which stars Billy Bob Thornton. The score for the series is by composers Jon Ehrlich and Jason Derlatka and is an effective collection of themes and cues that give the series a more urgent and tense atmosphere, the composers employing a fusion of synthetic textures with conventional instrumentation that adds colour ad depth. Interesting and entertaining.

The Cliff Eidelman score I mentioned in the opening is for the movie Free Willy 3, The Rescue, Eidelman I think is an overlooked composer and deserved to work on bigger budget movies, his style is an appealing one, creating lilting and pleasant themes and also fashioning dramatic and high-tension action cues. Free Willy 3, The Rescue, was a good movie considering it was produced on the back of the success of the two original movies. Basil Poledouris created wonderfully lyrical scores for the first two movies, and Eidelman did a sterling job on the third movie, in fact at times the music seems to be even more lush and appealing than the themes created by Poledouris. There is a more developed style present, and the score is certainly more varied theme wise. The composer also adds a touch of authenticity via certain instrumentation and utilises the core theme of the original scores in an emotive and effective way. Now available on digital platforms it’s a soundtrack that disappeared for a while, so now its time to get re-acquainted don’t you think? And while you’re about getting to know this score again go to his music for Christopher Columbus the Discovery. Which is grand, powerful, and regal whereas Free Willy 3, is what I often call a homely score, or one that makes one feel uplifted and happy after listening to it, the same can be said for Randy Newman’s The Natural, which is at times pure Americana. A classic, and one that every self-respecting film music fan should have in their collection.

That’s all folks…until next time.


There are in the world a lot of unexplained phenomena, things like the Loch Ness Monster for example and other creatures that every so often pop up here and there some even having film footage to back up a sighting, but I think the one creature or legend that sticks in many people’s minds is that of Bigfoot or the Sasquatch in Canadian and American folklore. Which is said to be an ape like creature that inhabits the dense forests of Northern America, there have been literally hundreds of sightings many being as I have said backed up by either audio or visual evidence, in the form of photographs and video film. However, the existence of the creature has never been proven, but saying that the evidence although challenged by scientists etc has also never been disproven to the degree that we can totally rule out that the creature does not wander the countryside hiding away from mankind in the depths of the forests. 

Some of the so-called evidence has been ruled out and treated as hoaxes, some elaborate others flimsy and easily spotted. I always remember the footage of Big Foot a creature covered in hair and walking upright like a man rather than on all fours like a bear or a wolf.  Bigfoot has become an iconic figure within cryptozoology and an enduring element of popular culture stories being passed down from family members to children and then from those children to friends and eventually when they became adults to their children and grandchildren. Folklore experts have maintained that the creature is a combination of factors and sources. These include ancient folk beliefs amongst various Native American tribes across the continent and other elements of folklore surrounding the European ape man figure. Beliefs shared from sources that include lumber workers, miners, hunters, and prospectors often include stories of hairy wild men, but are these Animal or human? After all mountain men would sometimes spend years in the wild without seeing another human and with solitude comes a little madness maybe, and allowing themselves to become wild as it were to fit in with the environment that they have been living in, so maybe these sightings were of mountain men and not Bigfoot or other such creatures? A cultural increase in environmental concerns have been cited as additional factors, some putting the argument that because man is moving deeper into the wild that maybe the Sasquatch is being forced out into the open and thus sightings have become more frequent?  Many scientists have historically refused to believe the existence of Bigfoot or a creature that resembles the description of Bigfoot, they have always considered the stories and supposed sightings to be the result of a combination of campfire tales and folklore stories handed down through the generations, misidentification, and hoax, rather than a living animal that has somehow survived and gone undetected by humans.

But sightings of Bigfoot like creatures are not confined to one specific area of the Americas, other creatures similar in descriptions are alleged to inhabit regions elsewhere on the American continent, such as the Ts’emekwes in North West America and the Skunk ape of the South-Eastern United States;  there have been many reports of sightings throughout the world, such as the Almas, Yeti, and Yeren  both associated with Asia; and the Australian Yowie; all of which, like Bigfoot, are engrained in the cultures of their respective regions. 

I suppose the stories of the Sasquatch can be to some degree compared with that of the legends surrounding the werewolf, there is authentication of sorts but there is also other evidence that maybe is more acceptable to the authorities and out-weights the so-called hoax documentation. Like the werewolf and other supposedly mythical creatures Bigfoot has been the subject of numerous movies and documentaries and it is a selection of these that I now move onto and whilst doing so discuss their respective musical scores.

Most movies focusing upon the Sasquatch, can be easily categorised within the horror genre, many depicting the creature as a bloodthirsty and ultra-violent missing link that rips off limbs and rampages through the countryside targeting poor innocent passers by that just happen to wander close the dark forests where it has resided for hundreds of years undisturbed. Which raises the question, if the creature has been hiding all these years why would it suddenly come out of its environment and attack a human? Because then it would be drawing attention to its existence and if the Sasquatch does indeed exist it surely has to be a reasonably intelligent creature to be so elusive for all these years. But there have been a handful films for both cinema and TV, that are well made and emphasise an intelligent viewpoint, that is backed up by convincing evidence that by the end of the film makes even the most doubting audience begin to think about whether the creature could exist.

But its not just Bigfoot that there have been sightings of, for example in the United Kingdom there have been many sightings of cat like creatures such as the beast of Bodmin, and other big cats in the South and North of the country, then there is the Chupacabra, or goat sucker, which is also said to be a cat like creature that sucks the blood out of livestock, it has links I suppose to vampires and werewolves being animal and also living on blood.

First sighted in the Southern regions of America in the mid 1990’s, there are varying descriptions of the creature with some describing it as more dog-like while others describe it as more lizard, amphibian- or even alien-like as in the early Hollywood image of Aliens, with big eyes and spikes down its back. Some have said it is a heavy creature the size of a small bear, with this row of spines reaching from the neck to the base of the tail. Eyewitness sightings have been claimed in Puerto Rico and have since been reported as far north as Maine and as far south as Chile, and even outside the Americas in countries like Russia and The Philippines. I am a strong believer that there are many unknowns in this world, and some are right under our noses, I also believe that man is a destructive force and one that has single handily managed to bring this earth to its knees, so why would there not be creatures out there that have gone out of their way to avoid us as a race? I think if I was a creature in the forest going about my business and I got to see a fraction of what mankind is doing to his own environment I would try and hideaway if I possibly could. It’s the same old story isn’t it, man discovers a new species, so what does man do straight away? They kill the new species to examine it to operate on it check its organs and its DNA etc. (did anyone check if there was more than one?). Similar scenario with all those 1950’s sci fi movies, aliens arrive on the planet “We come in peace” yep, “Ok let’s blast em to Kingdom come”.  Why? Well because we are stupid that’s why, or maybe because we fear the unknown and want to destroy it before it destroys us, when in reality creatures like the Bigfoot if they exist would probably just want to be left alone and would leave us alone.  Would a Sasquatch want to live in down-town New York or the suburbs of London, or would they want to stay in the wilds in the fresh clean air and carry on with their lives undisturbed, I think you know the answer to that question.

Bigfoot movies have encompassed a plethora of scenarios, there are the aforementioned blood thirsty Sasquatch’s, that would take chunks out of you or rip an arm out of its socket rather than look at you, the not so violent types, the friendly ones and also the comedic variety, which I think is my least favourite,  especially when given the Hollywood sickly syrupy treatment as in Harry and The Hendersons and also there seems to be a literal avalanche of animated films about our furry friend,(or friends) who is depicted as a cuddly and vulnerable individual, the vulnerable I get, but lets not get to carried away. So where to start concerning the movies and various filmic outings for Bigfoot?  I think go back to 1972 and look at a docudrama which caused a bit of a stir and more than a ripple of interest with audiences and critics alike.

The Legend of Boggy Creek is an American horror film about the “ Fouke Monster “, which is said to be a Bigfoot -type creature that reportedly has been seen in and around Fouke, Arkansas since the 1940s. The film mixes interviews with residents of Fouke who claim to have encountered the creature, along with re-enactments of some of these encounters. The movie was released on August 23rd, 1972, and had in its leading roles William Stump, Chuck Pierce jnr, and Willie E Smith, Produced and directed by Charles B. Pierce, this is probably one of the better movies focusing upon the legend of the Sasquatch.  

The film’s director and producer worked as an advertising salesman who convinced a local businessman to invest in the film and hired locals (mainly high school students) to help complete it. After Pierce’s daughter Pamula Pierce Barcelou acquired the rights to The Legend of Boggy Creek, a remastered version of the film premiered in 2019. The film had an effective and atmospheric score by Bolivian born composer Jaime Mendoza Nava, who is a composer that worked on over ninety movies and TV shows.  It’s surprising considering the composers quite prolific output in film music and other genres that many soundtrack collectors have not heard off him, and it also a great shame that there are hardly any of his filmic works to listen to on recordings. On searching I found one release of his film and piano works which is available digitally. It is an interesting compilation of music with the composer introducing each film score cue explaining the scene it was written for. Nava was very adaptable and scored numerous movies of varying subject matter and on each occasion tailored his musical style to these at times writing lush and romantic music, jazz influenced themes and dramatic and affecting compositions to suit and compliment every scenario and mood. The album which is available on Spotify and Apple music displays the composer’s flexibility to write for the screen and for the concert hall, showing two very different faces of the Maestro stylistically. One half of the album being dedicated to his film music and the other his piano compositions. There is good news however concerning his score for The Legend of Boggy Creek, the soundtrack release is coming soon and is one to look out for, it will be we are told available on compact disc, vinyl, and digital download. In many ways the music is evocative of the vintage horror film scores of the 1950’s and 1960’s. Fully symphonic for the most part and containing a handful of songs which are vital to the musical enhancement of the film giving it authenticity.

You can take a listen to samples here.

The Legend of Boggy Creek – Soundtrack

The composer worked on many horror movies and in the early to mid-1970’s his career was dominated scoring this genre of film, with examples being The Grave of the Vampire, Vampire Hookers,  House of Terror, Brotherhood of Satan and The Shadow of Chikara, most of the movies the composer scored were made on fairly-low budgets, but this was something that never effected the quality of Nava’s music, the composer producing scores that were integral to each plot and fully supportive of the movies. The Legend of Boggy Creek spawned a few other movies and TV movies dealing with the subject, in 1976 for example The Creature from the Black Lake was released it starred veteran actor Jack Elam and was also scored by Jaime Mendoza Nava.

The movie opens with fishermen who are attacked in the Louisiana swamps. When the word gets out of a mysterious Bigfoot-type creature, two researchers come to a small town to study and hopefully discover what the beast is. Their research indicates that they may soon be facing a violent and murderous creature which could be the missing link.

A more contemporary version of the tale is seen in the form of Boggy Creek which was released in 2010, was another more recent Bigfoot outing. Following the death of her father in a terrible accident, sweet, yet perplexed Jennifer and her friends decide to check out her dad’s cabin that’s located in the deep woods of Boggy Creek, Texas. While staying at said cabin for a week, which they are advised not to do by locals, Jennifer and company run into an evil and vicious monster of local legend that kills men and abducts women. (You know you should really listen to the locals after all they live there). This is not a good movie, in fact its one of those films that one gets a quarter of the way through, and you begin to channel hop, in the feint hope that when you return the movie would have finished and the annoying and untalented cast have all been massacred by the monster. Unconvincing performances fill this picture, and a rather shaky script does not help either. The musical score is by Brandon Bentli, and it looks like his only film score outing as far as I can see whilst researching him.

Then we have The Boggy Creek Monster a documentary, which was directed by Seth Breedlove, and released in 2016. The film was produced by an army of people, which is rather odd as the film although informative offers up no new facts or anything fresh regarding the monster. It is basically a string of interviews with supposed locals of the area, but there is nothing ground-breaking whatsoever in it,.

The score for the documentary is by Brandon Dalo and is available on digital platforms. It’s a rather down beat and soundscape led affair in places, the composer employing drone like sounds which are not musical just atmospherics, but they underline the few dramatic moments that the film offers with a moody but at times irritating sound.

One of the most recent films to focus upon Bigfoot is entitled American Bigfoot which is due for release in October this year (2021). It is an action thriller directed by Lance Polland. Starring Laura Stetman, Hans Hernke, Vernon Wells, Kelci C. Magel, and Vito Trabucco, and focuses upon a film maker named Matt Scott and his film crew who leave the comforts of Los Angeles to embark on a road trip to the Northern California mountains of Trinity County to film a documentary on the legendary creature known as Bigfoot.

Two days later the film crew hike into the forest to find evidence of the creature and that’s when the real fun begins. So, the interest in Bigfoot is still strong, and new movies and documentaries seem to be being made every year.

But none have any fresh takes on the subject, and then we have examples such as Sasquatch, which follows investigative journalist David Holthouse as he attempts to solve a bizarre twenty-five-year-old triple homicide that was said to be the work of a mythical creature. A rather different approach on this one though with the TV mini-series produced by Hulu being screened for the first time on April 20th in the United States, it does I have to say throw up some interesting points. But this is not all about Bigfoot, its also about the Bigfoot hunters and the reasoning behind their obsessions with the creature. Its probably the best of the bunch of recent documentaries and films and well worth checking out.

Then we have a film entitled Shriek of the Mutilated, also known as Mutilated and Scream of the Snowbeast, which is a 1974 American horror film directed by Michael Findlay. Now this is not a good film, but its entertaining at times simply because it is so bad, if you know what I mean? There is no composer credited and I am certain that most of the music is either classical or taken from music libraries, which is a practise that goes back as far as the 1930’s with horror and sci fi movies, the original Dracula for example that starred Bela Lugosi had a musical score that was classical excerpts tracked onto the soundtrack, and it was not until The Bride of Frankenstein that the horror film got a score specifically written for it which was the work of Franz Waxman. The rather outlandish and chaotic plot of Shriek of the Mutilated, focuses on a field trip by Professor Ernst Prell to investigate Yeti sightings along with four graduate students: Keith Henshaw, Karen Hunter, Tom Nash, and Lynn Kelly. The night before the trip, the professor invites Keith to dinner at a restaurant. The rest of Prell’s students attend an off-campus party where they run into a former student of the professor’s, turned alcoholic a groundskeeper named Spencer St. Clair, who is there with his wife April. St. Clair in his drunken state tells everyone about Prell’s last Yeti-seeking field trip, which only he and the professor survived. After the party, St Clair continues to drink, and upon returning home argues and violently fights with and beats his wife cutting her throat with an electric carving knife. Afterwards, he climbs into the bathtub fully clothed but is killed by his not yet dead wife who manages somehow to drag a toaster into the bathroom and dumps it into the bath, electrocuting him (shocking). The next day the professor and his group of students travel to see a friend of Prell’s a Dr. Werner who lives on an island where it is said the Yeti creature has been sighted.  The theory being that the creature has been trapped on the island by melting winter ice.

When they arrive at the island, they are introduced to a mute Native American who is the manservant of Werner whose name is Laughing Cow. The Professor and his students are made to feel welcome, and dinner is served which just happens to be the same meal that the professor and Keith had the night before in the restaurant which is something called Gin Sung. The party turn in for the night and the next morning set out on their search for the Yeti. Tom one of the students decides to go off hunting on his own and is attacked and killed by the creature.  

The group search for Tom the next morning but it is only his rifle and his severed leg that one of them discovers. Meanwhile, one of the female students Lynn is startled by something that she sees and runs off into the woods were she too is killed by the Yeti. I won’t go any further, I don’t want to spoil it for you. Shriek of the Mutilated is an off kilter rather disjointed, low budget horror, which probably has more negatives than positives, but it’s all good clean gory fun and passes an hour and a half on a wet and miserable Saturday evening.  

From gore and horror to something that is sugary and tame, Harry and the Henderson’s is not one of my favourite Bigfoot movies, in fact I think the only saving grace is the musical score by composer Bruce Broughton and even that is certainly not one of the composers best.


Broughton was catapulted into the public gaze after scoring the western Silverado and the thriller Young Sherlock Holmes in 1985, a year later the composer worked on The Boy Who Could Fly. In the same year that he scored Harry and the Henderson’s the composer also worked on The Monster Squad, Cross my Heart, and Big Shots.  

Directed by William Dear and released in 1987, the film opens with a family returning from a hunting trip in the forest, the Henderson’s car hits an animal. Initially they think it is a man, but when they examine the body, they find it’s a bigfoot. They then panic a little but decide to take the body home as maybe they can make some money out of proving the existence of the Bigfoot.  But, and yes there is always a but, they discover that the creature is not dead but unconscious. They also find out that far from being a violent and bloodthirsty animal as the reports say the Bigfoot or Harry as they call him is a mild mannered and friendly giant. In their attempts to keep Harry a secret, the Henderson’s hide him from the authorities and a man, who has made it his goal in life, to catch a “bigfoot”. Ok it’s an entertaining romp mostly, but sometimes it’s a little cheesy, cringeworthy and cliched. The cast is ok, with John Lithgow taking the lead and actor Kevin Peter Hall as Harry. A family movie, but one that sometimes just does not hit the mark.

Let’s head away from the Hollywood-ization of the big hairy guy and go back to lower budget movies and docu-dramas and informative if not slightly oddball documentaries. Tinsel town were not exactly falling over them selves to produce movies that at least were slightly credible about Bigfoot so it fell to independent filmmakers to try and bring the legend of the Sasquatch to the attention of TV viewers and cinema audiences. Some of these examples have been good others not so good, many have been scary with others garnering chuckles and laughter from watching audiences.

Despite many critics and members of the public praising Primal Rage(sometimes called Primal Rage: Bigfoot Reborn, or Primal Rage: The Legend of Konga) for its gory effects, most from both the pro and negative camps would have to agree that the movie had its fair share of problems. The film which was released in 2018 portrays the Bigfoot as a warrior figure who is hell bent on guarding and protecting his race, the movie also throws into the mix Native American religion and mystical elements, and hints that maybe Bigfoot is more magical and otherworldly than just a giant ape in the forest.

Released four years earlier Exists  is considered by many fans of this horror sub-genre to be one of the better movies about the Sasquatch, Eduardo Sánchez, the creator of  The Blair Witch Project decided to create his own found footage Bigfoot film. Sánchez used his past ways of creating convincing footage techniques at the start of the movie, but midway through the film switches style and turns into an effective and full-on taught and no holds barred monster movie. Despite being criticized for weak characters the movie was praised for its excellent costuming. The movie tells the story of five friends who head off on a summer getaway which is a weekend of camping in the Texas Big Thicket. But thoughts of a relaxing and fun break soon evaporate with an accident on a dark and desolate country road.

After which they find themselves pursued and hunted by something that is not human a Bigfoot seeking murderous revenge for the death of its child. It’s a movie that I thought bult wonderfully on the tense situation adding more and more tense and nervous atmospheres as the story unfolded. The score was effective, but was used sparingly, which in a way was more impacting because the silences and pauses often created a greater sense of foreboding and urgency. The music was by composer Nima Fakhrara who is known for his work on Becky (2020), Detroit Become Human (2018) and The Signal (2014).


Is the tag line from the 2017movie Valley of the Sasquatch or Hunting Grounds. Which is an effective horror romp directed by John Portanova. After losing their home following a devastating tragedy, a father and son are forced to move to an old family cabin. Neither reacts well to being thrown into this new and for them uncomfortable world. The son’s attempts to relate to his father are complicated and become even more so when two old friends arrive for a weekend of hunting. This trip into the forest will unearth not only feelings of guilt that have been concealed but also a tribe of Sasquatch that are determined to protect their land. The musical score is the work of Jon Bash, who was born in Redwood City, CA and spent most of his childhood in Sequim, WA, learning to play guitar and percussion from the age of eleven. At the age of eighteen he moved to Bellingham, WA to initially study music education at Western Washington University, but soon found his calling in composing music. During his time there he received numerous awards and began working with local filmmakers and video game developers, he teaches at the Bellingham university while continuing to compose for larger and larger projects.  He was nominated for the Best Score award at the 2015 Horrible Imaginings Film Festival in San Diego, CA for his work on Valley of the Sasquatch.  

Released in 2013 Willow Creek, is another well-known and well-regarded found footage movie about Bigfoot, Jim and his girlfriend Kelly are visiting the infamous Willow Creek, the alleged home of the original Bigfoot legend. It was there that in 1967, the legendary beast was captured on film and has terrified and mystified generations since. Keen to explore more than fifty years of truth, folklore, misidentifications and hoaxes, Kelly goes along for the ride to keep Jim happy, whilst he is determined to prove the story is real by capturing the beast on camera. Deep in the dark woods, isolated and hours from human contact, neither Kelly or Jim are prepared for what is hidden between the trees, and what happens when the cameras start rolling.

This is an effective drama and I would say one of the better examples of more recent movies dealing with the stories surrounding Sasquatch. That’s it for now I guess, there are so many more examples of Bigfoot movies, maybe try and check them out as a number of these are available on you tube and other such sites. Happy viewing.


When one mentions composer Charles Bernstein, it is often the horror scores he composed for movies such as A Nightmare on Elm Street and Cujo that come to mind.

The composer’s career in scoring film began in 1969, when he worked on a documentary entitled Czechoslovakia 1918 to 1968. He worked steadily throughout the 1970s and as the 1980’s dawned he began to become associated more and more with the horror genre, writing music for movies such as The Entity, Love at first Bite, and scoring TV movies such as Covenant and Malice in Wonderland. In fact, a lot of Bernstein’s scores were for TV movies during the 1980’s and continuing into the 1990’s. But not all were horror movies or films related remotely to the horror genre. Which displays how flexible and talented the composer is, being able to adapt his musical styles to varying subject matters, working on dramas, romances and comedies, films, and documentaries.

If Nancy doesn’t wake up screaming she won’t wake up at all.

I am however going back to the 1980’s and to the year of 1984, when Fred Krueger (Robert Englund) first came onto the big screen to conjure up mayhem and terror as well as inflicting pain both mental and physical upon his victims. A Nightmare on Elm Street was a lower budget affair and who would have thought that this first foray into the mysterious, creepy, and surreal world of Kruger would have spawned so many sequels and assured the series a place in the history of horror cinema.  

1,2 Freddy’s Coming For You!

The central character is a child killer who appears to people who were responsible for his death and begins to have his revenge on their children and family members in dreams. The residents of Elm Street are terrorised by this cruel and sadistic figure, Nancy Thompson and a group of her friends (comprising Tina Gray, Rod Lane and Glen Lantz) are being tormented by a clawed killer in their dreams named Fred Krueger. Nancy must think quickly, as Fred tries to pick them off one by one, but what can you do if you are asleep?

The kids of Elm Street don’t know it yet, but something is coming to get them in their dreams.

Bernstein’s score is highly effective especially in the dream sequences with the composer creating atmospheric and sinister sounding compositions via conventional and electronic instrumentation, adding to this unusual sounds and voices to fashion an eerie, unsettling, and menacing soundtrack. It is a score that has always been popular and has recently been re-issued onto digital platforms as part of the Warner Brothers Archive Collection, with thirty-four cues included and a running time of nearly fifty minutes.

She is the only one who can stop it… if she fails, no one survives.

The movie directed by Wes Craven is an effective slasher/serial killer film and was probably the inspiration for many other films in the same genre that followed including Scream which was also directed by Craven. It is surprising that Bernstein never returned to the franchise, the sequel being scored by Christopher Young and composers such as J Peter Robinson, Craig Safan, and Angelo Badalamenti working on other entries. On revisiting the soundtrack recently I was still impressed by the inventiveness of the composer, check it out.